WILLIAMSBURG — The Williamsburg City Council passed a $4,051,200 budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year during a special-called meeting Wednesday evening. The council heard the first-reading of the budget during a special-called meeting Monday.
“Normally when you include a full summer of the waterpark, we’re at a $7.5 million budget anymore,” said Williamsburg Mayor Roddy Harrison during Monday’s meeting. “It’s actually $7,636,800 on the normal, if we had a normal summer with the waterpark. But we’re over a $7 million budget, which is pretty amazing for our little town.”
Included in Williamsburg’s budget is a budgeted allotment of $1,353,042 going towards the city’s police department, and $450,458 going toward its fire department. Williamsburg’s street department will receive $178,902, sanitation is budgeted $773,593, while the city’s recreation expenditure is budgeted at $94,063.
Williamsburg’s Hal Rogers Entertainment Center saw a budgeted revenue of $847,000, while the expenditures were $907,725, a difference of $60,025. The revenues of the Hal Rogers Family Entertainment Center’s sinking fund is $361,960, with the expenditures being the same.
“Last year we had a transfer of a little over $111,000, and that’s helped us. That’s got us through this year with the things that we had to do,” explained Mayor Harrison. “We had 50 percent capacity, that was all we could do. So the best that we could hope for going into the summer was half as good as we normally do. Obviously, we didn’t have 50 percent everyday. It was down, and you can see that our numbers are way down.”
Harrison said the silver lining of the Hal Rogers Entertainment Center only operating at 50 percent was the fact that the city didn’t have to pay as many staff as they would in a normal summer, nor did it have to spend as much on other expenditures, such as stocking the concession stand.
“We weren’t even open the month of June. So that made doing this budget a little bit of a chore,” Harrison said. “So we had to look back at what June was of last year, and then use the numbers that we had for this year for July and August,” he continued. “That $60,000 in the red, we’ve got it covered with the transfer of the money,” he noted, also informing the council that the campground had been doing well despite the pandemic.
The city’s budgeted water revenue is $1,255,400, while the sewer revenue is $934,700, making the total projected revenue $2,190,100. The city’s water expenditures are budgeted at $1,136,396, and the sewer’s revenue is $1,008,434, for a total of $2,144,830. This leaves a budgeted reserve of $45,270 for the city’s water and sewer.
“I think that is, again goes back to the fact of what we’ve done the last couple of years with some of the savings that we’ve done,” said Harrison to the council. “The employees have really picked it up, and you guys giving the permission to do some of the things that we’ve done.”
Williamsburg’s water and sewer sinking fund revenue is budgeted at $240,229 for the upcoming fiscal year. Its budgeted expenditures are $21,832 for the water sinking fund, and $218,397 for the sewer’s sinking fund.
Harrison did confirm that this year’s budget did include an allotment for Williamsburg city’s employees to receive raises.
“We still have another quarter that ends in November that we’re a little concerned about,” he said. However, he followed that by saying, “It’s been a while since we’ve been able to do anything for the employees, and we’re going to do it so we have included some raises. Some of them vary, so I don’t have a percentage.”
On Wednesday, the council also passed Williamsburg Tourism Commission’s budget for the 2020-2021 fiscal year.
In that budget, tourism has budgeted an income interest of $1,000, matching funds of $4,000, reimbursements at $4,000, and rental income of $10,000. Williamsburg Tourism has also budgeted the transient tax it will receive in the upcoming fiscal year at $120,000, and the restaurant tax at $525,000, for a grand total of revenue at $664,000.
Tourism’s balanced budget sees zero dollars budgeted for travel, $1,000 for convention equipment, and sees $3,000 reserved for special projects. Expenses derived from the convention center are budgeted at $7,000, and $20,000 was budget for administrative expenses. $25,000 was budgeted for the city of Williamsburg’s recreational fund. Advertising for tourism was budget at $30,000.
Other expenditures in the city’s tourism budget include $36,000 for utilities, $40,000 for events and promotions, $130,000 for wages and benefits, and $372,000 for the water park, balancing the budget.
Harrison made mention that the city would payoff what it owes on the waterpark in February of next year, and that tourism had paid off the recent paving of the water park’s parking lot, as well as the campground’s expansion.
“I’ve asked [tourism] if they would agree to keep giving us those payments on a monthly basis,” Harrison noted. “So they’re helping us out with that. But all that money will be turned right back into the [water park] expansion project. It’s being used right now to pay for some of the architectural work.”
Council member Laurel West abstained from voting on the tourism budget.