Budget Talk Begins

Published 4:06 pm Tuesday, May 8, 2012

FARMVILLE – Early 2012-13 budget discussions indicate Town Council is not considering a tax increase but officials are contemplating a $10 per month sanitation fee and charging, perhaps five dollars, for a Resident Parking permit.

Town officials are also hopeful of sharing in the revenue Longwood University generates by charging a parking fee on Town streets.

And Town of Farmville employees may be looking at a four percent raise.

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“This budget's with the idea that there's a couple of things we're working on for additional revenue,” Town Manager Gerald Spates told council members during their May work session last week, discussing the 53-page first iteration of a proposed 2012-13 budget that tentatively totals $15,240,178 in revenue and expenditures.

“It includes a $10 per month sanitation fee added to the water bill,” Spates noted. “It also includes changing our billing for water to a monthly basis instead bi-monthly.”

The Town would no longer have to wait 60 days for the next installment of water/sewer bill revenue, helping with cash-flow efficiency, if monthly billing were begun.

And water leaks, generally indicated by a sudden ballooning of water use and so an inflated bill, would be detected more quickly.

As for Longwood's parking revenue from Town streets, Spates said, “We are including in here that rental parking. We're talking about Longwood's got 182 spaces on campus on our streets and we met with them yesterday and talked about sharing that revenue they collect from that parking on the streets.

“They're our streets,” Spates pointed out, “and we should get some of the revenue.”

Regarding instituting a fee for residential parking permits, the town manager said, “we're also going to start charging for the residential parking permits we furnish for residents in the Avenues and those places we do have Resident Parking. It will cover the expense of the signs.”

The Town has issued residential parking permits but not charged for them.

“So now we're going to charge for them,” Spates said.

Council member David E. Whitus stressed that the parking fee would “meet the Town's costs” in providing the actual permits. “It's not a money-maker.”

Explained Spates: “Instead of getting it free, you pay for it. It will be like five dollars for a Resident Parking permit.”

Regarding the sanitation fee, Farmville once had one but did away with it, Spates explained.

When discussing the proposed four percent pay increase for Town workers, the town manager pointed out that Prince Edward County is giving its employees a 3.7 percent increase, plus the state-mandated payment of each employee's share of VSRS.