Columbia Council winds down study of new budget

February 18, 1993|By Mark Guidera | Mark Guidera,Staff Writer

The Columbia Council will conduct its last work session on the proposed 1993-1994 budget this evening, focusing on capital spending and rates for memberships to Columbia Association recreational facilities and programs.

The council has already agreed in a straw vote to include one major capital program in the budget -- the construction of an 18-hole golf course on 204-acres of undeveloped land in the villages of Wilde Lake, Town Center and Dorsey's Search. The project will cost an estimated $5.5 million.

At tonight's meeting, which starts at 8 p.m., the council will review the other $4.6 million in proposed capital spending.

Among the largest proposed capital projects are:

* $520,000 for repairs to the damat Wilde Lake.

* $290,000 for pathway and boardwalk construction in Long Reach.

* $242,000 for repairs and improvements to neighborhood pools.

* $241,000 for purchasing construction equipment, such as trucks and trailers.

The council also will discuss proposed new membership rates for Columbia Association facilities.

The association is proposing rate increases from 8 percent to 18 percent for non-Columbia residents.

Rates for Columbia residents would rise no more than 3 percent under the proposal.

For example, the rate this year for "Package Plan I" membership for a family, one of the most popular types of memberships sold, is $510 for Columbia residents. The rate for nonresidents is $760, a $250 difference.

The proposed new rate for residents would be $525, a $15 increase. The same membership for nonresidents would rise $65 to $825 under the association's proposal -- a $300 difference.

In the fall, the Columbia Council directed the association to widen the margin between recreational fees for lien-payers and those paid by outsiders.

The nine-member council, which acts as a board of directors for the non-profit association, said it wanted to make Columbia residents feel that their assessment payment gives them advantages not offered to nonassessment payers.

Also at tonight's meeting, the council's budget committee will issue its annual report.

The council is scheduled to take a vote March 1 on the $30.2 million operating budget and $10.1 million capital budget. The Columbia property assessment lien rate -- 73 cents per $100 of assessed value -- is expected to remain unchanged. The budget takes effect May 1.

A final public hearing on the budget may be held Feb. 25 if the council decides it is needed.

Tonight's meeting will be held at association headquarters at 10221 Wincopin Circle, Columbia. Information: 715-3000.

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