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Money Well Spent on Community Center


South Boston Recreation Director Matthew McCargo told council at its work session on Monday that money spent for the Washington-Coleman Community Center was “money well-spent.”
Attendance at the community center for November and December 2013 was 444, according to McCargo.
A total of 16,121 people used the facility in 2014, and 22,924 used the facility in 2015, while a total of 21,101 residents used the facility in 2016.
In the period from July 2016 to April 2017, 17,075 people have used the facility, not including those renting the Ted Daniel Multi-Purpose Room.

The multi purpose room is the center’s major source of income, according to McCargo, accruing $8,837.50 in rental fees in 2015 and $8,100 in rental fees so far this year.

McCargo added the arts and crafts room is sometimes rented out.

The Senior Exercise Group has upped the numbers at the community center on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with chair exercise classes, and line dance classes, which started this year, also have driven up the numbers.

Almost 80 people are taking that class, filling the multi-purpose room to capacity, McCargo told council.

New people are arriving at the community center and the old National Guard Armory each week needing additional rehab, according to McCargo. 

“The only fees we charge are for rental of the multi-purpose room and arts and crafts room if a youth group isn’t using it,” McCargo explained.

The running track and field behind the community center are being used as well, and so many people come to the community center that parking has become an issue, McCargo explained.

“This is one thing that has brought the community together,” McCargo noted.

“I once heard a preacher say a church should encompass the community around it, and this community center encompasses all the citizens of South Boston.

“Somebody asked me the other day if a majority of blacks or majority of whites used the community center, and I honestly couldn’t say,” continued McCargo.

“That’s one thing I love about the community center, everybody who comes in loves it, treats it like it’s their own and treats it with respect.”

Councilman Robert “Bob” Hughes echoed council when he lauded McCargo for his “dedication and commitment to the community.”

 Fee and tax listing

Council briefly discussed proposed additions to its fee and tax listing for 2017-18.

An administrative fee on delinquent personal property tax of $30 per vehicle is proposed for the 2017-18 budget.

An administrative fee of $30 per parcel on delinquent real estate tax is already on the books.

Also proposed under the encroachment permit fee schedule is a $100 per load overload permit fee.

According to DMV, overload permits can be purchased to allow certain motor vehicles to extend their weight limitations by 5 percent as specified on the permit.

The fee would cover the cost of flagmen stationed at intersections throughout town to monitor extremely large loads as they pass through.

Town Manager Tom Raab told council a first reading for both the proposed budget and proposed fee and tax listing is set for the May 8 council meeting.

 Council studies street closures for Tultex development

Council studied a request from the town’s IDA to close three platted rights-of-ways adjacent to and west of the Tultex building.

South Boston IDA has made a request to close three platted public rights-of-way adjacent and west of the Tultex/Imperial building, including a section of Wagstaff Lane from Watkins Avenue to Owens Avenue; a section of Owens Avenue, from Wagstaff Lane to Johnston Street; and a section of Johnston Street from Watkins Avenue south to the railroad.

In its street closure application, the IDA said the reason for the street closures was to improve parking and delete public rights-of-way lying within future private property areas including the Tultex/Imperial building.

Raab informed council at Monday’s meeting the Turbeville Volunteer Fire Department has offered to buy a fire truck from South Boston Fire Department for $35,000.

That truck is the one replaced by South Boston Fire Department’s newest fire truck, which was recently delivered and dedicated.

Finance report

Deputy Finance Director Mickey Wilkerson reported revenues and expenditures more closely reflected target goals as of March 31.

Revenues stood at $9,441,946 or 74 percent of a budget of $12,810,664, and expenditures were $9,590,008 or 75 percent of a budget of $12,810,664.

The target is 75 percent, Wilkerson told council, adding that as of Monday night, revenues stood at 77 percent of budget, and expenditures stood at 78 percent of budget.

The cash operating general fund was in the black, reflecting “positive activity” of $754,050 for the month ending March 31, with a year-to-date balance of $3,680,875.

That balance was the highest it’s been in the last five years, Wilkerson told council.

Categorical aid revenues stood at $2,928,345 or 63 percent of a budget of $4,6614,745 as of March 31, and current real estate tax revenues stood at $942,209 out of a budget of $940,000 or over 100 percent of budget.

Current personal property tax revenues stood at $549,998 or 106 percent of a budget of $520,000; local sales tax revenues stood at $316,421 or 77 percent of a budget of $520,000; occupancy tax collections stood at $108,755 or 73 percent of a budget of $150,000; meals tax collections stood at $1,378,385 or 77 percent of a budget of $1,700,000; and business license tax collections stood at $544,480 or 96 percent of a budget of $565,000.

As of Monday night, those percentages were 101 percent for real estate; 106 percent for personal property; 84 percent for local sales taxes; 81 percent for occupancy taxes; 87 percent for meals taxes; and 98 percent for business license tax collections.

As of March 31, consumer utility tax collections totaled $300,080 or 75 percent of a budget of $400,000, and telecom tax collections stood at $425,398 or 73 percent of budget.

Those percentages had increased to 86 percent as of Monday night for consumer utility tax collections, and 81 percent for telecom tax collections, according to the deputy finance director. 

All five delinquent tax collection categories reflected totals already exceeding 100 percent of budgeted totals as of March 31.

Delinquent personal property tax collections were $33,157 or 184 percent of a budget of $18,000; delinquent real estate tax collections were $51,893 or 115 percent of a budget of $45,000; delinquent mobile home tax collections were $366 or 183 percent of a budget of $200; taxes on penalties was $19,673 or 131 percent of a budget of $15,000; and interest on taxes was $23,125 or 154 percent of a budget of $15,000.

A total of $115,672 in delinquent personal property taxes remains due, and $40,035 in delinquent real estate taxes remains due, Wilkerson told council.

Council went into closed session following Monday’s work session to discuss personnel issues relating to appointments to several boards and commissions.

Council took no official action when it came out of closed session.

*Original article by Doug Ford with Gazette Virginian