Liz Kirchner

Sun poured in the tall windows of the industrial chic loft space upstairs at the Great Road Hall on Main Street Saturday morning where about a dozen citizens gathered for coffee with Christiansburg Mayor Mike Barber. The monthly events are held at small businesses and venues throughout town and are designed to generate casual conversation among town staff, town council and residents.

In the elegant loft of the Great Road Hall on Christiansburg’s Main Street, a dozen citizens gathered for the March coffee with the mayor. The casual and far-reaching conversation touched on the town budget, the state of the roads, tourism and senior-citizens’ concerns about utility prices.

At this month’s coffee, the mayor introduced Treasurer and Finance Director Valerie Tweedie and Deputy of Finance Deanna Cox.

Tweedie described the months’-long, processes of generating a town budget that pays for everything from HVAC contracts and software to lawn mowing and travel.

Although directors submit wish lists that must be whittled down, there are basic costs of running a healthy town.

“There are mandated costs like water testing and auditing. You can’t cut that out of the budget,” Tweedie said.

She presented copies of the town’s newly published 2017-2018 Citizen Centric Report and a summary of the town’s 2018-2019 budget.

“Read the letter of transmittal to give you a summary of what’s going on and the financial state of the town in lay…

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