Budget up for approval tonight

Published 10:46 pm Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Suffolk City Council will meet tonight to approve the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

The $532 million plan, which includes a $169.3 million general fund, headlines the regular meeting at 7 p.m. in City Council chambers, 441 Market St. A work session begins at 4 p.m., but includes only an update on the Suffolk Initiative on Youth in the open session.

The budget proposes a 6-cent tax increase, along with higher water and sewer rates and a new, mandatory $18.50 fee for trash and curbside recycling. It calls for hiring new firefighters and building a new municipal building to replace the current dilapidated city hall.

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The plan also allocates less money to the public school system than it requested, which caused the School Board to vote last month to close Robertson and Mount Zion elementary schools.

A cut to public transportation also is proposed in the budget. The city will do away with membership in Hampton Roads Transit as of Dec. 31 and investigate alternative services.

Also on the regular agenda, Council members will hear members of the public on proposals to sell city-owned property to Dominion Virginia Power so the power company can put its Carson-Suffolk transmission line through the property. One piece of land is located near Deer Path Road, and will be sold for $7,500. The other is located near Carolina Road and will go for $37,000.