WILLIAMSBURG—The Williamsburg City Council approved a nearly $9 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year after a second reading on Wednesday night.

Last Monday night, city council members heard a first reading of the budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year where Mayor Roddy Harrison said the city will see a $606,115 increase from last year’s budget for a total of $8,824,344.

Due to an increase in projected expenditures, Harrison said this year’s budget does not include a raise for city employees like last year’s budget had.

“Needless to say, the budget is so tight that we don’t have a raise in this budget right now,” he said. “Hopefully, maybe if we see a little more income coming in and we do some cutbacks on some hard issues, at some point in the year, maybe we can do that. But at this point in the budget, there is not a raise at all.”

On Wednesday evening, city council members approved the budget after a second reading during a special-called meeting.

During the council’s budget discussion on Monday night, Harrison also discussed the Kentucky Splash Waterpark, which he said has seen a decrease in numbers so far this summer.

“We are not having the crowds we normally do,” he said. “I think it’s attributed to the fact that the kiddie pool is not ready. Obviously that’s the huge draw.”

The city will be replacing the kiddie feature at the park but the new feature has not yet arrived, Harrison said.

“It looks like it’s going to be here July 10th and I believe it’s going to take us seven days to put that in,” Harrison said about the new kiddie feature. “So we’ll have it middle to end of July and some of August. We’ve put up pictures around so that people know what it’s going to look like and hopefully that’ll stir up some interest.”

Since the kiddie feature has not yet been installed, the waterpark has adjusted their admission rates to allow children 5 years and younger in for free. Previously, the park only allowed children 2 years and younger in for free.

In other city council business:

-City council members heard the first reading of an ordinance amending the city’s personnel policy and procedures that would allow for all departments to add Juneteenth as a paid holiday for all city employees. This year, Juneteenth falls on Sunday, June 19, but will be observed by the city on Monday, June 20.

On Wednesday, the council approved the second reading of the ordinance which gave all city employees Monday off as a paid holiday. City Hall was also closed that day.

-City council members approved the second reading of the Williamsburg Tourism Commission budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year on Wednesday night, after a first reading was conducted on Monday night. The budget included total expenses of $1,040,000.

Williamsburg Tourism Director Alvin Sharpe mentioned the updates going on at the Williamsburg Tourism and Convention Center, which was allotted $122,000 in the budget and will include updates to the center’s back gymnasium and redoing the front of the building.

“You’re really going to be impressed with what we’ve got going on there,” Sharpe said.

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