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Westminster could vote on budget, delaying plastic bag ban Monday night

Westminster’s Common Council will further discuss its financial year 2021 budget at a meeting Monday, May 11. Whether the council members are prepared to adopt a finished budget remains to be determined.

Council President Gregory Pecoraro has a contingency plan in case the discussion is not finished Monday evening, City Administrator Barabara Matthews said in an email Monday.

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The budget consideration receiving the most public feedback is the closure of the Family Fitness Center located within the Old Westminster Armory on Longwell Avenue. In a budget session May 4, the council members reached enough consensus to direct staff to write the closure of the fitness center into the budget.

Members and supporters of the center responded in force, and the public record of comments spans 165 pages of the 396-page memo packet for Monday’s meeting. More than one comment is usually contained on a page. This includes comments made on the work session video where it was livestreamed on Facebook. A petition to keep the center open through raising rates or other fundraising measures on change.org had reached just over 2,500 signatures as of 11 a.m. Monday morning.

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The most recent changes to the budget can be found in the information packet for Monday’s meeting, available at westminstermd.gov/agendacenter. The information starts with a memo on page 189.

Also on the agenda for Monday evening is a vote whether to push back the start of a city ban on plastic bag distribution. The ordinance is currently set to start July 1, 2020, but the Mayor and Common Council will discuss whether to push the date to Jan. 1, 2021, considering the challenges of COVID-19 on businesses.

The Mayor and Common Council’s Monday, May 11 meeting will be streamed live on the “Westminster, Maryland” Facebook page beginning at 7 p.m.

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