Story by Chris Graham
It was so quick that the newspapers and TV missed it, but Waynesboro City Councilwoman Lorie Smith raised an interesting idea at last week’s City Council meeting as to what the city could decide to do with the $560,000 in found money coming from a year-end budget surplus.
“I’ve got questions around that. I don’t know if we can legally rebate some of that money to the taxpayers,” Smith said at the Jan. 25 City Council meeting, before asking City Manager Mike Hamp to explore the options available to the city to use the surplus money for a refund to taxpayers.
The focus to that point had been on using the money to fund unfinished city projects.
Smith also asked Hamp to explore the possible use of some of the monies to fund economic-development initiatives. The city has been without an economic-development director since August 2008, and development efforts have been on the backburner with the position left open.
“Those are all comprehensive discussion pieces that I’d like to see the Council undertake as we move forward so that we can work with a plan in mind,” Smith said.