As with all other news in government, one of the most important topics we discussed was the budget. Our Finance Director gave an update of revenue and expenditures after six months of tracking.

The bottom line is we are better off than many localities but it is still not good. At this time of year, we should have collected at least 50% of our real estate taxes. It was just below this amount. All other sources of revenue were the same – less than last year or less than expected.

The good news is our expenditures were also significantly less than 50% of budgeted. This is a credit to our town staff. They understand the situation and are working to keep expenses down in this time of economic distress.

And, the town is going to start a facebook page. We discussed all the possibilities as well as drawbacks and gave the nod to go ahead and take that step. Look for more details to come and become a fan of the Town of Blacksburg on facebook.

We tentatively set a date for our council retreat. In the past we have conducted this retreat at locations out of town but within a short drive. Recently we have found a location in town. This will be the case again this year as we strive to find ways to cut expenditures. The day long retreat will consist of goal setting which is something we do every two years. If there is time, the afternoon will be a little less formal, allowing council members time to get to know each other better.

At the end of the meeting, I announced an award we received from Preservation Virginia. The award will a topic for the next posting.