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Halifax Council Budget Passes With No Hikes In Tax, Fee Rates

Halifax Town Council approved its fiscal year 2010-2011 $880,294 budget during its monthly meeting Tuesday night in Halifax Town Hall.

The approved budget reflects no increases in real estate, personal property or machine and tool taxes. The real estate tax rate is reduced from $0.18 per $100 assessed value to $0.175 per $100 assessed value to balance the increase in assessed value of real estate in the town.

The tax on personal property remains at $1.68 per $100 assessed value, and the machine and tools tax remains level at $0.40 per $100 assessed value.

Town Finance Committee Chairman Dick Moore proposed the motion to approve the budget with Councilman Holt Evans providing the second. Council approved Moore’s motion on a unanimous vote, with Councilman Jack Dunavant absent.

In other business, the Honorable Judge Charles L. McCormick III administered the oath of office to recently elected town officers. Dick Moore was sworn in as Mayor of Halifax. Judge McCormick also administered the oath of office to the two new members of council, Tom Brown and Phil Hammond, and also to returning Councilman Tommy Reagan, who won reelection in the May 4 municipal election.

Council recognized outgoing Councilman Cabell W. Daniel, who chose not to seek reelection after 25 years on council. Mayor Leon Plaster presented Daniel with a framed certificate of appreciation in recognition of his public service to the town.

Daniel said when he agreed to complete the unexpired term of the late James C. Rebick in 1985 it never occurred to him that he would continue to serve on town council for the next 25 years, three of those years as vice-mayor.

“It has been quite a challenge and a great experience,” Daniel said. “I feel like much improvement was made in Ward A, the ward that I represented. It was a pleasure working with all the mayors and councilmen throughout the years,” he concluded.

Council also recognized outgoing Mayor Leon Plaster who also chose not to seek reelection. Town Manager Espy presented Plaster with a framed certificate of appreciation and also the gavel he wielded during his two terms as mayor.

“All of the councilmen have supported me throughout the entire time, and I certainly appreciate it,” Plaster said. “We’ve made some tough decisions, but looking back on it, I can’t think of one that hasn’t turned out for the best of the town, and I really believe that.”

Plaster thanked the members of council, Espy and Assistant Town Clerk Denise Barksdale for their hard work and dedication to the town. He also addressed incoming council members Brown and Hammond, saying, “I hope you will jump in with both feet. Your ideas are crucial to the growth of the town, so I encourage you to be active.

“I think I leave with the town in very good shape,” he said. “I commend council for sometimes taking the tough road and living within our means. I know Dick (Moore) is going to be a good leader, so I encourage you to support him.”

Espy also read a letter of congratulations to Daniel and Plaster from Councilman Dunavant that concluded with, “I will truly miss the guidance and counsel of my friends Leon Plaster and Cabel Daniel, and I wish them both ‘Godspeed.’”

Under the consent agenda, council approved two resolutions requesting safety improvements by VDOT on VA Scenic Byway 360 (Mountain Road) within the town’s corporate limits just east of the intersection of Ball Park Loop for approximately 0.103 miles west and also on Golf Course Road from Halifax Road (Highway 501) for approximately 1.29 miles east to Cowford Road (Route 651).

Under the old business portion of the agenda, council unanimously approved a resolution recognizing conflict of interest of Virginia Uranium Inc. owner Walter Coles Sr. serving on the Roanoke River Basin Advisory Commission.

Council also changed its schedule for July, opting to hold its work session at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, July 13, with the regular monthly council meeting immediately following. Council will make a decision on its meeting schedule for August at the July meeting.