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Westminster panel unveils budget; taxes are unchanged; Water fees to rise 5%, and sewer service 3%


The Westminster Common Council introduced a proposed budget of about $17 million for the coming fiscal year that will not increase city property taxes but will increase costs of water by 5 percent and sewer service by 3 percent. The two utilities are required to be self-supporting.

A public hearing on the spending plan will be at 7 p.m. May 8 at City Hall. Copies of the budget are available. It is expected to be adopted at the May 22 council meeting.

At a work session April 17, the council was able to square a $952,000 difference between requests and expected revenues by delaying some projects and by reducing the amount of next year's expenditures for others.

For example, design money for a new parking deck at Longwell Avenue was reduced from $200,000 to $100,000, and planning money for a new city office building was reduced from $250,000 to $100,000.

In other business, the council adopted two ordinances: one providing tax benefits to those who fix up historic properties, and one limiting signs inside windows downtown.

The council named Chris Ambrose, who has done everything from field maintenance to coaching in Carroll County sports, to Westminster's parks board.

Mayor Kenneth A. Yowan announced the appointment Monday night at the Common Council meeting. He noted that Ambrose is a Westminster native who returned in 1992 and "has been active in a number of sports in Carroll County."

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