Exmore Budget Matches County’s in Employee Salary Increases

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By Stefanie Jackson – It’s budget season, and Exmore Town Manager Robert Duer is committed to keeping pace with Northampton County in the salary race.

Northampton County employees will get a 3 percent raise in fiscal year 2020, and so will Exmore town employees, Duer announced on Monday.

But Duer went one step further. Some employees will get a 3 percent raise, while others will get 2 percent plus $500, whichever is greater for the individual employee.

Another highlight of Exmore’s FY 2020 budget is monthly contributions of $3,000 to the town’s capital improvement fund.

Duer updated the town council on Exmore’s pursuit of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) grant funds to help pay for a new garbage truck.

Exmore has more than $2.8 million in assets, and one USDA representative is worried that the town has “too much cash” to qualify for assistance.

Considering that Exmore has a $508,000 bond to pay off and well and sewer projects to pay for, the town does not have too much cash, Duer asserted. He will continue to update the council on the grant as more information becomes available.

Director of Utilities Taylor Dukes reported that he visited a wastewater facility in Lewes, Del., that operates without drain fields. Instead, the wastewater drains into sand bunkers, also called sand traps.

What Exmore’s sewage system accomplishes on about 30 acres, the Delaware facility accomplishes on about 2.5 acres – and it’s cheaper, Dukes said.

He plans to meet with the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to discuss what it would take to bring the technology to Virginia.

Duer asked town council members if anyone was interested in attending a meeting in Onley on April 11 for updates on the sewage treatment feasibility study being conducted by the Hampton Roads Sanitation District. The meeting is invitation-only, he said.

Council members were also amenable to Duer’s idea of a billboard featuring the message, “Welcome to Exmore – Home of the World-Famous New Ravenna,” the custom mosaic manufacturer.

He said the relationship between the town and business has “never been better” and both would benefit from the advertising venture.

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