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Public hearing slated on county's '02 budget


The Carroll commissioners will hold a public hearing tomorrow on their proposed spending plan for fiscal 2002, giving residents an opportunity to voice concerns about the way county dollars would be spent.

The budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1, would maintain the tax rate and include pay raises for teachers and other school employees.

The 295-page document also includes slight spending increases - on average, 5 percent - for law enforcement, substance abuse treatment and farmland preservation.

This is the second consecutive year that Gov. Parris N. Glendening has offered to increase teacher salaries by 1 percent in all school systems that raise teacher pay by 4 percent. To meet that challenge, the commissioners added $2.5 million to the school board's operating budget, bringing the total county appropriation to $105.4 million.

In all, the school system is expecting to receive $192.3 million in county, state and federal aid.

The commissioners spent about 100 hours behind closed doors drafting their proposed spending plan. If they adopt the plan as it is written, they will spend about $225.3 million to cover day-to-day expenses of county government, up from $205.2 million this year, and $42.9 million for construction projects, down from $66.2 million this year.

The property tax rate would be $1.048 per $100 of assessed value, meaning the annual tax on the average Carroll home valued at slightly less than $152,000 would be about $1,593.

The commissioners are expected to adopt a budget May 24.

Copies of the commissioners' proposed spending plan are available at county libraries and the county budget office, 225 N. Center St., Westminster.

The public hearing on the proposed budget is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. tomorrow at Westminster High School, 1225 Washington Road.

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