The public will have an opportunity to comment on South Boston’s proposed $10,665,703 budget plan when town council meets at 7 p.m. Monday in council chambers on Yancey Street.
The draft town budget, unveiled in March, calls for no tax and fee hikes and includes performance-based pay increases for all employees including a $15 minimum wage for town employees with two years of experience, so town workers making $12.50 an hour will see their wages rise to $15 an hour.
These raises were made possible thanks to adoption of a 10-cent cigarette tax approved last September on the promise that monies generated from the tax would be earmarked to increase the salaries of town employees making less than $40,000 per year, according to Town Manager Tom Raab.
It also includes a 50 cent-an-hour raise for employees making up to $60,000 annually that translates into a $1,040 increase for full-time employees.
Raab recapped the major changes in the proposed 2020 budget, an increase of $104,324 over the current $10,561,379 budget.
Among those changes are funding for an additional fireman and salary increases and fringe benefits for nine fire department personnel totaling $78,184, raising that line item from $871,995 to $950,179.
The town has budgeted $33,710 for salary increases and benefits for 11 street maintenance workers, with that budget item increasing from $1,731,224 to $1,764,934, and it has budgeted $23,854 for four salary increases and benefits for workers in refuse collection, from $198,686 to $222,540.
The proposed budget reflects a decrease in the street cleaning line item, due to the purchase of a new street sweeper.
Under revenues, the town has budgeted $250,000 for two VDOT revenue sharing projects, according to Raab.
Citizens are invited to comment on the budget Monday night or submit opinions in writing. Copies of the full budget are available through the town office.
The final reading and adoption of the budget is scheduled for June 10.
In other town business Monday night, council members are expected to hear Library Director Jay Stephens detail awards the Halifax County-South Boston Public Library System recently received from the Virginia Public Library Directors Association. The awards were presented at the organization’s annual meeting in Staunton in April.
The library won the award for Outstanding Young Adult Program for the Coding Club. The Coding Club is a creation of library employee Suzanne Reeves.
Participants program Ozobots, small robotic devices, using color coded markers. The Ozobots can be programmed to perform various movements. The Coding Club meets twice each month at the South Boston Public Library.
The library also received the award for Outstanding Cooperative Program for author Beth Macy’s appearance at The Prizery on Oct. 22.
This program was made possible by a partnership between the library and the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center, along with Sentara Halifax Regional Hospital, Southside Community Services Board and The Prizery.
Amy Cole, Judy Ward, and Ann Bishop provided invaluable contributions in planning the event.
Also the library was awarded a $3,000 grant from The Community Foundation of the Dan River for its summer reading programs.
This grant has been awarded to the libraries each summer since 2017.
Also Monday night, council members are expected to consider making appointing to the transportation safety commission, board of zoning appeals, regional library board and industrial development authority.
At the conclusion of the meeting Monday, council members will hold a citizen comment period.