xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

$1.9 million approved in unexpected costs for snow removal, employee retirements in Harford

The Harford County Council has approved supplemental appropriations to cover $900,000 for unexpected snow-related expenses from the January blizzard and $1 million to cover unanticipated costs from employee retirements.

The council was unanimous in approving both the snowstorm and the retirement appropriations at its legislative session on May 10.

Advertisement

Previously, county Treasurer Robert Sandlass said the county is trying to recoup some of the snowstorm funds and is eligible for up to 75 percent reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency but would not get it this fiscal year.

The second appropriation covers $1 million for unanticipated retirements, most of them employees in the Sheriff's Office, which County Attorney Melissa Lambert said is also requested of the council each year as a final reconciliation if the amount budgeted for retirements does not come up even.

Advertisement

The county budgets a little more than $500,000 in payouts, Sandlass said at the May 3 public hearing on the legislation.

The total actually needed for payouts is $1.35 million, leaving a deficit of about $800,000, he said. The administration asked for a cushion of about $200,000 in case more people make retirement decisions.

"Most of the payouts are related to [Sheriff's Office] personnel, because if you think about it, last year most of the county employees that were retirement-eligible took advantage of the retirement incentive program," Sandlass said.

As for the snow removal appropriation, the county budgeted $1.7 million for weather-related emergency costs but spent about $2.5 million, mostly on cleanup from the record blizzard Jan. 22-23, leaving a deficit of about $750,000.

During the public hearing on that legislation, also on May 3, Sandlass said the transfer of $900,000 was requested in case of any possible weather emergencies left this spring.

"If none of that does occur, then that money would just fall back to the fund balance," he said.

Borrowing, other bills introduced

Also during its May 9 session, the County Council introduced bills at the request of County Executive Barry Glassman allowing the county to borrow up to $21.7 million through the sale of bonds for various infrastructure projects and up to $1.1 million for work on Sod Run Wastewater Treatment Plant and the Bynum Run sewer interceptor.

Another bill was introduced to revise prior bond legislation resulting from changes in the cost for some capital projects and the addition of five projects. Largest among the changes is a shift of $3.4 million for unspecified "facilities repair program" and $1.65 million for "athletic field improvements."

Bill 16-20 was introduced to add a definition of an "outdoor dining area" to the zoning code to permit an encroachment of up to 50 percent of the side, rear and front yard setback requirements for outdoor dining areas.

Bill 16-21 was introduced to change regulations about distribution of tobacco products to minors to make it more of a civil offense than a criminal one.

All the bills will have public hearings at 6 p.m. on June 14, where they will be explained further by county administration officials.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement