SYKESVILLE — While other Carroll municipalities already have started the fiscal 1993 budget process, the Town Council still is struggling to balance its current fiscal budget.
The council Monday approved $52,077 in budget cuts for fiscal 1992, reducing its $687,307 budget to $635,230.
"The recession has affected revenues, and the amendment reflects what isn't coming in to get a balanced budget," said Town Manager James L. Schumacher. "We are required by law to have a balanced budget."
The council began discussing budget cuts in January, when Schumacher proposed slashing $30,200 in expenditure to make up for expected revenue shortfalls.
Hoping for some relief from the state during the just-ended General Assembly session, town officials never made those cuts official, said Clerk-Treasurer Vince Diffenbaugh.
"Everybody's been watching their budgets closely since January," Diffenbaugh said.
When no relief came after last week's extended state legislative session, the council unanimously voted Monday to cut its budget.
The new budget reflects the following anticipated revenue reductions:
* Property taxes -- $18,877. "We based those figures on what we get from the state and now we're finding that the state overestimated the number of new homes that would be built this year," Diffenbaugh said.
* Income tax -- $10,000.
* State police protection grant -- $9,500.
* County off-highway user system fund -- $4,500.
* Trash collection charges and Dumpster rental fees -- $4,000.
* Interest on savings -- $4,000.
* State highway user fund -- $4,000.
* Town building rentals -- $4,000.
* Train station rental -- $2,500.
The only anticipated revenue increase is $1,300 in parking violations.
To make up for the shortfalls, the council pulled money from the capital improvement and contingency funds.
"We took $31,565 from the capital outlay of $50,041," Diffenbaugh said. "We knew when we made this budget there were going to be problems down the road, so we put off buying those things in the capital budget."
At Council President Kenneth Clark's suggestion, the council put a $10,000contingency fund in the budget last year. Any unused money would have gone back to the capital improvement fund. Monday's budget amendment emptied the contingency fund.
All town departments were cut by varying amounts.
"Some departments were hit more than others," Diffenbaugh said. "We tried to make it 5 percent for everybody, but some departments couldn't handle it this late in the budget year.
Diffenbaugh could not say how this year's cuts will affect fiscal 1993, which begins July 1. The council will begin working on that budget in May.