ABINGDON, Va. — The Abingdon Town Council voted Monday to approve its $26.8 million budget that could ultimately include borrowing money.
A motion by Mayor Wayne Craig to approve the budget, seconded by Councilman Derek Webb, was approved on final reading by all council members except Councilman Al Bradley. The 2019-20 budget takes effect July 1.
“Do you still need to borrow a million dollars to make it work?” Bradley asked during the meeting.
Chuck Banner, the town’s director of finance, replied, saying this budget is balanced but it is not clear how much revenue would be forthcoming to the town.
The town may not need to borrow money, if new revenues begin to stream into its coffers from new commercial developments.
“I didn’t vote for it because I don’t think it’s balanced,” Bradley said after the meeting. “It has to do with the project income from the development out there, The Meadows. If they meet their expectations in terms of how the development progresses, then we’ll have some. If it does not ... we’ll have to borrow some money to make up for the deficit.”
Broken down, the budget includes $13.42 million in the general fund operations, $9.99 million for general fund capital projects and $3.45 million for the town’s sewer fund — a total of $26.86 million.
Nobody from the community spoke when Craig opened a public hearing on the budget, but Vice Mayor Cindy Patterson did address the borrowing prior to the 4-1 vote.
“I’m not really fond of possibly having to borrow additional monies, but our council did commit to several capital improvement plans,” Patterson told those assembled at the meeting. “And I feel this is very necessary for the health and the welfare and well-being of the citizens of Abingdon to do. I’m not in favor of borrowing the money, but I don’t know what else to do.”