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City Manager Joe King presented to Danville City Council on Tuesday night an initial version of the city’s budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.
The working draft of the budget was prepared based on guidance provided in recent weeks by City Council. It maintains services, programs and facilities at current levels with few exceptions. Water consumption rates will increase, but no tax rate increases or fee increases are proposed. Use of cash reserves and moderate increases in debt financing make it possible to balance the budget.
The presentation of the working draft took place during Council’s work session.
The city’s charter requires the city manager to present a recommended budget to City Council by April 1. Following that presentation, the charter requires the city manager and City Council to work together in modifying the budget into a formal version for presentation to the public no later than April 30.
King made his recommendations early to enable City Council to undertake a more extensive review of the budget. Toward that goal, City Council will meet every Tuesday evening this month for budget reviews. Last night, City Council reviewed budget drafts for the city manager and city attorney offices, and finance, human resources and utilities departments.
Public hearings will be scheduled later in the budget process. Final adoption must take place no later than June 30. The final budget will serve as a blueprint for city operations from July 1, 2014, through June 30, 2015.
Prior to the work session, Council will met in its regular business session. Council voted unanimously to approve a $2.6 million project to renovate three empty buildings in the Westmoreland neighborhood for use as affordable apartments.
The three buildings include the former Sledd Memorial Church at 608 Upper St., which most recently was used for the Head Start program, and two vacant duplexes on Floyd St. The church building will be converted into 11 affordable one- and two-bedroom apartment units. The duplexes will provide two, one-bedroom units and two, two-bedroom units. Thirteen of the units will serve veterans, people with disabilities, and households with very low income. Two units located in one of the Floyd Street duplexes will be rented at market rates.
Funding will come from the Virginia Housing Trust Fund and a Community Block Development Grant, as well as from low-interest loans and historic tax credit equity.
City Council meets in business and work sessions on the first and third Tuesday of each month. The meetings are held in the Council Chambers located on the fourth floor of the Municipal Building on Patton Street.