CA budget forum slated tomorrow

Blueprint for FY 2004 to be aired, starting at 7:30 p.m., at Slayton house

January 08, 2003|By Laura Cadiz | Laura Cadiz,SUN STAFF

The Columbia Association will formally present its draft $45.8 million budget for the 2004 fiscal year beginning May 1 to the association's board of directors, village representatives and residents tomorrow night.

Representatives from each of the association's departments will present their portion of the budget, and the audience will be able to ask questions after the presentations, said association President Maggie J. Brown.

"We like to try to get as many answers out as possible," she said.

The budget forum will be held at 7:30 p.m. at Slayton House in Wilde Lake, 10451 Twin Rivers Road.

The draft budget projects a nearly $4.4 million surplus, about half of which is expected to come from a surge in lien payments from east Columbia, which the state reassessed for this year with an average 25 percent increase in residential property values.

Highlights of the proposed $7.5 million capital portion of the budget include: $417,000 for pathway restoration; $109,000 for parking lot renovations; $388,000 to complete pathways in River Hill; $485,000 to renovate Slayton House; and $375,000 to renovate Owen Brown Community Center.

One of the more controversial proposals is a $679,000 renovation of Hobbit's Glen Golf Club's damaged greens. Longtime golfers have protested the plan, contending the damaged greens stem from the course's management, not from their physical condition.

If the board approves the renovation - which includes rebuilding 16 greens and regrassing four - the course would be closed from August to May 2004.

Before the board approves the budget at the end of next month, it is scheduled to hold work sessions Jan. 16, Jan. 30, Feb. 6 and Feb. 13, if necessary. A public hearing is also scheduled for Jan. 22.

The Columbia Council will meet after the forum.

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