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Carroll works to save money

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By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

HILLSVILLE — In the midst of an economic crisis, Carroll County supervisors took a cue from the state by voting to freeze wages until next year.

In an unrelated financial matter, the county officials also moved to pay off Carroll's part of the landfill closure debt in cooperation with its partners on the Solid Waste Authority.

Supervisor Tom Littrell, at the county board's Oct. 14 meeting, took notice of the state's delay in implementing raises for government employees.

"The state of Virginia is in an economic bind, and they have frozen the wage increases that were scheduled to take place in December until, I think, the first of July," he said.

Carroll County had scheduled raises to go into effect in December, Littrell added. "I feel like that we should probably follow the fiscal responsibility of the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

So, Littrell made a motion to delay the salary increases until July 2009, which was unanimously approved.

Supervisor David Hutchins noted its something you don't want to do, and Supervisor Andy Jackson said he didn't like it either, but it seems like a "necessary evil."

Chairman Sam Dickson added that county officials are watching the revenue, and the finances are doing good now.

County officials can't control the economy and how much people spend, the chairman said.

The supervisors also approved a deal that will both put to rest Carroll County's debt on the landfill closure, as well as the regionally held debt for improvements to the Crossroads Institute to house the Results call center.

Dickson thanked Jackson, Supervisor Manus McMillian and County Administrator Gary Larrowe for working this out with the Solid Waste Authority, Grayson County and Galax.

"We had a pending bill there — it'd been going on for a while," the chairman said. "We do thank these three guys for working this out and saving the county a lot of money.”

Carroll County started the landfill, and later Galax and Grayson joined in, Larrowe said at the meeting. Carroll had a financial responsibility on the cost of the closure in the amount of $788,831.

"We had been saving for that and through some hard work with the Solid Waste Authority and with your cooperation... we were able to bring a proposal to the Solid Waste Authority and we have settled that debt.

"It's a glorious day for Carroll and the Solid Waste Authority and the other two localities..."

Terms of the debt settlement included Carroll covering the cost of building a "convenience center" at the landfill, a place for people to drop off their garbage near the gate instead of having to drive into the dump; buying four 40-cubic-yard open-top roll-off containers for $21,220; buying a new 2007 roll-off truck for $115,624; and settling the Results costs for $180,000, which originally came from the Carroll Industrial Development Authority.

These total up to $551,944.

A motion to settle the debt was approved by unanimous vote.

This means that Carroll gets a "note burning on its landfill debt," Larrowe said after the meeting. And Carroll, Galax and Grayson get a note burning for the Results project cost.

"Everybody was working together to clear up a lot of debt," he said.