Monterey council reviews charter changes
Monterey, Va. – The Monterey Town Council has spent many hours producing a new Town Charter. The Town Charter last went through a major revision sixty years ago in 1952. Mayor Janice Warner and the Charter Committee members have produced a revised charter and Town Attorney Melissa Dowd has now provided her suggestions for that proposed charter.
At their meeting last week, Council members spent nearly three hours reading the proposed new charter and making some additional changes. The new Charter moves the Town Council election from May to November, so it will be held at the same time as the general elections. This will save the Town the expense of paying for a separate election.
Another issue that has received much discussion is the number of Council members. An early proposal was that the Council be reduced to three members plus the Mayor for a total of four. However, Council members, after much discussion, returned to the current number of six Council members plus the Mayor.
After reviewing, the entire Charter last week, a final draft will be produced for the September meeting. When they have a final draft, then a public hearing will be held. The new charter will have to be submitted to the Virginia Legislature for a final approval.
In other business, Junior Sweitzer addressed the Council about his June water bill. Because Mike Isles had to complete some required water tests, the meter reading was delayed by one week. This caused some town residents to exceed their 8,000 gallon limit for the two month billing period, so they were charged extra on that bill. Because the extra charge to Mr. Sweitzer’s bill was due to the delayed meter reading, the Council voted to remove that extra charge of $4.90 from his bill.
Rich Holman had questions for the Council about the Town budget. The Water and Sewer part of the budget appears to be showing a deficit. Mayor Warner had a suggestion.
“The good news is that we know there is a payable and a receivable,” said Rich Holman. “But the bad news is that the water and sewer fund is continuing to run a deficit. So I think it is going to be hard to pay this back to the general fund.” Mayor Warner responded, “I don’t know how to answer that to get you to understand it. I think the best thing to do is for you to call the auditor and see what they tell you about it.”
Mayor Warner then reported on the storm water drains on the school roof.
“One of the things I would like to report is that we have now checked the downfall for the school and that has been something we have discussed for the last five years is that we think that there might be a problem that the downfalls at the school still might be in our sewer system,” said Mayor Warner.
Mike Isles described the dye testing results showing that the water from the school roof does not go into the Town sewer system. It drains to the south behind the building and under the Fairgrounds.
The next regular meeting of the Monterey Town Council will be Thursday, September 6 at 7:30 pm in the Highland Public Library.