Carroll's Department of Public Works took it easy on the county commissioners yesterday, presenting noncontroversial items during the first of two hearings on the department's 1995 budget request.
"We thought we'd do the honeymoon first," laughed Budget Director Steven D. Powell. "We'll come back with our armor next time."
Departmental requests for engineering, building construction, land acquisition and administration were about $9,700 less for fiscal 1995, which begins July 1, than the public works request for this year's budget, county officials said.
Building services and roads -- expected to have substantial increases in the requests -- will be among those covered in the next session, said Public Works Director Keith R. Kirschnick.
"There will be more questions on those," Mr. Kirschnick said of the remaining budget requests.
"Those are bigger budgets, because they have a lot of requests from the individual agencies in them and the current state of the roads," he said.
Solid waste management, considered to be an enterprise fund or nearly self-sufficient agency supported by user fees, increased its budget request from $4,238,000 in fiscal 1994 to $4,352,230 in fiscal 1995.
County landfills -- with a $40 per ton tipping fee, the sale of old equipment and recyclables -- are expected to bring in about $4,350,000 next year. The agency also is expected to reduce its debt to the county by about $300,000 next year.
"We expect to spend less for capital outlay and sell some of our unneeded equipment," Mr. Kirschnick told the commissioners. Agency officials said they expect to receive about $165,000 from the equipment sale.
The bureau of engineering's requests included $9,000 for a total station surveying instrument, a state-of-the-art, fully automated
piece of equipment. The bureau uses a semi-automated instrument, bought in 1986, which continually needs repair and doesn't have the accuracy necessary for the county's geographic information system (GIS), officials said.
GIS is a computerized system to integrate sewer maps, land surveys and other documents used by county and city planners.
The total station device reduces the time necessary to complete county surveys by about 25 percent to 50 percent, said Howard Nolls, chief of the bureau of engineering. The station retails for about $12,000, he said.
"We're a little behind everyone else," Mr. Nolls said. "There's no plotting and no room for human error."