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County budget may climb

March 17, 1999

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday were presented with a draft of the projected $110.28 million general fund expenditures for fiscal 2000.

Budget and Finance Director Debra Bastian is estimating the fund will have about $4.2 million more in expenses than in fiscal 1999. The draft, however, does not include the exact budget requests for several agencies, including the Board of Education.

The sum also does not take into account a proposal for an 8 percent pay hike for all county employees, to be discussed during a work session at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.

The commissioners are scheduled to adopt the budget at a May 4 meeting. The annual public hearing on the budget is April 27.

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Among the changes from the last fiscal year contained in the draft are:

* An increase in the County Commissioners contingency fund from $50,000 to $100,000. The fund is used to pay for unexpected expenses, such as Tuesday's decision to pay $320 to provide a bus and a driver to the Boy Scout Council during an upcoming camp event at the Hagerstown Regional Airport, County Administrator Rodney Shoop said.

* A $39,000 increase in the Economic Development Agency budget to pay for two positions filled this year and an increase in marketing.

* A $46,113 decrease in the County Attorney's budget because of a change in contracted services.

- Scott Butki

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