Monterey Town Residents Return Six Incumbents And One New Member To The Town Council
Monterey, VA – The Monterey Town Council elections were held last week. Seven candidates including Jay Garber, Janice Warner, Don Dowdy, Francis Fenn, Dale Hammer, Butch Washer and Ronald Wimer were declared the winners by the Highland County Registrar’s Office. All of the winners were incumbents except for Jay Garber, who will be a new council member. Current Councilman Tony Stinnett chose not to run for another term. Council members serve two year terms.
The Council has proposed a new budget for fiscal year 2013, starting July 1st of this year. The budget includes general expenses in the amount of $124, 664 and water and sewer expenses of $382, 937, for a total budget of $507, 602. Council members approved the proposed budget and they plan to hold a public hearing on the budget at the next meeting on June 7.
In other business, the Council is working on a revised Town Charter. Mayor Janice Warner discusses a recent meeting she had with Carolyn Aldredge, who worked for the Virginia General Assembly and is familiar with town charters in Virginia.
“She had six charters from other places; we spent two and a half days with this,” says Warner. “I think when she comes back which is going to be in a week or so, I’m going to name a committee, and then I’d like the committee to meet with she and I. The procedure that I think we have determined to be the best way to follow would be not to have a referendum because that’s expensive. The council has to approve it, then we have to have a public hearing.”
Following a public hearing on the new Town Charter and any subsequent revisions, the Council would approve the final version of the Charter and then it would be sent to state officials in Richmond. Mayor Warner talks about the timetable for the process to get the new charter approved.
“Then we can take it to Dickie Bell who can present it to someone in the general assembly at any time, it doesn’t have to wait until after the first of the year,” she says. “You have to have it signed by the Governor as well as the General Assembly. If we have this meeting before the next council meeting, I think we could probably have a public hearing in August.”
The Council hopes to have the new Monterey Town Charter approved by the state sometime this fall. The Council is still dealing with the problem of storm water entering the sewer lines; one area of concern is located at the school. Mayor Warner is planning to move forward with replacing some sewer lines at the school after the start of the new budget year.
The new walkway in Monterey is nearing completion and the county is planning to put several benches and trash receptacles along the walking path. Supervisor Kevin Wagner suggested to Councilman Francis Fenn that the Town may want to put a bench and trash receptacle along the part of the walkway that passes through the town. The County’s plan is to put concrete pads alongside the walkway and use benches similar to those at the Veterans Memorial. The cost of each concrete pad, bench and trash receptacle is expected to be around $2500. Mayor Warner suggested that more information on this matter be requested from County Administrator Roberta Lambert and that the Council discuss further it at a future meeting.
The next meeting of the Monterey Town Council is scheduled for Thursday, June 7, at 7:30 pm in the Highland Public Library.