By LEIGH PROM

“This is an uneventful budget. It’s one that I wish I could present every year. Being uneventful does not mean unremarkable,” said Rocky Mount Town Manager James Ervin at the Rocky Mount Town Council meeting on April 8.

Ervin was alluding to several first-time happenings with utilities. He announced that the utility fund would be self-sufficient, meaning there is a balance between expenses and funds. He cited an investment in technology and the department’s close eye on costs as reasons for the milestone.

The other milestone is having a capital budget for utilities that exceeds depreciation.

Ervin also announced the budget includes a 10% decrease in the amount the town will contribute to Harvester Performance Center, bringing the town’s contribution to $355,000 as the center brings in more revenue.

He said that tax revenue is lagging behind real-estate value, but revenue is not flat.

A new traffic light for the intersection where McDonald’s is located on Tanyard Road is needed because the present one is wearing out. The cost is $450,000. Ervin also indicated a need for $150,000 for a generator.

In other business, town council revisited the town’s ordinance on inoperable vehicles. Roger Hodges and Abbie Pinckard addressed the council.

Hodges focused on questions posed at last month’s council meeting and at a committee meeting regarding residents who have cars they want to restore. He explained the extensive process for restoring a vehicle.

Pinckard asked that a member of the planning and zoning department provide an in-process review at the next public safety committee meeting about inoperable vehicles. This would be to cover the status of complaints and complaint-based infractions the town may have investigated.

Mayor Steve Angle said the information could be provided, but not necessarily at the committee meeting as the committee is separate from the planning and zoning department.

No decisions were made as the committee continues to examine the issue.

Another citizen commented on grass left in the streets after mowing, especially in residential areas. His recommendation was for the town to include a letter with water bills asking residents to not throw grass in the street. Angle said maybe a note in the water bill is the way to go.

Requests for the Christian Heritage Academy 5K Road Race on May 4, the Southwest Virginia Antique Farm Days Parade on June 9 and the Franklin County Department of Public Safety Emergency Services Parade on May 11 were granted.

Also discussed and approved were the Virginia Department of Transportation award and match for local street maintenance, Cox Property sewer appropriation resolution and authorization to proceed, and the appropriation of funds to be received from community policing.

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