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Town passes budget

Ingrid Mezo

(6/22) Emmitsburg town officials voted unanimously to approve the fiscal 2007 budget, which includes funds for a third deputy in the town at a cost of between $85,000 and $90,000 per year.

Mayor James Hoover, during a May 30 public hearing, said the town’s two deputies have been responding to more than 2,900 calls annually. In addition, he pointed out that with other demands on deputies’ time, such as court duty, leave, training, holidays and vacation, a deputy is only in town 30 out of the 40 hours a week the town pays to have them.

Officials also voted 3-1 Monday to set the property tax rate at 36 cents per $100 of assessed property value for fiscal 2007, which begins July 1. That tax rate is higher than the constant yield rate of 33.1 cents. The constant yield is what the town would have to impose in order to obtain the same amount of property tax revenue in fiscal 2007 as it received in the previous tax year. The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation determines the constant yield tax rate.

Commissioner Chris Staiger was alone again in opposing a rate higher than the constant yield. Commissioner Bill O’Neil was again absent from the meeting.

The fiscal 2007 budget also includes money for phase one of a new bandstand in Emmitsburg Community Park. The town will built a roof over the bandstand in phase two.

Hoover explained how this budget differs from past budgets.

‘‘There are no unreserved monies in this budget,” Hoover said. ‘‘In past years, typically we have had a large amount [of funds] undesignated. This year, if we become short-funded or something we didn’t expect comes up, we’ll have to do a budget transfer. We will now have to direct town staff to come up with the funds and take them out of one particular line item.”

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