The Round Hill Town Council at its March 19, 2020 meeting approved the Town budget and fee schedule for FY2021 as well as a series of emergency-related resolutions. The meeting was held in person at the Town Office but with a 6-foot separation between all Councilpersons, staff and members of the public in attendance.
The Town lowered the real estate tax rate from 0.161 to 0.100, a 35% decrease, and kept most other taxes and fees the same. Utility rates were increased 3%. "We have been running healthy operating surpluses for years, and the Town Council agreed that we could lower taxes significantly and still continue to balance the budget," said Mayor Scott Ramsey.
The Town then adopted four resolutions to address the COVID-19 emergency. The first confirmed the declaration of local emergency by Town Administrator Melissa Hynes. Two others gave the Administrator expanded authority to expend funds for emergency response and to enter into new cellular and trash contracts without further Council approval.
The final emergency resolution suspended utility disconnections and any new late fees or interest on past due utility accounts until 30 days after the ending of the emergency. "This is a common response from most utility companies statewide," said Ramsey. "We will not be shutting off water or adding late fees to past-due accounts during this emergency."
"We want residents focused on their health and the health of their community. We encourage everyone to pay attention to the recommendations of the CDC and the local health authorities, and to minimize contact until we know the public health system can manage," added Ramsey.
The Town has canceled its April meetings. "With the measures adopted tonight we believe we can continue to conduct necessary Town business until at least May without further Council action," said Ramsey.
The Town also decided to postpone its annual Hometown Festival to Oct. 10, the Saturday of Columbus Day weekend.