Hot Public Hearing Expected in Page County

By: Erin Tate
By: Erin Tate

"We've made incredible strides towards schools, our county office building and a new animal shelter," said John McAllister, Page County's Finance Director.

Three big issues, requiring one big budget. And they're all under fire at a public hearing in Page County. Page's pocketbook wasn't always so able to meet the area's needs.

Now its economy is on the rebound, and McAllister says a new real estate tax rate increase is going to mean even more for the county coffer.

"That additional six cents will bring in approximately 630 or 640 thousand dollars to the Treasury and we're making an 800 thousand debt service commitment to our School board for the building of new schools," McAllister said.

McAllister says every bit of the 18 percent tax increase will go toward new schools. Local residents aren't so sure. Concerned citizens have posted eight signs throughout the county; the signs show that county residents are tired of higher taxes and unfulfilled promises.

But McAllister says the signs are misleading. The county has slated $30 million in the budget for new school construction. In addition, $181,000 has been earmarked to replace an offensive animal shelter.

And there's no word yet on the cash that more trash could bring.

"Our board is currently negotiating a new contract with National Waste Services of Virginia and that will bring in additional revenue to the county," said McAllister.

Mega-landfill, more taxes and mistreated animals; just some of the county's concerns Tuesday night.

50 North Main Street Harrisonburg, VA 22801 540-433-9191 - Switchboard 540-433- 4028 - Fax 540-433-2700 - News Fax

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