Fredericksburg City Council voted 6–1 to approve its fiscal year 2022 budget of $103.9 million, but residents still have two weeks to weigh in before the decision is finalized with a second vote.
Councilman Matt Kelly cast the lone dissenting vote as he questioned why other councilmembers would make a decision more than two months before the deadline to do so by June 30.
The deadline for the school budget is the next council meeting on May 11 and it could be passed separately, if necessary.
The spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1 calls for Fredericksburg City Schools to receive $30 million in operating funds and an additional $1.4 million for Capital Improvement Plan projects, including a new elementary school.
The budget also includes $4.9 million for the Rappahannock Regional Jail and $2.7 million in general fund support for capital projects in the city.
City staff will receive a 4 percent cost of living raise.
City Council also voted 6–1 on first read to raise the real estate tax rate from 80 cents per $100 of assessed value to 83 cents.
Kelly opposed that motion based on process, saying there was no need to pass it on Tuesday with the deadline not until June.
Other portions of the budget were passed unanimously. That includes an increase in water and sewer fees from $2.77 per 1,000 gallons to $3.05, a 28-cent hike.
A bimonthly $3 recycling fee was also approved unanimously. The recycling fee will bring in an estimated $125,000 in revenue. The budget won’t be final until a second-read vote is held May 11.
Taft Coghill Jr: 540/374-5526