MANCHESTER — What started as a six-month experiment is becoming a more permanent fixture in town government, as the 1992 budget calls for the continuance of a projects administrator.
The position, filled by former Councilman David M. Warner, will cost the town $25,000 for the year beginning July 1, increasing by nearly $80 Warner's $400 weekly wage.
The projects administrator position was created earlier this yearwhen Warner stepped down from the council. He was initially hired ona 90-day contract, renewed last month. While he didn't say whether he would continue to be the council's choice for the job, he did say that he believed it would remain a short-term contractual position.
He is paid $20 an hour and is allowed to bill the town for 20 hours a week. Next year's budget calls for an additional four hours a week,Warner said.
Many consider the hiring of Warner and the creation of his job as a step toward hiring a full-time manager. But Warner, who has repeatedly insisted he would not take such a position, said the town didn't have the money to hire a manager during the next budgetyear.
Despite the increase in the project administrator's salary,little else has grown in the $829,869 spending plan approved last week by the Town Council.
The town will maintain its 42-cent tax rate, the lowest in the Baltimore metropolitan area.
"It was really quite a quiet session," Warner said.
To the owner of a $134,000 house, the 42 cents per $100 of assessed valuation means a town tax billof $225.12. The county share -- at $2.35 per $100 -- will come to $1,259.60.
Fiscal year 1992's budget represents a $13,080 -- or 1.6 percent -- increase over the current year's $816,789 spending plan.
In addition to the projects administrator funding, 1992's budget also includes $20,000 for a new police car, bringing the force's fleet to three cars.
The budget breaks down into $496,244 for the general fund, which represents an increase of 6.4 percent over the current year's $466,197; the water fund totals $124,100, a decrease of 1.8 percent and the sewer fund totals $209,525, a decrease of 6.5 percent.
Like most other municipalities, Manchester doesn't have a lot of spare cash to fund new projects. Its 1.6 percent spending increase is far below the 6.1 percent rate of inflation.
But some revenues aregoing up considerably, nonetheless. Property tax receipts will jump $12,305 to $156,097, a 9 percent increase over the current year's $143,792.
Also expected to increase is the town's share of the Town/County agreement, which will rise from $88,114 to $95,589, an 8.5 percent increase. The Town/County agreement calls for payments to municipalities for services that are duplicated by both them and the county.