By Stefanie Jackson – The town of Cheriton received good news at its July 24 town council meeting when the final numbers for fiscal year 2019 showed the town had a surplus.
“It was a tough year, but we still managed to stay in the black,” said Mayor Larry LeMond.
Within the last “tough” fiscal year, Cheriton fired its police chief – the sole employee of Cheriton’s police department – sold its police car and equipment, and decided that all town law enforcement would be provided by a Northampton County sheriff’s deputy a few days per week.
Some revenue sources fell short, but others exceeded expectations and spending was kept in check to give the town a total profit for the year of almost $50,000 and nearly $300,000 in various bank accounts.
Nearly $24,000 was received from Northampton County sheriff’s department traffic enforcement, far short of the $75,000 budgeted.
But the town received nearly $39,000 of the $40,000 it expected from Cheriton Police Department traffic enforcement, even though the police department was active only until the end of September.
The police car sold for $25,000 and the police equipment and weapons brought in $4,775.
Since the police department became inactive, the town saved money on the police chief’s salary and benefits. Only about $20,500 was spent, compared to about $57,000 in the previous year.
Councilwoman Jackie Davis asked why the the town’s DMV office made around $19,500, about $5,000 less than last year. Town Clerk Stacey Sparrow confirmed that the office is making fewer sales because more people are doing their business with DMV online.
Cheriton’s department of building and code enforcement, headed by Warren “Ski” Wisneski, made about $6,100, more than double the revenue the department brought in last year.
Meal tax revenue approached $10,000 this year, nearly twice the $5,000 budgeted. Cheriton made a little more than $6,000 in meal tax revenue in FY 2018.
In FY 2020, Cheriton may apply for another $1,000 Virginia Municipal League Risk Management grant, used to purchase items that improve safety, like traffic cones. The mayor asks that any ideas be passed along to the town clerk.