Union Bridge Town Council approves $476,770 budget Department allocations are reduced to achieve property-tax freeze


The Union Bridge Town Council adopted a belt-tightening $476,770 budget yesterday for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

To keep the local property tax rate at 75 cents per $100 of assessed value, the council eliminated all but the most essential street maintenance and cut other department budgets to avoid having to raise taxes to make up for cuts in aid from the county and state.

Union Bridge has a tradition of relying on volunteer efforts to provide town services instead of raising property taxes.

The northwest Carroll County town faces a $20,000 reduction in income in 1998-1999.

Union Bridge will receive $9,600 less in state income tax revenue than this year and will lose a $9,000 road subsidy from the county that is being eliminated for all Carroll incorporated towns this year. The town is also expecting other smaller reductions in aid.

Among the expenditures budgeted for next year are $78,000 on general government, $38,000 on police and fire protection, $233,000 on public works, $19,000 on recreation and culture, and $48,000 on items such as debt service, insurance and capital improvements.

The town's volunteer approach to providing municipal services emerged during a discussion yesterday on how to ensure adequate storage space for town records without compromising plans for a town museum in the old pump house that contains the records.

"We need storage more than we need a museum," Council President Bret D. Grossnickle argued.

Mayor Perry L. Jones Jr. offered a way for Union Bridge to have both the museum and the storage space.

"I think I can rustle up enough people and get some wood and we can go in there and put up some racks," he said. "We'll have enough storage space for 50 years."

Pub Date: 5/19/98

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