Bedford, VA - A three judge panel has approved and signed an agreement that reverts Bedford from city to town status, effective July 2013.
The judges, brought in from areas outside Bedford, were presented with nine joint exhibits by the city and county at the Bedford County Courthouse Tuesday.
The panel commended city and county leaders on their cooperation over the last five years of negotiations.
"We've got it all done. We've put a nice bow around it," said Bedford Mayor Skip Tharp.
The newly formed town could see $1,100,000 in additional revenue each year. The consolidated school system stands to receive $6,200,000 million from the state each year.
"It's going to mean a chance to grow, to be better," said Tharp. "There's going to be increased funding for the schools. With economic development being focused on now, by the city and town, we can help the town grow and help the core part of the county grow."
"We'll take it any way we can get it, through businesses other than tax increases", said Steve Arrington, chairman of the county's Board of Supervisors.
Arrington admits he still doesn't like one part of the agreement, a town boundary change that would mean some county residents will eventually live in the town.
"Many of our citizens that will be taken in will certainly get a tax increase, and I don't like that," said Arrington. "I'm very unhappy with that."
The city and county will consolidate water and sewer service, under the agreement. The city currently has no backup water supply in a drought.
The city is asking the General Assembly for a new town charter. The judges conformed the current charter temporarily.