Bel Air commissioners approve mid-year budget

Bel Air's town commissioners approved the mid-year budget for fiscal year 2012 at their meeting Monday evening.

Finance Director Lisa Moody presented the mid-year budget adjustments, which included an increase of $1.5 million, although $1.3 million of that is related to the town's purchase of a former Branch Banking and Trust building, which the town plans to have demolished in the coming weeks.


Once the costs related to the building acquisition are removed, Moody said, the approximately $264,000 in other budget adjustments is on target with previous years.

The budget adjustments include receipt of several grants and corresponding expenditures, such as a Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, grant for nearly $25,000, Moody said.

The mid-year budget adjustments were up for a public hearing prior to Monday night's regular town meeting, but no one attended. The commissioners then unanimously approved the budget changes.

Contract awards

The commissioners also awarded three contracts for various projects at town hall. One is partially funded by a $57,000 Maryland Energy Administration grant to replace the building's heating, ventilating and air-conditioning system, Public Works Director Randolph Robertson said.

A contract for $66,300 was awarded to Blue Dot of Maryland in Forest Hill to replace four of the six air conditioning units and a boiler. The funding not provided by the grant will come from the town buildings budget, Robertson said.

The projected annual energy saving by upgrading the HVAC system is $4,000 a year.

The commissioners also awarded a contract for $25,736 to Evans Consoles of Virginia and another for $15,354 to Harford Alarm of Bel Air.

Evans Consoles' contract will be to replace the Bel Air Police Department's dispatch center furniture, Police Chief Leo Matrangola said.

The existing furniture is "insufficient" for "modern dispatch work," Matrangola said, and is used 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Harford Alarm will be working on upgrading the closed circuit television and fire alarm systems for the police department. The closed circuit television system will be upgraded to include two 32-inch flat screen, commercial grade monitors, Matrangola said. The fire alarm portion of the contract will be to relocate the alarm cables and for on-site monitoring during the other renovations.

Other business

The commissioners received a proposed amendment to the town ethics code, which Administration Director Joyce Oliver said is necessary because the State Ethics Board found that Bel Air's code did not meet the new statewide ethics regulations. A public hearing for the changes will be held March 19 at 7:30 p.m.

The commissioners also approved a resolution for the issuance and sale of bonds in relation to their PNC financing agreement to partially reimburse the town's unassigned fund balance from the BB&T building purchase. Commissioner Rob Reier voted against the planned borrowing.


Clarence Fry was reappointed to the Board of Appeals, William Kelly was reappointed to the Economic and Community Development Commission and Kristien Foss, Cheryl Manns, Carole Milan and Kitty Pickett were all reappointed to the Cultural Arts Commission. All re-appointments are for three-year terms, effective immediately.

The commissioners also recognized Southampton Middle School student Rebekah Riley.

The next Bel Air town meeting is March 19 at 7:30 p.m. in town hall.