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Town of Halifax workers in line for raise

Halifax Town Council members got their first glimpse Tuesday night of the 2013-14 budget that totals $1.4 million and represents a 38.72 percent increase over the current budget.

A first reading on the proposed budget totaling $1,406,354 is set for May 14.

The budget includes a 2 percent cost of living raise for all employees, and an additional 1 percent per employee has been added to cover the state mandated change adjusting employees’ retirement contributions to the Virginia Retirement System.

The retirement contributions are being deducted from paychecks at an incremental rate over the remaining three years after going into effect July 1, 2012.

According to Town Manager Carl Espy, the budget also calls for an increase in the machinery and tool tax from 40 cents to 50 cents, which is only the second tax increase since 2000. 

Taxes on real estate and personal property will remain the same. 

According to Espy, the 38.72 percent budget increase is due to the Banister River Gateway Project and fund increases which include $11,000 to support the Halifax Library and $10,000 for a new fire truck for the Halifax Volunteer Fire Department.

The Halifax County Commissioners of Revenue’s 2012 reassessed value of real estate within town’s corporate limits decreased from $101,082,677 to $96,065,118, a 4.96 percent reduction compared to the increase to $101,082,677 of assessed value in 2010 from the 2008 level of $99,432,550.

In other action Tuesday night, council ratified a joint resolution commemorating the life and public service of Mayor Carroll Thackston.  Council along with the board of supervisors and South Boston Town Council will adopt and present the resolution to Thackston’s family at its joint meeting Monday evening.

Also Tuesday night, council adopted a resolution setting member contribution rates to VRS by salary reduction.

The resolution requires employees who are VRS members to contribute five percent of their compensation by salary reduction. 

Those in service on June 30, 2012 shall contribute a minimum of an additional one percent of their compensation at the beginning of each July 1 until the employee’s contribution equals 5 percent of compensation, the resolution states.

 Council also adopted a lease agreement resolution with Municipal Sales Equipment Inc.  to lease four police vehicles and a trash truck on a seven-year term starting July 2013.

The first payment will be due July 2014, according to the resolution. 

Tuesday night council set public hearings for May 14 on Eddie Tate’s request to operate a mobile food unit in a C-1 commercial zoning district and on a request to change the speed limit from 45 to 35 beginning at the intersection of Highway 501, approximately 1.29 miles on Golf Course Road to the intersection with Cowford Road within the Town of Halifax corporate limits.