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Government

  • County board approves $20.9 million dollar budget

    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a $20.9 million dollar budget for FY 2017-18 during their regular meeting last Thursday.
    The budget, which will go into effect on July 1, will include no tax or fee increases for the fiscal year; however, difficulties in finalizing the budget this year using an outdated financial forecast, has prompted Interim County Administrator Mitch Smith to suggest updating the planning tool not just for future budgets, but to potentially plan ahead even further.

  • Board holds public hearing for road projects in Grayson

    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County Board of Supervisors recently heard public comments regarding the Secondary Six-Year Road Plan and 2018/19 Construction Priority List proposed by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), during the board’s regularly scheduled meeting on May 11.

  • Fries budget includes increases for taxes, water and sewer rates

    FRIES — A public hearing for the proposed Fries Town Budget for FY 2017-18 was held last Tuesday in the dining hall of the Fries Community Center.
    Council members met prior to the hearing to discuss the details of their $1.4 million dollar budget for FY 2017-18; which now includes a proposed three cent tax rate increase and other increases for water and sewer rates. During this meeting, members discussed the need for these increases; which mainly include necessary funding for projects like upgrades to the town’s water plant.

  • Voters, candidates prepare for primary races

    INDEPENDENCE — Absentee voting is open through June 10, for this year’s Republican and Democratic primary elections on June 13.
    According to Grayson County Voter Registrar Cody Wingate, absentee ballots will be accepted through the 10th; and applications for absentee ballots will be accepted through June 6.
    Voters can only vote for their choice candidates in one of the elections, Wingate reminded.

  • Independence town budget plans no tax increases

    INDEPENDENCE — The Independence Town Council is on the final leg of planning the town’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year, with some good news for taxpayers.
    Council scheduled a public hearing during their May 9 meeting, to hear comments from citizens regarding the budget. No one present commented during the hearing.
    According to recent reports from the town, the 2017-18 government budget totals approximately $1,617,070; and the utilities budget total is $2,279,190.

  • Proposed county budget balanced with no tax increase

    INDEPENDENCE — Moving into the final stretch of this year’s budget planning, Interim County Administrator Mitch Smith recently reported that the county has a balanced budget in the works, at no additional cost to the taxpayers for the ninth year in a row.
    Revenues and expenditures for the 2017-18 budget according to the most current draft, stand at $20,882,496. Revenue streams include $15,789,686 from local sources; $5,076,810 from state sources, and $16,000 from federal sources, according to the draft.  

  • County board approves discontinuance of vehicle decals

    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County Board of Supervisors approved a motion to discontinue the county’s vehicle decals, following a public hearing during their April meeting.
    Though no one signed up to speak during the hearing, Treasurer Kelly Haga shared that he’d heard many positive reports from citizens who have visited the treasurer’s office.
    “As we’ve gone through this year’s decal season, [citizens] seem to be overwhelmingly in favor of doing away with it,” Haga told the board.

  • County hires new Planning, Community Development Director

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County staff recently welcomed Will Crawford to their staff, who will serve as the county’s new Planning and Community Development Director.
    Crawford fills the empty seat left last December by Elaine Holeton, who served as the director for five years before accepting a new position with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).

  • New deadline approved for real estate taxes

    INDEPENDENCE — Grayson County Treasurer Kelly Haga returned to the Board of Supervisors this month to finalize discussions on the county’s policy of putting real estate up for auction with the Code of Virginia.
    Following a discussion between Haga and the board, the board approved shortening the time frame from five years of delinquency to three years — two years after properties become delinquent, plus an additional year after a lien has been placed.

  • A new hope for the Training Center

    RICHMOND — Another General Assembly session has passed without a definitive answer about the fate of Virginia’s training centers for the disabled, but one final hope remains, thanks to a budget amendment.
    In developing a final budget, members of the Virginia Senate and House of Delegates included a new amendment that would direct the state to look at operating a full-time, albeit smaller, training center. The Southwestern Virginia Training Center in Hillsville and the Central Virginia Training Center in Madison Heights are set to close.