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Maryland State blunder saves
 Emmitsburg thousands

Stephanie Long
Emmitsburg Dispatch

(6/19) Oops!

Due to a mistake the State of Maryland made, it’s going to cost Emmitsburg residents a lot less to ensure that full-time town employees are part of the Maryland State Retirement and Pension Plan.

For the past two years Emmitsburg has been paying the state tens-of-thousands of dollars to make sure that all full-time employees would benefit from the state pension plan and they would have kept on overpaying that debt had the mayor and town commissioners not decided to pay down the debt.

Initially Emmitsburg thought they owed the state $440,643 to enroll in the pension plan. This amount covered what the town would have paid to have its employees enrolled in the plan since each employee started working for the town. That amount plus interest was divided over 25 years of payments for the town. Two payments have been made so far totaling $77,842.

But a recent review by Town Clerk Donna DesPres uncovered a huge blunder – Emmitsburg only owed the state $201,167, less than half the original amount thought.

That discovery changed quite a few things for the town. Instead of having to make a $38,921 a year payment to the state for 23 more years, the town was put in the position to pay the debt off quite a few years earlier.

The town had set aside $200,000 of its rainy day fund to pay off a chunk of the money it owed to Maryland, but Emmitsburg actually owes the state only $123,325 once the town’s previous payments were subtracted.

The commissioners decided now to pay the balance in full. The difference between the $200,000 and $123,325 will remain in the rainy day fund.

As for the payment the town was going to make to the state next year of $38,921, the commissioners will decide at a future date how to spend that windfall for the operating budget.

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