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Emmitsburg’s $1.6M budget goes to council

Rick Fulton
Times Staff Writer

(5/11) The Emmitsburg Towns Council received the mayor’s final draft of the proposed municipal budget for fiscal year 2010.

Mayor James E. Hoover presented the council with his proposed 2010 $1.6 million general fund budget at Monday evening’s council meeting.

The council approved setting the 2010 tax rate Monday at 36 cents per $100 of the assessed value of real estate in the community, but has yet to give the 2010 budget final approval. Presentation of the proposed budget initiates the process by which the council will review, modify and adopt or reject the budget during upcoming meetings.

The council may make changes to the budget as long as the revenues remain equal to expenditures.

Hoover stated in his budget message, "Due to the decline in the economy, this budget represents many projected decreases in revenues, including a projection of no new residential dwelling units (to be) built this year."

"However," he stated, "this budget does not include any cost of living increases for staff, reduced trash collection to one day a week, and it reduces expenditures for contractual services for human resource, staff training and community activities."

The mayor noted that the capital improvement portion of the budget was impacted the most from reduced revenues.

"In most years, more than $150,000, not including grants, is allocated to capital projects. This year only $55,000, excluding grants, is available…Fortunately, over the past three years we have been awarded POS (Project Open Space) and SHA (State Highway Administration) grant funding, which is projected to be spent towards the first phase of the community parks trail project this year."

Hoover said the town could lose unused POS money which could revert back to the state if not spent and suggested going forward with park projects which would use those funds.

Water and sewer is handled under an independent, self-sufficient enterprise fund established by Town Manager David Haller and constitutes a separate budget. Revenues generated by water and sewer services becomes part of the budget for those services and does not become part of the general fund.

The council will continue to review the budget proposal at their second meeting of each month, beginning May 18.

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