The Taneytown City Council last night adopted a $1.5 million budget for fiscal 1999 that maintains the property tax rate but increases water and sewer service fees.
The budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 is based on a property tax rate of 78 cents per $100 of assessed value. The plan is about $100,000 lower than the current budget.
Although the property tax rate remains unchanged, increases in property assessments are expected to raise property tax revenues by $97,000, to $648,000.
The council agreed to spend $674,000 for road projects, a $150,000 increase over current spending.
The budget also provides raises for police officers, an effort to reduce turnover. The spending plan raises starting salaries for officers from $21,600 to $23,500 a year.
Since January, two police officers have broken their contracts with the city to accept higher-paying jobs. The raises will increase spending on police officers' salaries from $167,000 this fiscal year to $181,000 next year.
The council also considered new rates for sewer and water service. Under the proposed changes, a sewer service charge of $30 a quarter and a 5-cent increase in water and sewer rates would result from the construction costs of a new sewage treatment plant.
Water and sewer usage rates also would increase from $1.95 to $2 per 1,000 gallons as part of the proposal.
Taneytown is building a 1.1 million gallon sewage treatment plant near the existing facility on Piney Creek, which could not be expanded because it lies in a flood plain.
The $6.8 million project is progressing under a consent order with the state Department of the Environment to replace the leaking, outdated plant.
Eighty-five percent of the construction cost is being financed through state grants and loans.
Pub Date: 6/09/98