Staff has provided Town Council with draft of next year’s fiscal budget.
A tax increase is not proposed, however, there is a call for an increase of $1.89\month (1.75%) on utility\trash bills.
The budget includes large capital expenditures such as extensive repairs and rebuilding of harbor docks and piers ($125,000); lead abatement and installation of an elevator shaft and secondary stairway at the library third floor as part of the town hall conversion process.
The elevator is estimated to cost close to $300k. Planner Larry DiRe told the Mirror via email, “ If the third floor of the library is going to become the municipal office building, which is far from certain, it will need to be accessible to people with mobility issues. What would be the proposed elevator shaft and secondary stairway would be on the north-facing wall ( or the “back” of the building). The current second-floor meeting space, again along the “back” wall, would also be elevator accessible. You may have noticed the confining nature of the back stairway up to that level. Obviously the second-floor loft at the front of the building, currently used for document storage, would not be elevator accessible so people would still need to climb the stairs to access that loft.”
Other improvements, such as to the roof\rain protection, repairing interior water damage, and better ventilation at 2 Plum Street are proposed if no improvements happen at 201 Mason Avenue.
By selling harbor lots 12 and 17 on April 17, 2019, the town received $580,000 as a one-time revenue enhancement which will be to used to pay for the one-time capital expenditures of town-share of the inshore breakwater project, harbor docks repairs, and municipal building improvements, including all ADA-compliant entrances.
Beach nourishment at Jefferson Avenue during spring of 2020; closed-circuit television monitoring of the stormwater system; and the first year of a multi-year repair and rebuilding of the fishing pier are other capital projects being proposed. The costs of the fishing pier and beach nourishment are capped at not to exceed $30,000 this year with funds coming from transient occupancy tax revenues (TOT).
$100,000 of TOT funds are set to go to the Cape Charles Main Street organization.
Raises for some town staff are proposed. The increases are based on a cost of living adjustment (COLA) of 2.5 percent. “That COLA was then augmented with a merit increase based on the written evaluations and discussion with department heads. The town manager capped those increases at 4 percent total. No employee received a COLA and merit beyond 3.6 percent, with the majority of employees receiving increases in the 3.0 to 3.2 percent range.” – Staff Report.
The only personnel change is moving the library assistant position from part-year full time to year-around full time with full employee benefits.