Hampstead Council Warns Delegation Of Budget Cuts' Effects

Reductionin Aid For Police Could Hinder Force

November 20, 1991|By Cindy Parr | Cindy Parr,Contributing writer

HAMPSTEAD — The Town Council met with Carroll's General Assembly delegation Monday to discuss potential effects of recent state budget cuts, including money for police protection.

"This meeting provided us the opportunity to give the delegates and Sen. (Larry E.) Haines a closer viewof local problems," said Mayor C. Clinton Becker.

Council members met for about 25 minutes at the Town Office with Delegates Richard C. Matthews, R-Carroll; Richard N. Dixon, D-Carroll; and Haines, R-Carroll, Baltimore; before the council's regular monthly meeting.

"One of our major concerns was the $5,500 cut in police aid for fiscal year 1992," the mayor said. He said further cuts would restrict the three-member town police force's ability to handle calls and assist state police in areas near town.

Becker said that before the meeting the delegation had not realized the importance of state police assistance.

"Both parties (Hampstead and the delegates) became more aware of each other's problems," he said. "We were able to gain a better appreciation for what we are facing."

Council members expressed concerns that the town had no way to increase revenue in the middle of the budget year, and asked how the town could recoup losses if additional state cuts come in January as expected.

"We just have to eat it," Becker said.

He said further cuts could affect the town's nine employees.

Haines replied that he would pass along town officials' concerns to the General Assembly, but said members were not in a mood to increase taxes.

"We are all faced with it," he said. "The loss of revenues from the sales and income tax and the state's budget deficit have caused a reduction in aid to the county and local government.

General state aid to Hampstead was cut by$1,750.

In other business, the Town Council discussed the cost ofrepairing the city swimming pool.

In recent months, council member Jackie Hyatt has secured bids from area pool contractors to repair the pool, which is maintained by the town and managed by the county YMCA.

"I think it is important that we have this type of recreational activity available," Hyatt said. "There are a number of young married couples with children in the vicinity that would miss this recreation."

The deck surrounding the pool and tiles within the pool areamong items that need replacement or repair.

Three area pool companies have given the town estimates of more than $20,000 for the repairs. The town's pool fund has $10,000 available.

Normally, the town's contingency fund could be used, Becker said, but he noted that inlight of recent state budget cuts, he would be hesitant to use that money for repairing the pool.

Becker said he thought the pool was important, but added that if the state made more cuts, in areas such as police aid, he would want to use that money to supplement the police department.

The council will meet with the three pool companiesSaturday to discuss the repair costs.

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