Luray adopts $13.8 million budget, five public hearings planned for Monday

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~ PVN staff report

LURAY, July 5 — By a unanimous vote, the Luray Council last week adopted its $13.8 million budget for fiscal year 2022-23, which began last Friday. The council received no public comment during a public hearing held on June 13.

The new budget increases spending by nearly $2.5 million (or 22 percent) over the most recent budget and is comprised of the following:

  • $7.4 million for the General Fund;
  • $2.5 million from American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding;
  • $400,000 for the Community Development Block Grant for Luray Meadows Apartments;
  • $1.6 million for the Water Fund;
  • $1.8 million for the Sewer Fund.

The presented budget includes revenues based on the following adopted FY 2022- 2023 Tax Rates:

  • $0.28 (per $100 of assessed value) on Real Estate, increase of just over one cent;
  • $0.62 (per $100 of assessed value) on Personal Property, no change;
  • 6 percent on Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), up from 5 percent;
  • 4 percent on meals and beverage taxes, no change;
  • 20 cents per pack on cigarettes, up from 15 cents.

In addition, the Luray Council also unanimously adopted its FY 2022-23 Rates and Fees Schedule. Town residents will see various increases among rates, from shelter rentals to garbage collection. Garbage rates are expected to increase 7 percent due to an increase from the contractor for refuge collection.

In other business at its June 28 special meeting, the Luray Council took the following actions:

• Discussed a special use permit (SUP) application submitted by Donald Vogt and Gail Nettleton to construct a residential, single-family dwelling on the 6.65-acre parcel at the western end of Woodland Park Drive. The parcel is zoned Business (B-1), which requires a SUP to construct a residential single-family dwelling per Town Code. The Luray Planning Commission conducted a public hearing at its June 15 meeting and unanimously recommended approval of the permit. The council set a public hearing for its next meeting on July 11.

• Discussed a special use permit (SUP) application submitted by Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative to construct an electric payment kiosk in the parking lot across from their building on Mechanic Street. The parcel is zoned Limited Industrial, which requires a SUP for any structure to be installed. The Luray Planning Commission conducted a public hearing at its June 13 meeting and unanimously recommended approval of the permit. The council set a public hearing for its next meeting on July 11.

• Discussed a special use permit (SUP) application submitted by Robert Falter to construct a residential, single-family dwelling on the 0.10-acre parcel at the 55 East Main St. The parcel is zoned Business (B-1), which requires a SUP to construct a residential single-family dwelling per Town Code. The Luray Planning Commission conducted a public hearing at its June 15 meeting and unanimously recommended approval of the permit. The council set a public hearing for its next meeting on July 11.

• Discussed a special use permit (SUP) application submitted by Wendy Holtzman to operate a lodging house at 314 Mechanic Street in the High Density Residential (R-3) District. Staff recommended the following conditions — no more than six guests at one time; off-street parking required for all guests; one sign allowed not exceeding four square feet; meals may only be provided for guests renting rooms; the owner must obtain a business license from the Town; transient occupancy tax and meals tax will be collected and remitted to the Town. The Luray Planning Commission conducted a public hearing at its June 15 meeting and unanimously recommended approval of the permit. The council set a public hearing for its next meeting on July 11.

• Discussed the Preliminary and Final Plat application received from Baker Development Partnership, LLC for the subdivision of parcels 42A17-1-167, 42A8-A-1, 42A8-A-3, and 42A8-A-1D into 68 developable lots for the Luray Landing Planned Neighborhood Subdivision. The Luray Planning Commission reviewed the Subdivision Plat at its June 15 meeting and unanimously recommend approval. Council will consider the plats at its July 11 meeting. No public hearing is required.

• Discussed the Preliminary and Final Plat application received from John Holtzman LLC for the subdivision of Parcels 42A4-A-34 and 42A4-A-35 into two lots maintaining existing dwellings with one lot available for new development at 109 Mechanic Street and 134 N. Hawksbill St. The Luray Planning Commission reviewed the Subdivision Plats at its June 15 meeting and unanimously recommended approval. The council set a public hearing for its next meeting on July 11.

• Discussed the Town’s implementation of the Random Employee Drug Screening program beginning in July. The Town has a $300 annual contract with Valley Health to conduct quarterly testing among four randomly selected employees. The Town’s Personnel Policy provides for Drug and Alcohol Testing, adding to the Town’s compliance with the Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 and best practices with Virginia Risk Sharing Association, as well as helping obtain the best possible renewal rates on health and liability insurance and insurability. The council discussed recent changes to laws regarding marijuana. Staff will provide council with options at a future meeting on further developing policy regarding random testing.

The June 28 Luray Council special meeting may be viewed on the Town’s YouTube page at https://youtu.be/XNFJRnYTbUY

For more information on the Town of Luray visit their recently updated website.

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