Council places emphasis on cultural events

Published 11:19 am Monday, June 3, 2024

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The Windsor Town Council reached consensus May 14 to place an enhanced emphasis on cultural events in the proposed fiscal year 2024-25 town budget.

David Adams

Councilman David Adams prompted this emphasis when he shared a budget recommendation with the council during its May 14 meeting.

“During our last meeting, (Vice Mayor J. Randy) Carr and I were kind of talking about potentially reducing a few line items and then maybe putting that amount into potentially another fund that we could use to host some community events in addition to the Christmas parade and the Fourth of July event, maybe some events at the Windsor Town Center or other things that we could do with the taxpayers’ money that would continue to foster that sense of community that the town of Windsor is known for,” Adams said.

“I did have a few line items that I had sent over to (Town Manager William) Saunders saying that I think these would be the items that I would consider,” Adams continued. “I came up with about a total of $15,000 that I would like to repurpose to the General Fund expenditures page 30 Cultural Events item.”

Walter Bernacki

Councilman Walter Bernacki brought up the accreditation of the police department, the process for which is underway, and he asked if sufficient funding was allocated to that process or if some of the aforementioned $15,000 would need to be put toward that process first because of the commitment the council had already made to it.

“Because I know initially we tried to get a grant for some of it that was denied, so I just didn’t know where we’re at with that,” he added.

Saunders said, “We created a line item for $15,000 to carry forward some of the software expenses and consulting expenses that we’re having on accreditation right now. We have also paid for, out of this year’s budget, some equipment that makes improvements to the actual police department itself as far as the evidence lockup room and such.

“I feel like we’re in good stead,” Saunders continued. “We may have to dip into contingency for that, but again it’s kind of an unknown, but we at least know we have probably the amount for consulting and the software systems that are strictly for that program in already.”

Windsor Police Chief Rodney “Dan” Riddle said it is difficult to give a firm dollar estimate needed in association with accreditation because as new issues are found, new projects requiring upgrades result. He indicated that the department is trying to operate as conservatively as it can, with members even doing some of the construction labor themselves in the instance of physical upgrades being required at the department’s headquarters.

“I wish I had a number to give you, but I don’t,” he said. “I’ve given the boss my best estimates as to what I’m going to need to get it done and just keep trucking on it.”

He later added, “We’re still pursuing some other grant activity.”

Bernacki later asked Adams for more information on his recommendation, specifically with regard to the total amount of money allocated to cultural events.

“If you look at our 2023 budget, we allocated $31,150,” Adams said. “This year is recommended $15,000, and I’m saying I just want to return it to the previous level. … My intent is that we start, after the pandemic, rebuilding those community ties by hosting events or just getting citizens to come out and engage one another again. That’s my goal.”

Bernacki said he thinks Adams’ recommendation is doable, and he noted that the town still has options.

“Personally, I agree with Mr. Adams — start building the community back up, getting people out and engaged and getting back out to meet their neighbors,” he said. “I think that makes it a better community.”

George Stubbs

Windsor Mayor George Stubbs said he agreed with Bernacki.

“The Events Committee is open for suggestions of how we can get out into the community and get people to volunteer and to assist us in what we’re trying to do,” Stubbs said. “So far it’s been I won’t say difficult, but we’ve had less activity and response than what we had hoped for.”

No vote was deemed necessary in connection with Adams’ recommendation, but it was agreed upon that a consensus existed among council members to follow through with it. The updated proposed budget includes a recommended total of $30,200 for cultural events.


The proposed FY 2025 town budget and Capital Improvement Plan will be the subject of a public hearing at a special Town Council meeting held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, May 30, at Windsor Town Hall, which is located at 8 E. Windsor Blvd.

The proposed budget is balanced with $4,982,164.72 in both revenues and expenditures.

Following are the major categories of the budget that comprise that $4.98 million total:

  • General Fund — $3,647,664.72;
  • Water Fund — $1,171,000;
  • Space Needs Fund — $105,000; and
  • Town Center Fund — $58,500.

William Saunders

Saunders noted in his budget summary that the proposed FY25 budget is balanced in all funds without cutting services, and it is approximately 18% smaller than the revised FY24 budget.

The proposed FY25 budget includes a 2-cent increase in the real estate tax, going from 13 to 15 cents per $100 of assessed value. Saunders explained in his summary that this will constitute an increase in taxes levied of about $57,000 more than the previous FY24 draft. He also noted that 2 cents on a $250,000 home equals $50.

Saunders stated that the Isle of Wight County Commissioner of Revenue has estimated a countywide increase of 5.1% in personal property (vehicle) values, but Saunders indicated that increases at that level are not envisioned for the town. The commissioner also estimated a 7.4% increase in machinery and tools values. 

The proposed town budget maintains the current rates of 50 cents per $100 of assessed value for personal property (vehicles) and 25 cents per $100 of assessed value for machinery and tools, Saunders noted.

He stated that no rate increase is planned in connection with the meals tax, though revenue is estimated to increase by about 9% for FY25.

Saunders also shared that the proposed budget maintains the cigarette tax of 40 cents per pack.

Complete copies of the proposed FY 2025 town budget and Capital Improvement Plan are available to view in person at the Town Hall and online at