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March 28, 2019 - Hampton City Council received an update Wednesday on recent polling and public meetings held to discuss the city budget for fiscal year 2020. They also heard from Community Development Director Terry O'Neil on the city's Resilient Hampton efforts, designed to deal with the problems of flooding and sea level rise.
Dacia Walker, website manager from the city's Marketing and Outreach office, told Council that more than 800 people responded to three public meetings and an online poll looking for input into the upcoming budget.
The poll - which accounted for most of the responses - focused on two questions: residents' preference for either maintaining or reducing solid waste services; and their preference for either maintaining or raising stormwater fees. Each change would include a related change in cost or service.
Although not statistically valid, the poll is a key part of the city's I Value campaign, which each year helps officials determine the services and costs that are most important to residents.
Walker noted that increased engagement using social media - including Facebook and Twitter - reached close to 10,000 people and informational videos on the budget process were viewed more than 6,000 times.
O'Neil spoke about ongoing efforts in Hampton and the region to address the challenges of sea level rise and continued flooding. He said the most recent phase of Resilient Hampton included a discussion of ways to slow, store or redirect water and then "adapt the way we do business in our community." One key takeaway was the need to solve flooding while providing benefits to the neighborhoods. O'Neil discussed a number of immediate, mid-term and long term projects. Several Council members were enthusiastic about the efforts and Council agreed to move forward with the Resilient Hampton efforts.
City Manager Mary Bunting is expected to present a preview of the FY20 budget on April 10, and a recommended budget to City Council on April 15. Council will then hold public hearings on the proposed budget on April 24 and May 1. A final Council vote is set for May 8.