TROUTVILLE — Money dominated the Sept. 21 Troutville Town Council meeting with members deciding to increase rent on a town-owned property and purchase new Christmas decorations.
Council decided to raise the rent of TJ Automotive at 5374 Lee Highway from $500 a month to $750 monthly, while keeping Sunshine Services LLC’s monthly rental at $125. The building also serves as storage for town-owned equipment. Council member Dean Paderick said the building is more than 2,700 square feet, with TJ Automotive renting 1,220 square feet, Sunshine using 140 square feet and the town’s storage the remainder. Similar properties in the town rent for more than $1,000 a month.
The town paid $320,000 for the building several years ago through a special municipal loan program. Under the terms of the loan, Troutville cannot charge more than $1,590 in rent monthly for the building until the loan is paid off. Paderick said the town purchased the building for easy access to the park. The original owner was asking $380,000 for the property, but a deal was struck that if the town lets JT Automotive stay in the space for two years, the price would come down. “Those two years are long gone,” said Council member Granville Grant. “We honored our word.”
Troutville will also be receiving new Christmas Decorations this season. Upon a unanimous vote, council allotted upwards of $20,000 for new decorations. Council members Laura Bumgarner and Doris Camper are heading the ad hoc committee. The current Christmas decorations are more than 15 years old and are not usable. “They’ve outlived their use. In my estimation you have 10 decorations that will work,” said Paderick, adding that the town normally puts up around 25 decorations each season.
Committee members said they will look for the best Christmas decoration bargains, including catalogues and nearby retail stores.
In other business, by unanimous vote, council adopted an ordinance that is unlawful not to clean up and dispose from any defecation of household pets within the towns limits. It is now a fourth-class misdemeanor. Council decided to leave the penalty up to a judge, who could impose a $250 fine.
During a nearly 25-minute executive session, council voted to reduce the hours of its full-time and part-time clerks. Carol Lemon’s hours were reduced to 32 hours a week, while Dee Dee Bruce’s are now 16 weekly. “We took eight hours way from each,” explained Paderick.