Tare E. Buck
The town’s leaders hope to pass a $9.2 million budget for fiscal 2005 on June
A truncated town council met on Tuesday to discuss the
budget, though no changes were suggested by residents and none were made.
Mayor Martin Burns and Commissioner Glenn Muth are both
out of town on business this week.
The $9.2 million budget includes the town’s water,
sewer, electric and general fund expenses.
An additional $2.2 million has been budgeted for
capital projects in each of the funding categories.
The town expects to receive nearly $1.89 million in
taxes alone to help cover its general fund. User fees for building permits and
other licenses along with parking fines and grants will help offset, somewhat,
the disparity between tax revenues and general fund operating expenditures.
The police department is earmarked to receive $561,500,
the largest outlay in that category.
The town’s sewer system budget shows projected revenues
of only $990,305 compared with planned expenditures topping $1 million.
A loan is in the works that would help to close that
spending gap, Town Clerk Richard May told those gathered Tuesday.
The gap exists despite the fact that the town’s leaders
voted late last month to raise sewer system user fees to $5.95 per 1,000
gallons of sewage treated.
The largest capital outlay in the sewer system budget
is for a $1.1 million system-wide rehabilitation, to be covered through the
sale of municipal bonds.
In other business, the town commissioners also learned
that an employee drug testing program initiated last month also applies to any
Some who would otherwise volunteer may pull out because
drug testing could apply to them, Commissioner Ron Terpko said.
"We need to revisit that because this is news to me,"
Mr. Terpko said. "That’s craziness. I didn’t think that’s where this is going."
Resident John Kinnaird agreed that the town is
"penalizing people who have very little liability" in terms of the types of
decisions they would be making as volunteers.
He said that residents would also need to pay for the
testing, something which could prevent many potential volunteers from signing
"We were very surprised at the scope" of the
newly-adopted policy, Mr. Kinnaird said.
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