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Colonial Beach approves budget

The Colonial Beach Town Council approved its 2014–15 budget of almost $6.8 million at a special meeting Monday.

The budget is an increase of less than one-half percent from the budget for the current fiscal year that ended Monday.

While the increase is small, there are 12 different cuts planned for 2015 that total almost $400,000. Those cuts include $5,000 from the Town Council contingency fund, $30,000 from street improvements and $18,000 from fireworks.

Even with the cuts, there is a $180,721 shortfall in the budget to fund the schools and general fund. That shortfall will be covered by a transfer from the town’s reserve funds.

The Town Council’s vote was 4–2, with council member Jim Chiarello absent. Council members Linda Brubaker and Wanda Goforth voted against the budget.

Brubaker, who before the vote voiced concerns about the many cuts, said she voted no because the cuts came about differently than she expected.

“I was told that the town would meet with the school and together they would cut things from their budgets respectively, and come up with a more palatable solution,” she said.

The citizens of the town, Brubaker said, deserve better than to fund the schools on the their backs.

“I think in comparison the town gave more than the school did,” she said.

As of now, the council will fund the schools at the same level as this year for the next quarter—$2.1 million.

After the budget passed, Mayor Mike Ham addressed the “particularly tough year” the town has experienced, as well as concerns about the budget.

“A budget is just that. It’s not something carved in stone. You can adjust it as you go through the year,” he said.

Ham also said he hopes the positive things happening in town, such as recent federal grant funding, will continue to help the town prosper.

“We’re hoping revenues will start growing in this town, and we’re hoping that everybody can bury the hatchet and start moving forward,” he said.

Regina Weiss: 540374-5417


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