Mount Airy council OKs $2 million town budget

Property tax rate maintained at 56 cents

May 03, 2000|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

The Mount Airy Town Council has passed a $2 million budget for fiscal 2001, which maintains the current tax rate.

The property tax rate is 56 cents per $100 of assessed value and will yield an additional $37,452, said Robert Wilson of Wilson & Linder in Towson, the town accountant.

Projected income balances proposed expenditures at $2,099,900 for the fiscal year 2000-2001, which begins July 1, he said.

No one spoke at a public hearing that preceded passage of the spending plan Monday night.

In the outline of next year's budget, the accountant said projected revenue is $2,099,900, about half from property taxes and $420,000 from income tax shared with the county. It also includes a $56,000 state grant for police protection.

The $2,099,900 spending plan includes $945,000 for general government -- everything from Christmas decorations to insurance -- with a $90,000 contribution to the volunteer fire company and $445,000 for the resident trooper program that provides the town's police protection.

Projected expenditures for streets and roads totaled $567,800, with $225,000 for road construction and paving, $16,000 for repairs, $20,000 for snow removal and $135,000 for street lighting. The projected cost of waste collection totaled $288,600, while the expense for parks and recreation is $92,600

There are two transfers from the general fund: $190,000 to the water and sewer fund, which totals $1,239,000, and $25,000 for planning and zoning, bringing its total budget to $197,700. This brings both into balance.

Mayor Gerald Johnson said the tax rate was last changed two years ago, when it was lowered from 59 cents.

Early in the meeting, Council President R. Delaine Hobbs stopped to thank Councilman William R. Stroh, who agreed to serve out the term of Norman C. Hammond, who died in January 1998. Stroh declined to run again.

"You've been an asset," Hobbs said. "We're very sorry you chose not to run. We hope you'll be available to us."

"I will be available -- as long as I'm living," Stroh replied to applause.

In other business, Councilman William E. Wagner said the town might be entitled to at least $1,000 in relief funds for snow removal through the Federal Emergency Management Agency -- but only on the Frederick County half of town, because only Frederick and Montgomery counties are eligible for disaster relief from last winter.

The town's Main Street divides Frederick and Carroll counties, and its 5,200 residents are about equally divided between the two.

After the meeting, results from the town election arrived at 10: 30 p.m. Of about 2,800 eligible voters, there were 510 ballots cast, including 17 absentees. Three council seats were at stake.

Incumbents Wagner and David W. Pyatt were re-elected, with 374 and 301 votes, respectively.

The top vote-getter -- with 448 votes -- was Franklin M. Johnson, a member of the Mount Airy Planning and Zoning Commission whose blue-and-white yard signs seemed to appear almost everywhere.

Placing fourth was challenger Craig Grabowsky, with 247 votes.

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