NEW MARKET – Town Council members finished the months-long budget process Monday night with all of the council members present voting to approve the budget presented to the public last week.

Along with approving the $7,113,821 budget, council members also took the Planning Commission’s recommendation to increase the conditional use permit application from $350 to $500. Originally, the Planning Commission considered increasing the fee to $750 but rejected that figure fearing the town may appear anti-business.

Town Manager Todd Walters said he agreed with the Planning Commission’s suggestion of $500, which will allow the town to cover the “hard costs” of most applications including advertising and informing neighbors of the process.

Walters said he wasn’t sure exactly how many conditional use permit applications the town received this year. He said the town would track the actual costs incurred by permit applications this year and the town could reassess the fee again next year.

Before closing the meeting, council members entered a closed session to discuss acquiring land for the town to build its water tower.

Walters said the town has had a piece of land in mind and has an option on a prospective site on Ship Street — one of three pieces of land the town previously discussed as options to build the tower.

Walters declined to comment on any details about the closed session, saying details would come up in a meeting “soon.”

– Contact Max Thornberry at