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Smithsburg Council OKs budget

June 14, 2000|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

SMITHSBURG - The Smithsburg Town Council adopted a fiscal 2001 budget that includes money for a third police officer but the town will not hire one immediately, according to press release issued following a special budget meeting Tuesday.

The press release said the council members decided after much debate that more time is needed to determine the necessity of hiring a third police officer and to consider residents' opinions.

"This period of time will allow our police department to fully institute its community policing program," the press release said.

The town allocated $78,200 for police salaries.

The 2001 budget doesn't include any water or sewer rate increases and the tax rate will remain at 70 cents per $100 of assessed value.

Sewer connection fees will increase to $250 to offset increases in rates from the City of Hagerstown, said Betsy Martin, town clerk/treasurer.

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The general fund budget lists total revenues at $651,970 and expenses $648,159 for a surplus of $3,811.

The budget includes an anticipated $85,582 in Program Open Space funds for recreational projects.

Town Council did not discuss justifications for allocations made in the budget during the special budget meeting, which lasted about 20 minutes.

"This will be the only statement released by the mayor and council on this issue," the press release said.

Council members would not comment on the budget beyond the prepared statement.

On a motion by Councilman Jerome Martin a vote was taken on whether to make the press release public.

Martin, Councilman Jake Johnson and Councilwoman Elizabeth "Peachy" Mann voted to make the statement public.

Councilman Charlie Slick abstained and Councilman Mike Rohrer voted against releasing the statement.

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