Sykesville Budget Recipe Takes A Pinch Of This And That

May 26, 1991|By Ellie Baublitz | Ellie Baublitz,Staff writer

SKYESVILLE — SYKESVILLE -- After three hours of juggling expected revenue with expenditures, the mayor and Town Council drafted Thursday a proposed 1992 operating budget of $685,307, which includes a 5-cent property taxincrease and a $15,550 reserve fund for emergencies.

The town property tax rate would rise from 68 cents to 73 cents per $100 of assessed value and would mean a $26 increase -- to $391 in town taxes -- on the average $134,000 home. County taxes are an added $1,260.

The budget will be presented for a public hearing at the regular Town Council meeting at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Town House. Depending on public comments, the council could vote to pass the budget at the meeting.

"When I first came on board (1981), we had over $100,000 in a reserve fund, and every year we had to dip into it in May or June," said Mayor Lloyd R. Helt Jr. in pushing for the additional fund.

"The last two or three years, however, we've had to dip into thecapital budget for things we've needed," he said.

Council President Kenneth W. Clark said that the town gets caught in a shortfall each spring because state revenue checks don't come in until the end of the last quarter of the fiscal year.

During Thursday night's budget workshop, the council increased its revenue projection slightly, while cutting expenditures enough to allow for the new reserve fund.

Three significant changes were made in the proposed revenue, which totals $685,307. Trash collection revenue was reduced by $2,500, to $20,000, while the town's projected income from Baldwin's Restaurant atthe train station was increased by $2,500, to $8,500.

Trash collection and Dumpster rental revenue was cut after council members questioned the need for a large increase, fearing that businesses would behurt if fees were raised too much.

"We need the money from the commercial community to cover tipping fees," said Town Manager James L.Schumacher.

"Baldwin's has done so well its first quarter that we're expecting them to do better than originally anticipated," Helt said.

The town receives either $500 a month or 2 percent of the gross, whichever is greater, from the restaurant owners. The town owns the train station and leases it to Baldwin's.

The council also doubled its estimate of recreation admission fees to $1,000.

Anticipated expenditures were $669,757, plus $15,550 for the reserve fund, for a total of $685,307. Changes in expenditures included:

* Adding $2,000 to send council members and other officials to Maryland Municipal League and other conventions, which Helt said helps them in their jobs.

* Adding $2,000 for legal services for updating the town's charter.

* Reducing tipping fees by $1,000 in the hope that the new recycling center will help residents cut down on the amount of trash to be taken to county landfills.

The council also added $6,500 toward a new police station to the capital budget of $50,571. A separatecapital projects budget has been set up for this year's budget that is partly subsidized from the operating budget, said Vincent J. Diffenbaugh, clerk/treasurer.

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