Loudoun School Board Approves Budget
The Loudoun County School Board last week approved the nearly $60 million budget proposed several weeks ago by School Superintendent Robert Butts for 1986-87. Under the new plan, starting teachers would receive $20,000 a year, an increase of $2,500. The board also approved Butts' proposal for an 11 percent raise for all teachers and funding for 32 new teacher positions. The Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on the school budget in May.
In a separate action, the board approved raises for Deputy Superintendent Robert Jarvis and assistant superintendents George Atwell and Arthur Welch. Butt, who is serving his fifth four-year term, did not receive a raise. When the board renewed his contract last year, it kept his salary at $65,000. Leesburg Hopes to Expand Airport
The Leesburg Town Council last week authorized Town Manager Jeff Minor to apply for state and federal assistance that will enable the town to extend the runway at the Leesburg Municipal Airport 1,000 feet at its south end and expand the aircraft parking apron. According to Deputy Manager Steve Owen, the expansion will enable the parking apron to accommodate 50 aircraft more than its current capacity of 150. The runway extension was approved by the Federal Aviation Administration in December and will ultimately allow the airport to accommodate corporate aircraft, he said. The work will cost more than $3 million; the federal government will pay 90 percent, the state and the town 5 percent each.
In other business, the council amended the town code to allow an eighth member to be added to the newly created Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission. According to the resolution, the change was made because the council, which created the commission to oversee development of the 141-acre park donated to the town last year by local businessman William Rust, wants a wide variety of recreational interests represented in the group. The council also extended from June 30 to Dec. 30 the deadline by which the commission must present its recommendations on development, funding and use. This was done, the council said, to give the group adequate time to develop the park, named after Rust's grandmother, Ida Lee, into "one of the finest public recreational facilities in Northern Virginia." Paeonian Springs Council Planned
The residents of Paeonian Springs, a hamlet of 400 off Rte. 9 near Waterford, will meet tonight at 7:30 to take the first steps toward forming a Paeonian Springs Council. The area needs road improvements and street lighting, according to spokeswoman Betty Shifflett, but Paeonian Springs is unincorporated and therefore has no official voice to speak for its residents. "We need some clout to take to the county with our needs," Shifflett said.
Although officers have not been elected, Shifflett said that William Buckhardt, at whose home the meeting will be held, will probably be named council president. Buckhardt, who runs the only business in Paeonian Springs, the Workhorse Museum, coordinated the village's first Paeonian Springs Day last summer. He was also the force behind a successful drive in 1984 to retain the village's post office after the postal service announced it might remove it. Buckhardt has organized people to write a history of the town, founded more than 100 years ago, write constitutional bylaws and determine the town's boundaries.
Once the council is formed, each of its members will donate $5 to start a fund for official stationery and other necessities, Shifflett said. "After that, we will have to figure out other ways to raise revenue," she said. The council will attempt to get Rte. 662 improved, have speed limit signs erected on Rte. 9 to make it safer for people to turn into Paeonian Springs at Rte. 662, and get lighting for several roads in the area. "Safety is our goal," Shifflett said.
All residents are invited to tonight's meeting. For information, call Shifflett at 338-3474. Water Rate Fears Downplayed
Despite fears voiced last year by a small group of Purcellville residents who said the $1.2 million water treatment plant under construction would raise water bills to an unmanageable level, Mayor Ron Masters said it is unlikely the charges will go as high as the $3.35 per thousand gallons tentatively proposed. Currently, the town charges $1 per thousand gallons, "a ridiculously low rate," Masters said. The new rates will be effective in July.
The town council last week proposed an amendment to the tax ordinance that would raise to $18,000 the maximum allowed gross income for people over 65 to qualify for tax relief. It also raised their maximum allowed financial worth to $65,000. The amendment will probably be approved at the March 10 meeting, Masters said. "We have such a low number of people who fall into that category that it's not much of a burden for us." Masters also cited an increase in the cost of living as a factor in the amendment. Hummer Will Not Seek Another Term
Lovettsville Mayor J.R. Hummer said last week he will not seek reelection when residents go to the polls May 6. Hummer, who has served two terms, said that the job is "too time-consuming" and that the electrical parts business he runs next to his home has suffered.
He also said he wants to spend more time with his wife Grace, who was seriously ill in December. Grace Hummer, a council member, also will not seek reelection.
Sources said a possible mayoral candidate is Susan-Jane Stack, who with her husband David waged a successful two-year political fight to prevent certain residential properties, including some belonging to the Hummers, from being rezoned commercial. Said Stack, "I'm not prepared to comment yet. I'm still thinking about it." Park Development Bids Considered
The Hamilton Town Council is considering three bids for the development of the 4.5 acres it designated last year for parks.
Hamilton officials are considering using a portion of the acreage as a permanent site for their town hall. Currently, the council meets in a building owned by the Hamilton Fire Department. The town may hire Robert Leathers, a New York architect, to design a creative playground in one corner of the park. Leathers will be in Hamilton March 21 to discuss ideas with officials and residents. Officials Pleased With Meal Tax Results
Middleburg officials are pleased with a recently received report on first quarter revenues from the 1 percent meal tax the Town Council implemented in October. According to Town Manager Gerard Rogers, the town coffers received "about what we estimated." The meal tax, imposed over the objection of several restaurant owners who said the town was "singling them out" to raise funds necessary for capital improvements, is expected to generate $20,000 a year.
Restaurateurs said their objection was not to the tax itself but to the extra bookkeeping it entails. At Rogers' request, state Sen. Charles Waddell (D-Loudoun) has introduced legislation that would allow the town to give restaurant owners a rebate to cover bookkeeping costs. "We aren't discriminating against restaurant owners," said Rogers. "We're taxing the people who eat here, most of whom aren't even residents." Restaurants make up 10 percent of the town's business community. Conflict Over Water Line Grant
Some Hillsboro residents objected last week to a proposal that town officials pay for a much-needed water line through town with moneys from a state community block grant. According to Mayor Alexandra Spaith, residents of the historic town are independent and are concerned about losing their autonomy if officials accept grant money. The Town Council, Spaith said, will continue to explore other options to pay for the project, expected to cost more than $8,000. Penny Grabb, director of the Northern Virginia Planning Commission, which administers the grants, is expected to speak to the council and community March 11.