Fries to discuss decal fee increase

-A A +A
By Ben Bomberger, Reporter

FRIES — The Town of Fries planned to consider a proposal to increase its vehicle decal fee at its next regular meeting — but the increase may not be necessary after all.

Fries Town Manager Brian Reed spoke briefly about the increase during council's regular meeting Oct. 6. Reed said it appeared the town would need to increase their decal fee from $20 to $25 to mirror the county's amount.

Much like what neighboring Hillsville did when Carroll County increased its fee, Reed said Grayson could charge Fries residents the $5 difference — if it existed.

Basically, he said residents could either give that amount to the town or to the county, and Reed felt that money was better spent in the town.

Grayson County Administrator Jonathan Sweet, however, said the county in no way suggested it would charge the difference in the decal fees.

"This increase in the Fries decal is not promulgated by the county," Sweet told The Gazette. "We have not provided any official communication that we are going to collect the differential."

The topic was debated heavily during the budget season, when Grayson voted to make the increase to its own vehicle decal.

Independence Town Council members reported that they were told if the town didn't increase its decal fee, the county would collect the difference.

Sweet said back then that it was "a non-issue" and that the idea was never discussed — nor included in projections of revenue.

"We can in fact charge for the difference if it exists with the decal," Sweet said, but "please make this clear — the county is not the reason for Fries' fee increase."

Reed told The Gazette the day after the Fries Town Council meeting that the increase may not be necessary if the county isn't planning on charging the difference.

Council is expected to talk more about the decal fee — and possibly hold a public hearing — at its Nov. 3 meeting. The meeting will be held in the dining room of the recreation center instead of the bingo hall.