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Budget proposal is presented at Clear Spring council meeting

May 14, 2002|BY MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

CLEAR SPRING - Some discussion accompanied the introduction Monday night of the town's fiscal year 2003 budget of $934,422, which will be up for formal adoption at the June 10 meeting.

The public will have the opportunity to speak out on the proposed budget 30 minutes before the 7 p.m. meeting that day, Town Mayor Paul Hose Jr. said.

Receipts from local, county and state taxes plus interest income are expected to total $59,186. Highway receipts are listed at $31,812, while the town's water system is expected to bring in $74,724.

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Last fiscal year, the water system account was swelled with the addition of a proposed $400,000 loan from the Maryland Department of the Environment for a new water storage tank/foundation that may be built on a site yet to be determined.

This year, a $612,000 loan for filtration of the town's well water is in the budget. And as Hose explained, the town could be facing an "either/or" situation, meaning both projects may be necessary over the next few years.

"We have gotten notice that we are eligible for a low-interest loan for the filtration project," Hose said.

Over the past year, the town's water supplies have been hurt by the regional drought and a number of below-average test results on the water being pumped from the three town wells now producing water.

"The Maryland Department of the Environment is saying the wells are still under the influence of groundwater," Hose said. That groundwater has been found to be contaminated.

In the proposed 2003 budget, revenue from the town's sewer system is listed at $156,700.

There will be no increases in water or sewer rates and the town will still foot the bill to pick up garbage at no cost to residents, town officials said.

Neither personal property taxes nor real estate taxes will increase in the 2003 proposed budget, Hose said.

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