Early drafts of the Town of Middleburg’s budget for the fiscal year 2018 project nearly a 7% increase in revenues (6.8%) and roughly 6% increase in combined General Fund and Health Center Fund expenses (5.8%)
According to a report compiled and issued by Town Administrator Martha Semmes and Treasurer Ashley Bott, both those projections are “conservative” and assume no increase whatsoever in the Town’s tax rates.
Those projections also take into account the severe reductions in the assessed value of some of Middleburg’s commercial properties, not the least of which was a $24.2 million dollar reduction in the value of the Salamander Resort property. Despite the impact of those re-assessments on the fiscal year 2017 revenues, Semmes and Bott characterize the town’s budget situation, through January 2017, as still “in good shape.”
Other sources of income, including taxes on meals and accommodations, helped the Town’s balance sheet. This year’s mild winter saved the Town money on snow removal and allowed it “ . . . to make progress on repairing the significant June hail storm damage to then of our buildings.”
The most significant changes in General Fund expenditure projections for the coming year include: a 3% raise for town employees; the hiring of a new administrative accounting assistant to help cover some of the work done by retiring Town Business and Economic Development Director, Cincy Pearson; converting the Middleburg Police Departments current part-time Administrative Assistant position to full time; adding one more Police Officer to the forces pool of part-time/special events reserves; and a $30,000 contribution from the Town’s General Fund to cover charitable contributions normally made from the “profits” realized from rental income from the Town’s “Health Center” property.
The draft Budget for the Town’s Utility Fund will be presented to Council this month.