Town council approves amended budget

With the 2014-15 fiscal year drawing to a close in June, the town of Woodstock made a final adjustment to its books.

At its meeting Tuesday night, the council approved an amended version the 2014-2015 budget to account to a little less than $300,000 in costs.

Town Manager Reid Wodicka explained that the amended budget items focus on three specific areas. The first is over $246,000 in costs for the development of the W.O. Riley Park.

Councilwoman Jacqueline Lambert said, “There were some invoices that did not appear until the previous fiscal year ended.”

The costs were not included in last year’s budget, which Lambert explained was “underdrawn.” She said these costs do not change the town’s “financial position at year’s end, because it simply uses funds intended to be spent the previous year.”

Wodicka noted, “We just basically needed to update where that money was located in which fiscal year.”

Wodicka explained that the town will also be using $36,493 it is receiving “from a contract signed with the [Virginia Department of Transportation] two years ago” in order to replace “all of the plow and salt spreader equipment” on town trucks.

The Woodstock Police Department will be using $11,044 in asset forfeiture toward workout equipment to “increase their physical fitness,” Wodicka said.

Councilman Stephen Heishman said, “The police forfeiture money that’s being used … that is what it can be used for.

“I think anything we can do to make our police department more efficient and safer to carry out their duty is well worth the expense.”

Also at the meeting, Wodicka noted that the town will “need to advertise for engineering services for the formal design of the water treatment plant project.”

The project would essentially be work to upgrade the town’s treatment plant.

Wodicka explained that the town will be “submitting a request for proposals to qualified firms very shortly.”

In addition, Wodicka said that he anticipates that the design work from the best-qualified firm “would begin in the fall and be completed somewhere around next spring.”

Construction on the plant upgrades, Wodicka said, would then start next summer and “take about a year” to complete.

Also at the meeting:

• The council approved a motion to reduce the off-street parking at the soon-to-open Woodstock Brewhouse from 15 to 5 spots.

Councilwoman Alicia Gutshall noted that the request from the Brewhouse was a result of “what they thought they would need at this time.”

The Brewhouse is roughly slated to open at some point this summer.

Town Mayor Jeremy McCleary expressed excitement over the opening of the Brewhouse and said, “I think the entire community is excited about it.”

• McCleary declared May 2 to be “Sigma Sigma Sigma Day” after the national sorority, which was founded at Longwood University. The sorority — which is also known as Tri Sigma — will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Mabel Lee Walton House in Woodstock.

“We are very lucky Tri Sigma is here,” McCleary said, explaining that the organization “doubled down” on its current property after considering relocating to “a more central location.”

Heishman noted that the anniversary celebration is “going to be a rather large event, I understand.”

• Beth Funkhouser, of the Woodstock Enhancements Committee, reported that the committee has put an application for artists to submit sculpture proposals is “now on the town’s website.”

“The applications will be received until May 29 and we hope to have a new sculpture in place by August 29 at the very latest,” Funkhouser said.

The initial chosen sculpture would go in the Jane’s Garden Pocket Park in Historic Downtown Woodstock, and be on display for two years.

The application for the Jane’s Garden sculpture can be found at: http://bit.ly/1DhOaFX.

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kgreen@nvdaily.com