Electric Rate Increase Tops Elkton Budget

Council To Vote On Proposal

Posted: May 20, 2014

ELKTON — Despite opposition from some, Town Council took up the first reading of a 4 percent increase in electric rates on Monday.

The town provides electric service to a portion of Elkton residents, but essentially just passes along rate increases from Dominion Virginia Power, Mayor Roy Davis said.

Mildred Shifflett, 80, said she came “to fuss about the rate increase. There are a lot of senior citizens in this town who don’t have the money. What do you expect us to do, live on bread and water? I don’t like bread.”

Council will vote on the proposed increase at next month’s council meeting, Town Manager Kevin Whitfield said. If adopted, it will go into effect on July 1, the start of the new fiscal year.

Councilman Wayne Printz said he wouldn’t vote for the electric rate increase.

“One, two, three and four percent increases keep adding up,” he said. “I’ve been in business here 35 years. It’s very difficult to stay open.”

Also heard under first reading were 1.6 percent increases in water and sewer rates, which Davis said are based on a change in the Consumer Price Index, and the town’s proposed $5.375 million budget for fiscal 2015. A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for June 16.

A requested zoning change for 11 lots on Wirt Avenue from business zoning [B2] to residential [R5] failed on a 3-2 vote with Councilmen Joshua Gooden, Theodore Pence and Harry Armbruster voting no. Councilmen Printz and Jay Dean voted yes, while Councilwoman Margaretta Isom abstained because she owns property near the affected area.

Davis said a property owner with three business offices wanted the zoning change so that he could rent them as apartments.

In other business, Police Chief Aaron Hammer said the town recently acquired some $47,000 worth of surplus military equipment for free from the federal Defense Logistics Agency. A 100-kilowatt generator worth $35,000 will be installed at town hall and the police department within a month, he said.

Whitfield also announced that the town recently hired Troy Shifflett, 56, as Elkton’s new public works director.

Contact Caleb M. Soptelean at 574-6293 or csoptelean@dnronline.com

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