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$1.6 million Sykesville budget calls for no increase in taxes; Proposal includes funds for tourist center


Sykesville officials introduced the town's proposed budget Monday, recommending that the town continue its seven-year record of no increase in taxes.

The $1.6 million budget includes $65,000 for a tourism center -- under construction downtown -- and $130,800 in roads projects, mostly for repaving.

The only town in Carroll to haul its own trash allocated $198,500 to its Sanitation Department. The Police Department would receive $270,927 in operating funds next year, with most of the money -- $211,767 -- paying the salary of its seven-member force.

In addition to town taxes of 76 cents per $100 of assessed value of real estate, residents pay a county tax set at $2.62 per $100 of assessed value.

A 10-member committee, which included four Town Council officials, worked for nearly two months on the proposed budget.

"The committee has done a superlative job to be conscientious and effective with town money," said Mayor Jonathan S. Herman. "This was a committee that was really professional and understanding. They developed objectives and goals and ways to implement them."

In other business Monday, the council voted to spend a small part of next year's revenues on bulletproof vests for the town police. A federal grant will pay for half the cost of each $219 vest, and the town will pay the rest from funds confiscated by the Police Department.

"Everybody is issued a vest, and after five years, they need replacing," said Chief Wallace P. Mitchell. "We need seven for our officers."

The chief said he is trying to find a vest suitable for Guiness, the town police dog.

The council has two weeks to review the budget before a public hearing May 22. Members will probably vote on the budget at that session or soon after. The budget takes effect July 1.

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