Crofton residents approve $32,536 increase in budget Spending plan keeps tax rate at 26 cents

January 27, 1998|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

For the first time in three years, Crofton property owners voted last night to increase spending in their special community benefits district, approving a $32,536 increase in the annual budget.

By a vote of 142-29, the residents approved a $600,849 spending plan for the coming fiscal year that keeps the tax rate at 26 cents per $100 of assessed value and includes a 2.5 percent cost of living raise for Crofton's 14 employees.

The raise was proposed last night and approved.

"This is the largest community meeting that Crofton has ever had," said Edwin F. Dosek, president of the Crofton Civic Association board of directors.

Crofton has by far the largest budget of any of the Anne Arundel County's special community benefits districts.

The budget, presented to voters by the nine members of the Crofton Civic Association board and Town Manager Barbara K. Swann, called for a $15,980 increase in spending on public safety.

The increase covers the full salary of one of Crofton's six police officers and for regular pay raises for the officers. A federal grant used to hire the sixth officer and supplement his salary runs out June 30, the end of the fiscal year. (The newsletter containing the proposed budget sent to Crofton residents this month overstates the increase in spending on public safety by several thousand dollars.)

The Civic Association board also planned to spend $7,685 more on maintenance and operations, mostly to cover the $6,000 cost of the first phase of an irrigation and sprinkler system for community plantings.

The last time voters approved a budget increase was in January 1995. That year's budget was $570,776, a 1.2 percent increase over the previous year. Since then, too few voters have attended the annual budget meeting to conduct a vote, forcing civic association directors to adopt zero-increase spending plans.

But last night, residents approved an even larger increase than the $22,700 proposed by the board.

Kathy Sherman, a 10-year Crofton resident, won overwhelming support in a 135-31 vote for her proposal to give employees the cost-of-living raise.

Pub Date: 1/27/98

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