The Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners introduced a $15.9 million budget for fiscal year 2015 during a town hall meeting Monday night.
Town Administrator James Fielder said although the FY2015 budget is "relatively flat," the town will see a continued strong personal and professional commitment to deliver services.
The total proposed budget for the Town of Bel Air for FY2015 is $15,967,773, which is little more than a half of a percent increase, or $92,868 more than what was allotted for FY2014. The final budget in FY2014 reported by the town was $15,874,905.
The property tax rates for the town will remain unchanged from FY2014 to FY2015. Under the proposed budget, the real property tax rate will remain at 50 cents per $100 of assessed property and $1.16 per $100 of assessed personal property value, Fielder said.
Real property tax revenue slightly increased by 1.01 percent in the proposed FY2015 budget.
"Real property taxes for FY2015 is essentially flat," Fielder said. "This is added by the economic pressures still in the market with a slight increase of approximately 1 percent."
Revenues from the proposed FY2015 budget will be funding several special projects, Fielder said.
The town's proposed total allotted special revenue expenditures is $489,306 which is set to decrease by $220,245 in FY2015.
According to Fielder, total special revenue expenditures will fund stormwater management, milling and resurfacing of five streets in town, an increase in midnight shift staffing for the Bel Air Police Department, Courtland Street Improvement Projects and the start of a comprehensive plan for the town's planning department, replacing three police department vehicles, replacing Department of Public Works vehicles and computer equipment increases.
The proposed parking fund includes a $54,000 allotment for the resurfacing of the Thomas Street lot in 2015, according to the budget.
Under the proposed 2015 budget, $18,005 was allotted for equipment for the police department. Last year, the department was allotted $4,800 for equipment, a 275 percent increase in funds.
The town's contribution to the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company remains steady under the proposed 2015 budget, with $153,960 allotted to the department.
The general government expenditures decreased from $2,674,533 to $2,341,210 for FY2015. Town commissioners salaries remained flat at $25,200, but there was a $1,250 decrease in expenses for commissioners, according to the proposed budget.
The salaries of employees for the Bel Air Reckord Armory, town buildings, human resources, finance, planning and zoning and economic development all have slight pay increases in
The proposed FY2015 budget also includes raises for town employees, except the town administrator, who was hired in January. It also includes a $16,000 increase in employee benefits, including social security, insurance and pensions.
The town will hold public hearings to discuss the proposed FY2015 budget, Fielder said; the first session is April 21.