Commissioners act on requests for 1995 budget

April 06, 1994|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Sun Staff Writer

An article in Wednesday's Carroll County section of The Sun did not accurately represent the position of Commissioner Donald I. Dell on creating a new job in the Public Works Department for an employee to oversee landfill operations. Mr. Dell said incidents of thefts from the landfill called the attention of the commissioners to the need for an oversight job but were not the only reason for creating the post.

The Sun regrets the errors.

Carroll County commissioners continued to cut the fiscal 1995 operating budget yesterday by denying requests from the state's attorney for investigators, from the public library for materials and from the Department of General Services for two-way radios.

The commissioners voted, however, to give more money to volunteer fire departments, replenish an economic development fund and hire a part-time psychiatrist to help troubled youths and adults.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

In a budget work session, the commissioners agreed to cut about $1 million from a list of about $1.4 million in requests from county departments and agencies.

Budget Director Steven D. Powell told them last week that they could afford to spend about $600,000 on the requests, which included new jobs and equipment beyond the amounts he had recommended for the department and agency budgets.

The commissioners now have about $200,000 left to spend on any issues raised at a public hearing on the budget at 7:30 p.m. May 12 at Westminster High School. They must adopt a budget by late May.

The county's operating budget for fiscal 1995, which begins July 1, is expected to be about $142 million. That is about 9 percent more than this year's $130 million budget.

County revenues, including property and income taxes, are expected to rise by almost 10 percent next year.

The commissioners have said they do not expect to increase taxes.

They delayed until Friday a decision about whether to hire an employee in the Public Works Department to oversee landfill operations.

Commissioner Julia W. Gouge said she was concerned that the commissioners did not know what the employee's title, salary or job duties would be.

Commissioner Donald I. Dell said he was willing to let Public Works Director Keith R. Kirschnick decide whether the employee would be a landfill bureau chief or an assistant public works director.

The commissioners said they would discuss the issue with Mr. Kirschnick and other landfill employees at a closed dinner meeting at 5:30 p.m. yesterday.

Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy and Mr. Dell said recently that the new position was needed to help prevent employees from stealing.

Three Hoods Mill Landfill employees were arrested in November and charged with stealing recyclable metals, which were sold to a Pennsylvania recycler.

Among the requests the commissioners approved were:

* $156,000 to help replenish an economic development fund used to help industries locate or expand in the county.

* $131,155 to the operating budget of the Carroll County Volunteer Firemen's Association. The county has contributed 70 percent of the association's operating budget in past years; the increase raises the county contribution to 75 percent, or about $2.9 million.

* $28,000 to hire a part-time psychiatrist for the Youth Service Bureau and Family and Children's Services. The doctor would work eight hours a week with troubled youth and adults.

* $27,700 to increase raises for cardiac rescue technicians (CRTs) and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) who work for county volunteer fire departments to $1 an hour from 50 cents an hour. Mr. Powell had recommended the 50-cent raise.

With the $1 raise, CRTs would earn $8 an hour, and EMTs would earn $7.50 an hour.

Among the requests the commissioners denied yesterday were:

* $211,400 for various positions and equipment in the state's attorney's office, including $170,000 for the Criminal Investigation Division.

State's Attorney Thomas E. Hickman said he wanted to use the $170,000 to hire two child-abuse investigators and two secretaries, buy two computers and renovate CID offices at the state police barracks.

* $195,000 for requests from Carroll County Public Library officials for juvenile materials in all branches, books and periodicals in all branches and new carpet in the Eldersburg branch.

* $97,500 to buy 75 radios at $1,300 each for county roads crews, snow truck drivers and inspectors. Officials had asked for $195,000 to buy 150 radios; Mr. Powell included $97,500 in the General Services Department budget for radios.

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