By Sarah Vogelsong
The Port Royal Town Council moved one step closer to approval of its boundary readjustment following a public hearing at the Port Royal Town Hall Wednesday night.
One resident, who expressed her satisfaction with the agreement, was in attendance at the hearing. After a brief discussion of procedure, the council adjourned.
The April 30 hearing was mostly a formality. Both the town council and the Caroline County Board of Supervisors approved the readjustment in November, but, said Vice Mayor Bill Wick, the agreement hadn’t been formally drawn up at the time of the previous Port Royal hearing, although both parties had come to a consensus about its terms.
“That wasn’t available when we were here, so therefore, since it involved the land, we had to have one more hearing to make sure it was okay,” said Wick.
Under the readjustment, Port Royal will expand by 411 acres from its current 78 to include the majority of the businesses that serve the town. The expansion is projected to net the town somewhere in the area of $60,000 in annual revenue. In 2014 Port Royal’s expenses were around $23,000 to $25,000, whereas revenue was between roughly $18,000 and $19,000.
“That’s the reason why we need the boundary line adjustment,” said Wick.
The town council first proposed the boundary readjustment in November 2012 after Union First Market Bank closed, resulting in a loss of around $7,000 of the town’s revenue.
Without an expansion, Wick said, “the town would have to give up its charter.”
The readjustment would represent the first time Caroline County has given up land to Port Royal.
Webb & Associates, the Fredericksburg firm hired to draw the new lines, is about 90 percent done with the surveying, Wick said. The only line that still needs to be completed is the new line that will run parallel to U.S. 301. If the weather holds up, Wick anticipates receiving the complete survey by May 10.
The council will then check the drawings and turn the agreement over to Long and Thomas to be signed. Finally, all of the agreement’s documentation, including notices of the hearings held in Caroline County and Port Royal, hearing minutes and conclusions, the signed agreement, the notarized survey, and the relevant Virginia statute on “Boundary Line Adjustment by Agreement,” will be sent to a circuit court judge, who will approve or reject it depending on whether the readjustment process was carried out correctly.
“She’s approving the process, not the line itself,” said Wick.
If the judge grants approval, the agreement will enter into force on July 1.