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Caroline supervisors delay on Port Royal

The future of the town of Port Royal boundaries is still uncertain.

The Caroline County Board of Supervisors pushed off a vote for a boundary line adjustment Tuesday night.

The town of Port Royal is asking the county to expand its borders so that it can stay a town and bring in more revenue. This is the first time in the town’s 269-year history that it is asking to expand its borders.

The two governing bodies—the Caroline County Board of Supervisors and the Port Royal Town Council—will meet at 6 p.m. on Oct. 9 to discuss possible changes to the proposed boundary adjustment.

During the public hearing on the proposed change Tuesday, nearly every member of Port Royal’s Town Council spoke, along with several others who live in or near Port Royal.

Last week, the Town Council had its own public hearing and unanimously approved the proposed change.

The opinions at the public hearing Tuesday night in front of the supervisors were on both sides of the fence.

Some opposed to the change were owners of farmland who said they did not want their land incorporated into the town. They said that the town would not earn any revenue from them because they would not use any town services.

The ones in favor of the change, including the owners of two businesses that would be incorporated into the town—Horne’s and Pine Hill Automotive—said they already felt like they are a part of the town and would not have an issue with their revenue going to the town.

The proposed change includes expanding the town to include the intersection of U.S. 301 and U.S. 17. It would bring in an average of about $60,000 more in revenue each year in business, sales, beverage and meals taxes. The town currently brings in about $18,000 in revenue. It lost about one third of its revenue when Union First Market bank closed in May 2012. The town has significant financial issues that prevent it from landing grants and securing loans.

Board Chairman Floyd Thomas, representing the Mattaponi district, proposed looking at alternatives to the proposed change that would include changing how the town gets its water. This was the first time the supervisors heard about his proposal and agreed to discuss it more with the town.

The supervisors and the council members will meet to discuss changes to the proposed boundary adjustment. If any alterations are made to the currently proposed changes, public hearings need to be held again and both bodies have to approve the boundary adjustment.

Robyn Sidersky: 540/374-5413