After kicking off its budget discussions this week, the Purcellville Town Council is eyeing a few changes that could positively impact both residents and town staff.
Interim Town Manager John Anzivino presented his proposed fiscal year 2019 budget and Capital Improvement Program to the Town Council on Wednesday night. The 338-page document included some tax rate and town staffing adjustments, along with almost two dozen proposed projects to commence within the next five fiscal years.
“I believe the budget that we have crafted meets operational needs,” he said.
One of the first items Anzivino highlighted was a stabilized real estate tax rate. Although a two-cent rate increase has been advertised, Anzivino suggested that the current rate remain at $0.22 per $100 of assessed real estate value, which would yield the town about $53,000 more in revenue than in the previous fiscal year.
He said the advertised rate increase was to give council members flexibility to add items to the budget if they wanted to.
Anzivino also proposed a reduction in the Fireman’s Field Tax District rate by a half cent, which would bring it down to an even 3 cents per $100. While the town would miss out on nearly $67,000 from the tax in the upcoming fiscal year, Anzivino said increased revenues from the town’s new partnership with Play to Win and Shaun Alexander Enterprises to manage the property could make up the difference.
Anzivino additionally proposed a 10-cent cigarette tax rate increase, from 65 to 75 cents per pack. If the Town Council adopts this rate, Purcellville would be on par with the Town of Leesburg and Loudoun County. “That generates an additional $29,000 in revenue for the town,” Anzivino said.
He also noted that the town would be getting no further revenue from Loudoun’s gas tax, since the county now plans to divert those tax dollars to help fund its share of the Metro Silver Line. Last year, the town received $143,000 from the tax.
When looking at town staffing levels and compensation, Anzivino suggested that all town employees receive a 3 percent pay increase, along with an additional 2 percent increase based on a compensation study that will be completed some time in the coming fiscal year. “This is consistent with the town of Leesburg and Loudoun,” he said.
Anzivino also proposed that the town hire two additional full-time police officers, to each be paid around $75,000 annually. In the finance department, he proposed that the town hire one part-time revenue technician at a pay rate of nearly $26,000 annually to help process direct payments and to answer resident questions.
He also suggested that the currently defunded special assistant to the town manager position be reactivated as a part-time position with a 24-hour workweek, resulting in a salary of $48,000 annually. The last person to act in that role was Marty Kloden, who resigned in August 2016. “We use a lot of part time folks here,” Anzivino said.
To compensate for these potential increases in salary pay, Anzivino proposed that the town defund the assistant town manager position, which has been vacant since Danny Davis left last September.
As for the proposed 2019-23 Capital Improvement Program, Anzivino suggested that the town focus on 22 projects between July 2018 and July 2023 totaling almost $14 million. Those projects include the construction of a roundabout at the 32nd/A Street intersection, the possible installation of a traffic signal at the 32nd/Main Street intersection, multiple Fireman’s Field upgrades and the construction of a bike park at the Basham Simms Wastewater Facility.
Anzivino, who will concede his role to incoming town manager David Mekarski in early April, took some time at the end of his presentation to thank town staff for helping prepare the budget and for being hardworking and energetic.
“You folks keep me busy,” he said. “I say that in a complementary fashion.”
Councilmembers Karen Jimmerson, Ryan Cool and Vice Mayor Nedim Ogelman were absent for the budget presentation.
The Town Council will be discussing the budget throughout the next six weeks in three work sessions and one public hearing on April 10. The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 4 at 7 p.m. in Town Hall.