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Carroll County Times

New Windsor introduces budget with 4.5 percent increase

NEW WINDSOR - New Windsor residents will get an opportunity to comment on the proposed town budget for Fiscal Year 2013 June 13 after the New Windsor Town Council voted to introduce the budget Wednesday night.

The general fund budget is balanced at $630,450, a 4.5 percent increase over the current year's budget, and is based on the current town tax rate of 20 cents per $100 of assessed value of property. The enterprise fund, which covers the town water and sewer system, is budgeted at $771,600, a 9.6 percent increase over the current budget, but Town Manager Frank Schaeffer said that budget could change once the town hears back from the Maryland Department of the Environment on how the town's loan from MDE will be restructured.

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The town announced April 16 that it had received a $2 million grant that was built into the state capital budget that was passed by the 2012 Maryland General Assembly. Schaeffer said it is still uncertain how the MDE will restructure the town's payment plan for the $3.9 million loan the town has through MDE for its new wastewater treatment plant, but in his estimates, the town's annual loan payment to MDE should be reduced from $206,000 to $100,000.

Once the town gets more information on how the loan will be restructured due to the grant, the town will adjust the sewer rates, Schaeffer said. However, since that might not happen until several months into the start of FY13, he has left the sewer rates at the levels previously determined by the town council.

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The mayor and town council will continue to discuss the budget, including the capital budget, at its May 21 public work session, Schaeffer said. The public hearing will be at the next town council meeting, which was moved from the first Wednesday of the month to the second to avoid a conflict with the New Windsor fire carnival, which runs the first week of June.

The June 13 meeting will be held in the meeting room at the New Windsor fire hall instead of the Community Meeting Room at the Carroll County Public Library Headquarters due to a scheduling conflict for that space.

Also at Wednesday's meeting, resident Alex Cruickshank spoke at the meeting in support of the town's resident deputy, saying that he was concerned that some other residents have suggested cutting the position in an effort to save money.

"One of the reasons New Windsor is safe is because Deputy Mark [Tausen] prevents crime," he said.

Cruickshank said that having a specific officer who works with the town leads to witnesses being more willing to come forward, residents being more willing to talk to him and a more visible police presence in the community.

"To pay what we pay for police protection is a pittance," he said. "It's a minimum requirement of police protection."

Mayor Neal Roop said he agreed with Cruickshank, saying that the town would rather look for other places to make cuts in order to keep its resident deputy.

"Mark has put in too much effort, too much time, to be at the point where we are today," he said. "I don't think we need to go backwards."

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In other town news, Roop thanked the town staff and residents who came out Saturday for the Spring Clean-Up day in town. Thirty people participated, he said, including volunteers from the New Windsor Fire Company Juniors, the Lions Club, town staff and residents from all parts of town.

"Hopefully that was the first annual [clean-up day] and we'll have one again next year," Roop said.

Schaeffer reminded residents that yard waste collection has started and will be available on the first and third Tuesday over every month. Residents must have their yard waste to the curb by 8 a.m. or they may miss the pick-up, he said. Waste should be in paper bags or containers that be picked up and dumped, weighing less than 40 pounds. Materials in plastic bags will not be accepted, he said, because Northern Landfill does not accept materials in plastic bags.

For more information, call Town Hall at 410-635-6575.


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