Annapolis taxes, garbage collection fees will increase July 1

June 22, 1994|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,Sun Staff Writer

Annapolis residents will pay on average $17 more each year in annual property taxes, $12 more for garbage collection and twice as much to use downtown parking meters starting July 1.

But, according to the budget passed Monday night, they will get fireworks on the Fourth of July, keep twice-a-week garbage collection and Sunday bus service.

The budget was a compromise between those who wanted to cut government and those who wanted to maintain programs.

In the end, the council approved a $37.8 million spending plan -- about $168,000 less than the current budget.

"I'm not angry or disappointed or discouraged. But I still think the budget I proposed would have been better," said Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins.

The mayor said he was concerned revenues would fall short of the council's projections.

In the budget, the council agreed with the mayor's proposal to raise the property tax rate from $1.71 to $1.78 per $100 assessed value.

Council conservatives succeeded in eliminating 10 jobs from the city payroll, but the full ramifications of those cuts may not be known for weeks or even months.

The job of economic development consultant was one of those eliminated. Two city employees currently hold jobs fitting that description -- one civil service employee and one contractual employee. Mr. Hopkins will have to choose which to keep.

Miguel Ferrer, the city's economic development coordinator and the contractual employee, will likely lose his job. His contract expires at the end of the month.

Mr. Ferrer has been instrumental in bringing the Whitbread Round the World sailing race to Baltimore and Annapolis. He also has been charged with finding a tenant for the McNasby building.

If he is let go, the future of those projects is in doubt, said Alderman Carl O. Snowden, a Ward 5 Democrat and chairman of the council's Finance Committee.

Last week, Mr. Ferrer said he was going to keep working on bringing Whitbread to the Chesapeake Bay regardless of what Mr. Hopkins decides.

"The effort will continue," Mr. Ferrer said. "I'm not going away."

The race, one of the world's biggest sailing events, could bring up to $30 million to Maryland.

"It would be a major coup for this city," Mr. Snowden said.

Mr. Hopkins said he intends to keep Mr. Ferrer for at least several months, working on the Whitbread race.

The council also voted to combine the jobs of public information officer and assistant, and reduce the amount of money set aside for the city's tricentennial events. Mr. Hopkins wondered if the city left enough money for the celebration.

The council did find money to pay for fireworks at this year's Fourth of July festivities. The mayor had cut money for the fireworks as part of an effort to reduce spending.

But after a public outcry, the council agreed to set aside $20,000 toward the show.

By yesterday, the city had received $20,000 in pledges from businesses and individuals, but still needed $10,000 to cover costs.

The fireworks will be launched from a barge in the Severn River. The show will be preceded by the traditional parade, which starts at 6 p.m.

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