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Galax adopts school budget

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By Shannon Watkins

Galax City Council voted to adopt the public school budget for 2014-2015 at its  June 10 meeting.
School Superintendent Bill Sturgill noted that the budget presented by the school board was the most conservative of four possible spending plans.
“It’d be nice to stand here with a budget from the state,” he said to council. “We know that we will have to rework a budget [after the General Assembly passes a state budget]. We are requesting level funding this year. We understand that it’s a tough economy.”
He pointed out that the budget accounts for four less positions than previously, due mostly to retirement and attrition.
“We feel that’s our part, to try to get a little smaller the next few years. We feel like that’ll be a continued pattern,” Sturgill said.
Council had no questions for Sturgill, who expressed gratitude for council’s support, before the motion to adopt the school budget passed.

Also at the June 10 meeting, council:
• voted to approve the Galax Stormwater Ordinance;
• voted to amend Galax’s current enterprise zone if the application for a regional enterprise zone — including parts of Carroll, Grayson and Galax — is approved.
Blue Ridge Crossroads Economic Development Authority’s Ken McFayden spoke to address the creation of a regional enterprise zone, advising that “the real incentive for us to work on this regional enterprise zone is Wildwood Commerce Park … That’s a very important tool we need to work with at Wildwood.”
Later, council also passed a motion to allow for the retrieval of funds through the Carroll-Grayson-Galax Solid Waste Authority to direct to BRCEDA for a Virginia Department of Transportation bond for the road project at Wildwood.
VDOT provides funding through their Access Road Fund but requires a bond in the amount of the funding.
• voted to approve closing a $16,000 shortfall in the 2014 fiscal year budget for Chestnut Creek School of the Arts, so that the school would start the 2015 fiscal year without a deficit.  
• made various board appointments.
Vice Mayor Willie Greene was appointed to the Crossroads Institute Board of Directors.
Fayma Nye was appointed another term on the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Stephen Archer and Larry Spangler were appointed to a second term on the Recreation Board.
Dr. Samuel Luague was appointed to the Library Board.
Tim Lewis was appointed to the Rooftop of Virginia CAP.
No one was chosen yet for the Galax Social Services Board.