An increase in the Town of Blacksburg budget is slated to help serve the community, including students.
The recommended budget for the 2011-12 fiscal year would be a two percent increase from this year’s budget, according to Mayor Ron Rordam.
“You will see an increase in salaries for employees,” Rordam said. He said the increase would be the first in three years.
The budget is compiled by the Blacksburg town council, but individual budgets are requested by department heads. They are asked to look at the amount of funding they need and report that amount to the town council.
“We’ve managed to maintain a pretty steady budget,” Rordam said.
Parks and Recreation will see the largest increase in expenditures at 17 percent. Golf maintenance and the golf shop will be included within Parks and Recreation this year and under the operating budget, as opposed to previous years, according to Rordam.
This increase would be funded through increases in taxes and revenue, according to the recommended budget. If approved, there will be a 22.4 percent increase in miscellaneous revenues, consisting mostly of aquatic center fees. Citizens will also notice a 4.6 percent increase in intergovernmental revenue, including street and highway maintenance, police reimbursement and fire fund fees. There will also be an increase in all other forms of financing for the budget.
According to the recommended budget, there will be a 21.3 percent increase in the transit fund. This comes from funding within the budget, grants and student fees and is provided for the Blacksburg Transit. Rordam feels this alteration in the budget will have the largest impact on students.
However, the largest increase in funds is 145.3 percent in the capital improvement fund, which consists of primarily the Main Street project, Rordam said. This will create a safer environment for all pedestrians and is being done in support of the future center for the arts building, Rordam said.
Many departments will see slight decreases in funding between the 2010-11 fiscal year and the 2011-12 fiscal year.
“(The town) will offer the same high level services, but we’re doing it in a cost effective way,” Rordam said.
The town council has scheduled work sessions for the next few weeks to discuss the recommended budget. The final public hearing will be on April 12, followed by the consideration of approval on April 26.
“It is important that the public understand how we spend their money and have input into that process,” Rordam said, “So all our discussions are in public and detailed.”