Stephens City gives first budget readings

STEPHENS CITY – Town Council approved the first two readings of its 2016-2017 budget at its May meeting.

The third and final reading will come through in council’s June meeting.

Town Treasurer Steve Rickards provided two graphs in his report that portray the collections and charges on real estate tax and personal property tax since 2012. While the difference between real estate collections and charges has remained within $1,000 until this year, the difference between personal property tax collections and charges has increased every year.

According to Rickards’ reports, the real estate collection rate has dropped from around 99 percent in previous years to about 97.51 percent in 2015. The personal property tax collection rate has dropped to 81 percent in 2015 from 86.19 percent in 2014.

“It’s harder to track down personal property than it is real estate, that’s for sure,” remarked Councilor Joseph Hollis.

Council unanimously approved that Michele Stone, Stephens City’s new town clerk, would be designated the town’s FOIA officer. Members established that information about FOIA requests would need to be posted on the town’s website

Mike Majher, town manager, mentioned that the town’s public safety committee would be seeking to adopt a rate schedule for those seeking inspection and review services by the fire company. Mayor Mike Grim said the town has reimbursed costs from its general fund.

A public hearing on those rates will be held at the June council meeting, and Majher said the rates would also be announced at that meeting.

Council member Jason Nauman presented council with designs of the town’s challenge coin, which he said would most likely be available for the Newtown Heritage Festival.

Councilor Joe Grayson and Vice Mayor Ronald Bowers were absent.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or