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Williamsport council proposes $2.7 million budget

May 22, 2002|BY ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

WILLIAMSPORT - The Williamsport Town Council has proposed a more than $2.7 million fiscal 2002-03 budget that includes funding for an additional town deputy.

Council members at the June 10 town meeting will adopt a budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The $154,000 allotted for police services in the proposed budget - up from $95,000 in the current budget - includes nearly $60,000 for a third resident deputy's salary, vehicle and other expenses.

More police coverage is needed to help combat vandalism and other crimes in Williamsport, said Councilman Tim Ammons, who suggested hiring a third deputy from the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

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"I felt it was time," Ammons said.

The town now spends between $15,000 and $20,000 a year in overtime costs for police coverage above and beyond the regular hours worked by the town's two resident deputies, Ammons said.

A third police officer should eliminate overtime costs, he said.

It is unlikely the deputy would begin work in Williamsport this fiscal year because the Sheriff's Department might need to hire and train an additional officer, Ammons said.

Other large expenditures in the proposed budget include $908,000 for electric service, $299,000 for sewer treatment and $134,000 for water service.

The proposed budget also includes $168,000 for town employees' salaries, $89,000 for maintenance and emergency repairs on streets and alleys, $40,000 for computer system upgrades and $30,000 for streetlights.

There are no tax increases in the proposed budget.

Town income expected from local taxes totals $724,000, according to the proposed budget. Other large revenue sources expected include $762,000 from electric service charges, $233,750 from water service charges and $215,000 from sewer service charges. Income anticipated from water and sewer connection fees totals $345,000, according to the proposed budget.

The current budget includes $187,000 in revenue from water service charges and $172,000 from sewer service charges.

The expected $89,750 increase in combined revenue from water and sewer service charges in the fiscal 2002-03 budget reflects the incremental rate hike that took effect in October 2001, Town Clerk Donna K. Spickler said.

The Williamsport Town Council last September voted to raise the town's water and sewer rates by 25 percent per year for two years to help stem major losses to the town's water and sewer fund and to create revenues for capital improvements.

It was the town's first water and sewer rate increase since 1991.

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