Library Seeks Relief In '93 Budget Book

Commissioners Review Department Spending Plans

March 22, 1992|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff writer

Was it a book review or a budget review?

Presentation of the Carroll County Public Library's proposed $3.43 million spending plan for fiscal 1993 took on tones of both Thursday before the commissioners.

Before they talked numbers, they talked books.

Literary-mindedreaders might want to know that Commissioner Julia W. Gouge is reading "Scarlett: The Sequel to Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind," and Library Director Martha M. Makosky is studying "Reinventing America," a book about reforming American government.

The latter also happens to be on the bookshelf of Steven D. Powell, director of Management and Budget.

Makosky, extolling the book's virtues, offered toprovide the commissioners with their own copies.

The commissioners, finishing another week of budget hearings, seemed more interested in getting on with spending reviews.

The library's proposed 1993 budget is 10.3 percent more, or about $320,000, than the revised budget for fiscal 1992. Officials attributed the increase to costs associated with the Jan. 1 opening of the new Mount Airy library.

"Overall, the (proposed) budget is the same as it is now," Makosky said.

The no-growth budget comes as the five-branch system is experiencing double-digit growth. Circulation of books and other materials, she said, was up 12.4 percent, to 2.17 million during the past year.

Makosky said she was uncertainty how state budget cuts would affect library system revenues.

She is no more uncertain than are county officials.

The state Senate last week approved a 1993 budget bill thatcalls for a $7.5 million reduction in state dollars previously earmarked for Carroll.

Powell said that although the county budget office had planned for the bulk of the cuts, it still would have to trim "a couple of million dollars" if the state budget package is approvedby the delegates and the governor.

Del. Richard C. Matthews, a Carroll Republican, said he would vote against the Senate plan because it "didn't do enough cutting for me."

"I'm not for increasing taxes," he said. "This is an opportunity to cut the size of government. We might never have this opportunity again."

County budget work sessions, scheduled to begin this week after the hearings conclude, may be postponed until county officials have concrete state dollar figures to work with, Powell said.

The Recreation and Parks Department'soverall proposed $1.96 million spending plan is 2.47 percent, or $47,313, more than the current revised budget. Recreation and Parks officials called the spending plan "conservative."

Recreation officials said some of the increase is needed to purchase more wine glasses for the annual Maryland Wine Festival, held each fall at the Carroll County Farm Museum.

During last year's festival, organizers ran outof wine glasses about 2 p.m. Sunday, leaving many late wine tasters upset. Festival organizers plan to purchase about 30,000 glasses thisyear.

Within the Recreation and Parks Department, several programs submitted level-funding budgets, including: snow removal, $5,500; woodland management, $2,350; Homestead Museum, $15,000; Arts Council, $15,000; and Rental Properties, $5,525.

Other Recreation and ParksDepartment programs presented budgets that ranged from a 4.8 percentincrease in spending to a 4.1 percent decrease.

Land Management and Maintenance, for example, has asked for a 4.8 percent increase in spending -- to $564,190 -- over its revised 1992 budget. The additional money would pay for contractual mowing service in outlying areas and more supplies for the Carroll Community College grounds.

The Sports Complex is seeking 4.1 percent less than its revised 1992 budget. The proposed $23,150 spending plan takes into account an anticipated increase this summer in users and user fees at the complex off Route 97.

No-growth budgets were presented by both the Sexual Abuse Treatment Center, which is asking for $227,555 for fiscal 1993, and theBattered Spouse Program, seeking $34,595.

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