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Woodstock council OKs budget

By Alex Bridges

WOODSTOCK -- The town plans to spend significantly less money next fiscal year, according to the budget leaders approved Tuesday.

Town Council voted at its regular meeting to adopt the $9.02 million fiscal 2015 budget that calls for spending approximately $5.17 million in the general fund -- about $1.5 million less than the $6.66 million allocated in the current cycle -- and $3.8 million in the public utilities fund.

This fiscal year's budget included $1.6 million for capital outlay expenses related mostly to the revitalization project for the W.O. Riley Park, Town Manager Reid Wodicka explained Wednesday. Next year the town should be able to reduce that spending to $140,000 because the park is expected to be complete this summer.

Council members made few comments as they passed the spending plans. They also adopted the resolution required to appropriate the funds set forth in the fiscal 2015 budget.

The town balanced its budget without increasing any of its property taxes. However, utility customers can expect to see their water and sewer bills increase next year.

In other spending action, council voted to give the Woodstock Volunteer Rescue Squad a one-time contribution of $125,000 to help the agency cover certain capital expenses, specifically to buy a new ambilance. The money will come from the town's fund balance in the current fiscal period. Wodicka explained Wednesday that council has for years given contributions to the rescue squad and to the volunteer fire department using a sinking fund. The money traditionally goes to cover the cost to replace vehicles. Wodicka noted that the fire department bought a new truck in the fall with money provided by the town.

Also at the meeting, council adopted a resolution requesting that the Virginia Department of Transportation add several streets and road sections into the town system. This consists of Susan Avenue from West Reservoir Road to the county schools; Falcon Drive from Ox Road to Susan Avenue; Mill Road from North Main Street to the town limits; East Reservoir Road from North Main Street to the town limits. The additions will take effect July 1.

Wodicka explained that the town had been maintaining most of the roads and street sections including paving and snow removal at its own cost. Town officials learned from VDOT a couple of weeks ago that Woodstock can receive funds from the state to cover the maintenance costs associated with the roads listed in the resolution, Wodicka explained. Town Council needed to adopt the resolution to formally request that VDOT add those roads and street sections to those for which Woodstock can receive compensation. Once added to VDOT's list, Woodstock can expect to see an increase in its allocation of funds for road maintenance.

Also at the meeting, council adopted a resolution to amend the current budget to reflect that the police department will receive $6,790 from asset forfeiture funds to cover one-time costs for equipment and supplies.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com

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