Hampstead budget draft has $500,000 shortfall But mayor promises no municipal tax boost

April 11, 1996|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

Hampstead residents need not worry about a municipal tax increase for next year, Mayor Christopher M. Nevin said yesterday, the day after town officials received the first draft of next year's budget showing a shortfall of more than $500,000.

"The town's tax rate is 45 cents [per $100 of assessed value], and it's going to remain at 45 cents," Mr. Nevin vowed. "We haven't even sat down to look at the budget yet. We'll trim it."

The Hampstead Town Council plans to hold a budget work session April 30, after its next council meeting, the mayor said.

The fiscal 1997 budget, proposed by Town Manager Neil Ridgely, projects expenses at $1,544,776, or $515,144 more than the town's expected income of $1,029,632.

Included in those expenses is $337,102 for the town's Water Fund, Mr. Ridgely said.

The most significant cost increase for 1997, Mr. Ridgely said, will be about $180,000 for solid waste disposal, which is reflected in the projected overall operating costs of $590,784.

Projected capital expenses, including money for a front-end loader, a street-sweeping machine, a new police car and two maintenance trucks, stand at $435,675, Mr. Ridgely said.

The salary and benefits package for all employees -- Town Hall, police, water, streets and parks and recreation -- is projected at $518,317, he said.

"I would hope the budget trimming does not come in that area," he said.

Mr. Ridgely said he had to assume no increases in state and

county funding when preparing the proposed budget because no projections have been received from either source.

Real estate and personal property taxes should bring in about $400,000, he said.

The remaining revenue will come from such items as income taxes, licenses, permits, fees and interest.

In other action Tuesday, the council:

Adopted, 3-2, an amendment to Ordinance 289, stating that developers who have received concept plan approval, preliminary approval, final approval or site plan approval and not acted within specified time periods will have to start the approval process again. The amendment states that approvals for dormant or tardy projects will expire Sept. 18.

Agreed to study the county's proposed water ordinance. If adopted by the town, it would effect new residential development as well as new and existing commercial and industrial development.

Denied, 3-2, the proposed annexation of the Hill-Reedy property, with the understanding that more information was needed. The council will reconsider the matter April 30.

Approved a low bid of $191,986 for road repairs from Melvin Benhoff Sons Inc. of Baltimore. The council approved a motion to allow Panther Drive next to North Carroll High School to go unrepaired until contractors' vehicles have finished using it for access to new construction.

Approved a low bid of $7,200 from Carroll County Lawns for mowing projects.

Pub Date: 4/11/96

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