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Galax appropriates 2009-2010 budget

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By April Wright, Reporter

Galax City Council on July 13 appropriated its 2009-2010 budget, which includes several tax and rate increases.

City council met during public sessions to work on the proposed budget. After holding a public hearing about the budget on June 8, council approved the $19.5 million spending plan.

The new tax rates and fees went into effect July 1:

• Real property: $0.57 per $100 of assessed value.

• Personal property (motor vehicles): $1.68 per $100 of assessed value.

• Personal property (furniture and fixtures): $1.42 per $100 of assessed value.

• Machinery and tools: $1.42 per $100 of assessed value.

The city will charge an interest rate of 10 percent per annum on any unpaid general property taxes, commencing on the first day of the month following the due date of the unpaid taxes.

Under the general fund, expected revenues include:

• General property taxes: $3.52 million

• Other local taxes: $4.89 million

• Permits and fees: $26,300

• Fines and forfeitures: $115,500

• Charges for services: $1.05 million

• Use of money and property: $330,500

• Recovered costs: $2.94 million

• Miscellaneous revenue: $1.15 million

• Categorical aid from the Commonwealth: $778,244

• Non-categorical aid from the Commonwealth: $1.73 million

• Revenues from federal government: $2.12 million

• Interfund transfers: $271,360

• Appropriate fund balance: $550,783

Budgeted general fund expenditures included:

• Legislative: $13,150

• General administration: $1.15 million

• Judicial administration: $120,300

• Public safety: $3.7 million

• Public works: $2.78 million

• Health and welfare: $1.19 million

• Education: $4.94 million

• Parks, recreation and culture: $2.14 million

• Economic and community development: $2.67 million

• Debt service: $275,875

• Intergovernmental services: $330,000

• Nondepartmental: $165,000

Under the separate utility fund for water and sewer services, Galax expects revenue of $4.71 million.

Budgeted revenues include:

• Water system charges: $1.31 million

• Wastewater treatment charges: $1.16 million

• Federal categorical aid: $994,000

• Recovered costs: $250,000

• Other financing sources: $1 million

 Utility fund expenditures include:

• Water and sewer system maintenance: $587,167

• Sewer plant operations: $699,837

• Water plant operations: $785,000

• CMOM program: $100,348

• Debt service: $380,788

• Nondepartmental: $296,360

• Capital improvements: $1.86 million

In other action, council:

• appointed Ken McFayden, the new regional entrepreneurial director for the Economic Development Authority, as a representative to the Ninth District Development Financing Board.

Ninth District Development Financing Inc. oversees the revolving loan fund that was established by Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Abingdon) for use in the Ninth District, which he represents.

It is a tax-exempt corporation that was founded to make loans to new or expanding non-profits and small businesses that are tourism-related. It can provide loans to use as working capital and fixed asset financing for projects that enhance tourism, create jobs and expand economic development in the region.

• renewed the service agreement drafted by the Carroll-Grayson-Galax Solid Waste Authority that expired in 2007. The authority has been in existence for 11 years.

• approved a resolution in honor of National Night Out Against Crime (NNO), to be held Aug. 4 from 6-8 p.m. in downtown Galax. Nationally, this marks year 26 for NNO, and the seventh year for Galax.

This event is sponsored by the Twin County Crime Prevention Coalition.

NNO brings together the police department, local officials and citizens to help make the region safer.

NNO in Galax last year was ranked 10th among the best NNO events in the nation, based on the city's population.

• reappointed council member Bill Webb to the Chief Local Elected Officials board, which helps to monitor funding for the Workforce Investment Act.