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Emmitsburg passes FY2018 budget

Danielle Ryan

(6/23) During the June 5 Emmitsburg Town meeting, Commissioners voted to pass the $3,254,459 fiscal year 2018 budget. The 2018 budget is only slightly larger than last year’s 2017 $3,230,798 budget. This budget includes approximately $847,000 for capital works projects including the new community pool, new town vehicles, a dog park, and a new trail maintenance line item.

Commissioner Tim O’Donnell requested there be additional funds allocated for a new line item entitled Trail Maintenance and Promotion. He has noticed personally, and has received notification, that citizens using the trails take it upon themselves to conduct trail maintenance themselves. Many are trying to help maintain the trails but are unintentionally putting themselves in harm’s way. However, O’Donnell would like to see a professional contracted to remove deadfall, clean debris etc. He would also like to continue promoting volunteer events such as trail clean-up days, and wants to consider including a perk from the town for those who volunteer their time.

Town Manager Cathy Willets advised that the money be taken out of the dog park fund, as town staff will be applying for an additional grant and handle it as a budget transfer. A $1,532 budget transfer within fund 2 was made pulling that sum from the dog park and transferred into the new line item Trail Maintenance and Promotion.

Town Accountant, Cole Tabler noted that the General Fund would increase by $55,000 due to anticipation in receiving more taxes this year. This figure is determined by looking at money received in the prior years or notifications from the State or County.

Joe Ritz asked fellow Commissioners to consider the EOT’s Lagoon storage proposal more seriously after this year. The contract does bring in an additional $80,000, and Willets told Commissioners to remember that without that income, town would be in the hole $150,000. Town took a hit of $70,000 loss in utility charges in FY 2017. Adding in that additional $80,000 would bring the total to a $150,000 loss. As discussed, the contract will continue to remain in everyone’s mind and if come fall, the odor still presents a problem, the town may reconsider it.

As far as Capital Projects for the town, Tabler mentioned there is $218,341 available for transfer. $45,000 was allotted to Department 30 and would specifically be used for the Vehicles fund to replace the Town car. Willets mentioned this transfer is made yearly. The Town car, a 2002 Ford Escort with about 90,000 miles, is the next vehicle that needs to be replaced. Other vehicles that need replacement soon are the mini dump truck which will cost about $55,000, the backhoe, and the dump truck because these vehicles are very aged. The Town will sell and trade whatever vehicles they can for money.

In addition, $10,000 was allotted to Department 12 for the town’s new Geographic Information System (GIS) for sewer/water mapping; $1,300 is allotted to Department 30 for Square maintenance/beautification once construction on the square is complete; $79,644 is in Department 60 for the Pool fund which includes the cost of lighting, electrical work, a diving board, and $16,000 just in case something else comes up during construction; $15,000 to Department 30 for the Salt shed for the Waste Water Treatment Plant; as well as over $58,000 for road projects including paving, water proofing and black mold removal.

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