FRONT ROYAL — An effort to waive credit card fees payments the town receives will be further discussed in a work session.

The 2.35% credit card fee waiver would be possible through an about $140,000 budget transfer in next year's budget.

The transfer would include $43,780 from general fund revenue sales tax, $59,300 from the electric fund contingency account, $15,680 from the water fund contingency, $18,080 from the sewer fund contingency and $3,160 from the solid waste fund contingency.

The waiver was sent back to a work session by a 4-2 Monday vote with council members Jacob Meza, Letasha Thompson, Scott Lloyd and Joseph McFadden in favor while Vice Mayor Lori Cockrell and Councilman Gary Gillispie dissented. The vote came after a public hearing during which no one spoke.

Meza noted the importance of having the general and utility funds operating separately, with the former having revenue generated from taxes and the latter from bill payments.

Meza said he is in favor of credit cards being used for utility bills, but not tax bills. He also favors a more efficient way to pay bills, but said solutions could require purchasing a new system and setting up automation. 

“I have a desire to work through this, I don’t want to force this through,” Meza said. 

Bills would not increase to cover the cost of credit card fees, Meza added.

Gillispie said the $140,000 would eventually be absorbed by the town, and he does not want to pass costs to constituents.

The Town Council also:

  • Approved a budgetary amendment reallocating $487,000 that was set aside to cover general fund revenue shortfalls. The funds will go toward the town's paving plan, as general fund revenues are anticipated to meet projections. 
  • Took no action on a resolution proposed by Lloyd seeking to provide protection to Town of Front Royal employees who chose not to get COVID-19 vaccinations. Lloyd proposed the resolution as a way to make informed consent to medicine a matter of law.
  • Reappointed Joshua Ingram to the Planning Commission for a four-year term ending Aug. 31.
  • Approved an $88,258 bid from Hanson Aggregates for street and water/sewer maintenance.
  • Passed a resolution designating July 17-23 as Town of Front Royal Employee Appreciation Week.
  • Entered a closed session to discuss property that was gifted to the town for the creation of an Interstate 66 interchange and the possibility of the town becoming a city.

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