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Emmitsburg approves 2008 operating budget

Jeremy Houck
The Gazette

(6/21) Emmitsburg commissioners on Monday approved the town’s fiscal 2008 operating budget. At $1.6 million, the operating budget is 9 percent higher than the current year’s budget.

The operating budget includes $51,562 for pool expenses, including $38,000 to contract with a company to operate the town’s public swimming pool, $4,500 for maintenance and $2,650 for lighting.

The town budgeted $43,780 for the pool contractor in fiscal 2007. The budget anticipates nearly $28,000 in revenue from the pool in fiscal 2008.

‘‘We don’t market it at all," Mayor James E. Hoover said Wednesday. ‘‘We’ve got a pretty good radius of people who don’t have access to public pools."

The town has contracted with three different pool management companies in the last five years, Hoover said, adding that a town employee visits the pool every day to improve oversight of the management company.

The town has spent about $200,000 in capital improvement funds and state Program Open Space grants on the pool in the last five years, Hoover said.

‘‘It needs constant preventative maintenance to stay in good repair, and it really had not received the best preventative maintenance over the 30-year lifespan of it," Hoover said.

After funding major repairs in 2003, the town spent $17,000 on a new fence in fiscal 2006 and $23,000 on emergency repairs in fiscal 2007, according to Donna Despres, town clerk.

Using capital improvement funds and state grants, the town will spend $91,052 for upgrades to the 32-year-old swimming pool’s lighting, pavilion and pool house in fiscal 2008, pending state approval of grants. The town matches $25 for every $75 in Program Open Space state grants, Hoover said.

The town is also setting aside $90,000 for a project next year to pave the parking lot at the pool, pending grant approval.

The three biggest expense categories in the fiscal 2008 operating budget are: $483,000 in salaries, wages, benefits and overtime for the town’s 15 full-time and two part-time employees, five commissioners and mayor; $291,000 to contract three resident Frederick County Sheriff’s deputies for law enforcement; and $192,570 for garbage collection and disposal.

The operating budget has $14,650 for education, conferences, licensing and workshops, above the $10,000 that was allocated for the current year. Hoover said he expects all town staff, commissioners and himself to take a course or attend a seminar or conference.

The town also plans to spend $40,000 on a new maintenance truck and $50,000 on sidewalk repairs. The capital improvements budget also includes $17,500 for a walking path through Emmitsburg Community Park; $20,500 for upgrades and replacements for playground equipment and $12,000 for a bandstand roof.

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