Vice mayor of Virginia Beach recommends changes to proposed 2018 budget

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The vice mayor of Virginia Beach presented recommended changes to the proposed budget for 2018 on Tuesday.

One of the suggestions calls for reallocating funds to provide an extra $1 million for stormwater improvements.

Beach’s wish list of stormwater improvements tops $400 million

This would involve taking money away from four other general government projects, including the Lynnhaven Parkway corridor improvements.

Some council members, including Shannon Kane, expressed concern about impacting that work. City Manager Dave Hansen agreed to go back to the table and see if they can avoid taking money from the project.

Many residents have called on extra funds to prevent flooding after thousands were impacted by Hurricane Matthew.

Virginia Wasserberg, founder of the Stop the Flooding Now Facebook page, attended Tuesday’s informal session.

“We just have to take what we can get and what we can get is what the city manager has proposed, because once water starts entering your home, you’ve gotta take what you can get.”

Also at Wednesday’s meeting, council voted 7-1 to defer a vote on a resolution to direct the city attorney to draft ordinances regarding the removal of light rail taxes and fee increases. The city has collected a 1.8 cent real estate tax from Beach residents since 2015, which was started to help fund the light rail extension.

Some residents and even council members have called for the tax to be repealed. Mayor Will Sessoms, however, has said that he wants to shift the purpose of the tax money from light rail to funding stormwater improvements.

Council is expected to vote on both the resolution and the proposed budget on May 9.