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Council explores financial breaks for residents

May 08, 2000|By JULIE E. GREENE

SHARPSBURG - Sharpsburg Town Council members reviewed the $189,970 proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year Monday night and discussed giving residents some kind of financial break in the following year.

Vice Mayor Sidney Gale said the council should consider a financial break for residents in fiscal 2001-02, if the town is still in such good financial shape.

Several Council members didn't want to reduce the property tax rate, which is 44 cents per $100 of assessed value, but were leaning toward doubling the water and sewer subsidy for town residents.

The proposed budget for fiscal year 2000-01 includes the $18,000 subsidy, for what would be its fifth straight year. The town started the subsidy to help cushion the blow of increasing water and sewer costs in Washington County.

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While the town expects this fiscal year and next fiscal year to again end in deficits, Mayor George Kesler said the town is in good financial shape with a $261,000 reserve fund to cover deficits. That fund will increase once the town sells a dilapidated house the council approved buying so it could turn sell it to someone who will refurbish it.

This year's deficit is expected to be $24,207, while a $34,207 deficit is estimated for fiscal 2001-02.

The proposed budget also allots $8,000 for the Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Co. Inc., $5,000 of which would be for a new building if the fire department finally moves forward with that project.

Town Council members agreed to maintain $3,000 for the Sharpsburg Area Emergency Medical Services Inc. in the proposed budget and would consider increasing it if ambulance officials come forward with a request.

The council will hold a special meeting to vote on whether to approve the budget on June 12 at 7:30 p.m.

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