The Town Manager has submitted the Proposed FY 2017/2018 Budget to the Town Council and the Town of Vinton citizens. This year’s budget represents a balanced budget. The purpose of this budget is to plan necessary operating and capital expenditures for the next fiscal year and to vision for the Town’s future while meeting Council’s and citizen’s expectations and servicing the Town’s debt. Quality community services such as police, public works, fire and EMS, special programs, War Memorial facility, planning and financial services will continue to be offered at a reasonable cost.
Real estate tax revenue only accounts for four percent (4%) of the Town’s total general fund revenues with a tax rate of $0.07/$100 of assessment value. The town did see real estate assessments increase by approximately 0.93% with the 2017 reassessment. The meals tax continues to be a strong revenue source for the Town and is estimated to generate $975,500. This stable revenue source is reflective of the value our restaurants are able to offer their customers. We are optimistic that this revenue source will maintain at this level or may actually increase more with several downtown restaurants keeping later evening hours and new ones opening. The cigarette tax rate of $.25 is unchanged and with the Proposed FY 2017/2018 budget we are estimating this revenue source to generate approximately $200,000.
The Town of Vinton continues to work independently and collectively with other local and regional partners to pursue a variety of economic development activities to expand and diversify the local economy. Key areas of focus for the Town are to place continued emphasis on “In-Fill” and “Up-Fill” development by targeting underutilized properties to market for new business ventures. While this approach primarily addresses the issue of the Town being essentially landlocked and with few large parcels of undeveloped space to actively market, this approach also can prove to be financially beneficial to the prospective developer or business owner looking to expand. Due to many underutilized properties already having utilities, necessary zoning and existing infrastructure needs, those assets coupled with attractive local and historic tax incentives can often be a more affordable solution. These options also provide a quicker turn-around for being open for business as opposed to an entirely new construction build.
In partnership with Roanoke County, Vinton is realizing success in these strategies with the recent progress towards the conversion of the former Roland E. Cook School and former William Byrd High School as apartments and the redevelopment of the former Vinton Library as a full service Macado’s Restaurant.
With regard to the water and sewer fund, there is no proposed rate increase. A comprehensive rate structure analysis was presented to Council in January 2013. As part of the Cost of Service Study an 8.9% rate increase in water and sewer rates was approved for both FY 2014/15 and FY 2015/16 which will provide funding for infrastructure needs, capital needs and reserve funds needed in the Utility Fund. To continue to provide funding to maintain our water and sewer system, it will be necessary to do another comprehensive rate structure analysis during the FY 2017-2018 budget year to assist Council in making a sound decision concerning future rate increases.
In the FY 2016/2017 budget expenditures were identified in the general fund and utility fund relating to stormwater and they were transferred to a new fund. This has assisted staff and Council in knowing the dollar amounts associated with the costs of stormwater management in order to make a sound decision on a future stormwater utility fee in the Town. Funding is needed to ensure that Town will continue to stay in compliance with the stormwater permits requirements and the additional Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) Action Plans requirements. A reorganization of the Public Works Department was accomplished during the FY 2016/2017 to include the hiring of a Deputy Manager/Stormwater Director to assist the Town in compliance and permits requirements. The FY 2017/2018 has funding to provide analysis and recommendations to Council to implement a stormwater fee dedicated to achieve capital storm water projects, water quality improvements, and increased maintenance of stormwater infrastructure.
The Proposed FY 2017-2018 budget also recognizes economic development initiatives throughout the Town which will create synergy and bring continued growth to our Vinton economy. Through this budget, we will continue to make Vinton the “IN” place to live, work and play.
If you have any questions, please contact the Town Manager's Office at (540) 983-0607.
Town Manager's Budget Overview
Proposed FY 2017-2018 Budget