West Point Town Council approves $752,711 budget amendment

jojacobs@tidewaterreview.com

Town Council members have shifted $752,711 to provide funding for the school district and town capital projects.

The council voted unanimously on Sept. 26 to dedicate $311,211 for the schools and $441,500 for construction projects, Mayor Jim Hudson said.

Council members Gail Nichols and Robert Lawrence were absent from the meeting.

The school district’s share of the budget amendment comes primarily in the form of $219,821 in unspent 2017 fiscal year funds in addition to grants and unspent revenue for fiscal year 2018. The money for the capital projects comes via $182,000 in unassigned general funds and $259,500 in federal and state grant money, according to town documents.

The town had an unassigned general fund balance of $3.1 million as of the 2016 fiscal year audit. The audited balance for the 2017 fiscal year is not yet available, Town Manager John Edwards said after the vote.

The school division intends to use almost half of its allocation for bathroom renovations at the middle school and high school. The project, which wrapped up prior to students’ first day earlier in September, made the facilities Americans with Disabilities Act compliant and introduced several green upgrades, such as waterless urinals.

The district intends to add three new vehicles to the bus fleet, including a special-needs bus. The district would spend $113,248 of its budget amendment allocation on a down payment on the purchases, which totals $278,000.

The schools also intended to spend $20,000 for a window replacement project at the middle school and $2,725 for high school bus loop repairs.

The town plans to improve sidewalks along East Magnolia Avenue and Chelsea Road costing $234,000 and $142,500, respectively. The former is slated for completion by the spring, while the latter has been completed.

Another $40,000 of the budget amendment will be used for property acquisition and demolition while $25,000 will go toward bike trail maintenance.

The town construction projects were budgeted, but not completed, during the 2017 fiscal year.

In other news

Council members also gave the OK for a bed and breakfast’s special-use permit.

The bed and breakfast, to be located at 403 Main St., will cater to tourists for short-term weekend or week-long vacations. No bed and breakfasts currently exist in town, though such operations have hosted guests in the past. A bed and breakfast operated at 403 Main St. until a few years ago, Community Development Director Holly McGowan said in August.

All present council members voted in favor of the permit. No citizens weighed in during the public hearing that preceded the vote.

Jacobs can be reached by phone at 757-298-6007.

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