Augusta County to Raise Real Estate Tax
Reporter: David Coy
VERONA -- The Augusta County Board of Supervisors approved its budget that would increase real estate taxes.
The extra money would go to fill a budget gap needed for schools.
The board held a public comment session that lasted more than two hours before the vote.
Many people, including students, voiced their opinion on the proposed real estate tax increase.
"Our school has these things called laptops, and they're jokes. Because we are missing two keys out of this," said Stuarts Draft High School Student Emily Wilson.
Students agreed that the tax raise would improve schools and technology. Jesse Stemple hasn't lived in Augusta County for a long time. She said when she saw kids excited for a new projector, her old school wouldn't have thought it was a big deal.
"I think that Augusta County is so far behind that..it's really going to hurt the students in the long run and I want to make sure that my little brother has the same opportunities I had when I was younger," said Stemple.
People wanting to speak on the matter lined up waiting for their turn. Kenneth Cunningham is against the increase.
"When is enough, enough? You're creating a slave class and a privilege class," said Cunningham.
"Beg that we would look at this more at a business sense. What are we doing with our money? What is the return in our investment?" said Thomas Ewing.
The final four to three vote was in favor of the increase. The raise will be three cents for every $100 of assessed value. Two-thirds of the money will go to the school board. One-third will go toward the county.
I-81 May Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Reporter: David Coy
HARRISONBURG --The City of Harrisonburg's effort to name a street after civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It's been talked about for a while. Some suggestions were changing Reservoir or Vine street.
People were upset that the name change would change addresses. Renaming bridges was also brought up. Former City Manager Roger Baker though about naming a piece of I-81 after Martin Luther King Jr.
"That highway would become associated with Harrisonburg. People all over the United States, after they traveled this way a few times, they would remember Harrisonburg. If nothing else, at least the name of the highway," said Baker.
This change would not affect any addresses or I-81's name. If the city of Harrisonburg decides to rename a part of the interstate, it would have to contact VDOT and submit a proposal.
Energy Business Opens New Branch in Staunton
Reporter: Carly Stephenson
STAUNTON, Va. -- Altenergy, which is the second largest installer of solar energy in Virginia will have a grand opening in Staunton on Thursday.
The move is an expansion from the company's main office in Charlottesville. Altenergy, Incorporated uses solar energy to help their customers offset electric bills among other things.
Now, they've turned a historic building into a new storefront.
Joe Sadonis, who is the Branch Manager, said this location will make it easier and more direct to do business in Staunton.
Altenergy also installs solar thermal systems, which is a system that lets the sun heat water in a household.
People at Altenergy are getting the building ready on North Lewis street and also balancing installations right now.
Sadonis said neighbors, along with local businesses nearby, are happy about the facelift to the building.
"And we just love Staunton and wanted to be right in the middle and this building being vacant, not only can we set up shop here but we can improve the entire street and neighborhood with it," said Sadonis.
The price of work varies depending on the size of the job.
In the Staunton branch, the company has 15 employees who do a variety of work. Thursday's grand opening will be at 1 p.m. at the new location.