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Emmitsburg 2017 Budget accepted

Danielle Ryan

(6/15) The Emmitsburg 2017 was passed at the June 6 Town meeting after some minor amendments were made.

Mayor Briggs presented the approximately $1.5 million budget to the Board of Commissioners at the May 16th meeting, stating that the proposal represents a balanced budget with no tax increases, and a proposal of an additional $20,000 to be allocated toward the Town square project. Cole Tabler, the Town’s Financial Officer was present to answer Council member’s questions regarding the budget.

The Board voted to make a budget transfer in the amount of $500 to the Parks budget for fiscal year 2017. This $500 would be added to the already present $1,000 which has been used as a donation for fireworks for Community Days. This brings the total donation this year to $1,500 which will be used by the Committee for Community Day.

Aside from this minor change, and some spelling and grammatical errors, the budget that was proposed in May was accepted without any additional changes.

The general fund has increased approximately 4 percent in revenues from last year, roughly $60,000. This increase is due to the Town’s amount of state revenue for highway use that was received, which was presented at this meeting.

The real estate tax revenue is approximately the same as last year, 0.36 cents per $100 assessed, so no tax increase is seen, as stated by Mayor Briggs. However, there is a state revenue increase seen, which is due to the one-time grant from the state highway fund for the state highway use tax. This increase is the only significant change seen in the 2017 revenue total. The total revenues seen for this year are approximately $1.7 million, which is an increase from last year’s revenue.

Tabler was pleased to announce that the Workman’s Comp rate and unemployment are both down meaning the employee turnover and injuries seen have decreased significantly.

The proposed budget also includes a shift in salaries and benefits between different departments. This can be explained as the Town’s prediction of allocation of time spent on different projects within the departments, and the need to distribute the pay roll appropriately.

In regards to the Water/Sewer budget, decreases in expenses are seen in the Water Department, and increases in expenses are seen in the Waste Water Department, both in comparison to last year’s budget. The increases seen in the Water Department have been attributed to the depreciation of the new wastewater treatment plant, and an increase in the electric required to operate the new system.

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