No tax increase in proposed New Windsor budget

May 20, 1994|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Sun Staff Writer

New Windsor Mayor Jack A. Gullo Jr. and Clerk-Treasurer John Keck have proposed that the town's tax rate remain the same for the $181,360 fiscal 1995 budget, but they said town spending has to be curbed.

"There are things we are going to have to get a handle on this year. We are spending a lot of money," Mr. Gullo said.

"We have to encourage people to save. There has to be some incentive for saving money . . . to scrimp and save and make things work the way we want everything to work."

To further that goal, each section of the operating budget will be managed by a town official. That official must get approval for expenditures from the mayor and council.

The proposed operating budget is divided into five departments and the Enterprise Fund. The departments are general administrative, general operation, police, streets, and park and recreation.

Mr. Keck and Mr. Gullo oversee the $35,960 general administrative budget and the $60,700 general operation budget. General administration items include salaries, travel expenses, dues, bills and office supplies.

General operation items include fuel, heat and maintenance for municipal buildings, and trash services for residents.

The other departments in the budget correspond to town committees that are chaired by council members.

Park and Recreation Committee Chairman Terry Petry will oversee that department's $8,000 budget, which includes maintenance and landscaping a tiny park on the corner of routes 31 and 75.

Ronnie Blacksten, head of the police committee, will supervise the $32,000 used to pay for the resident trooper's salary and expenses and the Community Watch program.

Streets Committee Chairman Kenny Grimes will manage the $44,700 that covers road maintenance and lighting, contract services and snow removal.

Councilman James C. Carlisle, head of the Sewer and Water committee, will manage the Enterprise Fund, which deals only with revenues and expenses generated from the town's sewer and water system.

But a deficit is inherent in the Enterprise Fund. As it has in the past, the town government must subsidize its water and sewer fund to make the budget balance.

This year, the town expects to generate $68,450 in sewer and water connection fees and service fees. But it will need $85,850 to operate and maintain those systems and pay off long-term debts related to the utilities.

A $17,400 "donation" from the general operation department will be given to the Enterprise Fund, under the proposed budget.

Councilwoman Rebecca H. Harman, head of the town Finance Committee, will not oversee a department but will help facilitate budget requests.

The council will also be creating a capital budget and capital improvement program, and an "Enterprise Special" budget.

Mr. Gullo explained during a work session Monday the expectations of the operating budget and also the capital

budget, which the council will work on once the operating budget is approved.

"In the operating budget, all the snow will be plowed, all the people will be paid, and when the end of the year comes, we'll have nothing to show for it," Mr. Gullo said.

"In essence, we spend what we take in.

"But with the capital budget, we will buy things that we intend to last for more than one year, like a truck, or street signs," Mr. Gullo said. "Those items will be bought using the surplus the town has accumulated over the years."

The mayor also explained the Enterprise Special budget, designed to control money used for special improvements, such as those caused by development.

"Residents will not pay for improvements to the system caused by development," he said.

Town residents may request to see the budget proposal during Mr. Keck's office hours at the Town Hall, or may contact Mayor Gullo at his law office at 875-5344.

A public hearing on the budget will be held at the beginning of the June 1 Town Council meeting. Officials plan to approve the budget that night.

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