Town Budget Vote Coming

Published 2:27 pm Tuesday, June 10, 2014

FARMVILLE — Town council is expected to adopt the 2014-15 Town budget during its June meeting Wednesday night, following a public hearing that drew one speaker.

The proposed $15 million budget will not raise a single local tax or fee.

Town employees would receive a three percent raise and a Christmas bonus.

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During the public hearing, Ronald White, a local pilot, questioned the price of jet fuel at the Farmville Regional Airport. “There was a sizable difference in the mark-up between jet fuel and avgas. I believe almost a 30 percent difference. And I just wondered why the big difference?” he asked.

Replying, town manager Gerald Spates said, “We try to keep our prices in line with other localities and other airports and I think our prices are in line.”

The difference between jet fuel and avgas has been likened to that between gasoline and diesel gas, with avgas approximating unleaded gasoline.

White said the previous weekend in Daytona, Florida he spent 75 cents less per gallon for jet fuel than the cost at the Farmville Regional Airport and he feels the owners of jets “are being discriminated against” at the Town’s airport.

“You’re not being discriminated against,” Spates replied. “We don’t sell that much jet fuel…We have it sitting in the tank for a long period of time. A lot of airports don’t have jet fuel.”

White continued, saying “it seems we’re being abused by paying a much higher margin, almost three times what the recreational flyer is…”

When White had finished speaking, the public hearing was brought to a close and the meeting was adjourned.

The proposed $15 million budget would leave a contingency balance of $190,054 and its capital purchases include three police cars, a garbage truck and a dump truck.

Residents in the West Osborn Road neighborhood in Jackson Heights will see a $65,000 project to provide curbing, gutters and a sidewalk on one side of that street.

“Public transit is over there and there’s quite a few families and there’s an apartment complex over there that uses the public transit a lot,” Ward E council member Jamie Davis explained during town council’s May work session as he requested the project be added to the budget.

“And we’ve had quite a few complaints about people walking in the streets, because there’s no sidewalk, to get to the bus. And obviously,” he continued, “the people walking to the bus have had a lot of issues and the local residents have had quite a few issues with almost hitting people on the streets.”

The cost for materials is about $65,000 and Town workers can do the work themselves.

The sidewalk, curb and gutter will be from one end of West Osborn Road to the other.

The Town owns the right-of-way so there are no issues in that regard.

Spates said last month that he believes the project “ought to be done.”

And Davis stressed, “I think it’s a safety issue, more or less, than anything else.”