TODAY'S NEWS

Strasburg Council approves budget

The Shenandoah Valley-Herald

STRASBURG — The Strasburg Town Council approved a $15.5 million budget for fiscal 2017 during its regular meeting on Tuesday.

The spending plan includes $1.3 million for public works, almost $1.8 million for public safety and $187,000 for parks and recreation.

The budget raises the town’s meals and lodging taxes from 5 percent to 6 percent. The new rates are expected to raise an extra $129,000, which will go toward updates to the North Shenandoah Business and Industrial Park.

“We just completed a study to see what we can do to draw more business,” Finance Director Dottie Mullins said. “Suggestions included connecting the road to make a full loop [around the park] and extending the infrastructure.”

Mullins said the first phase of the park’s upgrade is expected to cost $2.65 million, with a Virginia Department of Transportation Road Share grant paying $785,000 of the cost and the town borrowing $1.86 million to cover the rest.

Strasburg’s water and sewer rates will also increase 2 percent and 3 percent, respectively. The water rate will rise from $24.10 to $24.58 per 2,000 gallons, while sewer rates will rise from $19.03 to $19.60 for the same amount.

Mullins said monthly water and sewer bills will increase by $1.59 for a household that uses 3,000 gallons per month, the town’s average.

Strasburg’s real estate and personal property tax rates are holding steady at 16 cents and $1.11, respectively, per $100 of assessed value.

This year’s budget marks a $3.8 million increase over this year’s, which Mullins attributed to $2.64 million in new state and federal funds for the town’s capital projects.

“We have the [Community Development Block Grant], the business park, the Gateway Trail project and the [Downtown] Streetscape project,” she said. “We’re starting phase three of that this year.”

The extra allocations include a $975,000 state grant for the Streetscape project and a $280,000 federal CDBG grant for building improvements, an outdoor pavilion and a walking trail downtown.

To view the fiscal 2017 budget, visit www.strasburgva.com.



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