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Four budgets shared with commissioners

March 09, 2005|by TARA REILLY

Four Washington County departments presented their operating budgets for fiscal year 2006 to the County Commissioners on Tuesday.

· Black Rock Golf Course's proposed budget for the fiscal year 2006, which begins July 1, is $1.26 million, a $12,540 increase over the current fiscal year's budget of $1.24 million.

· Hagerstown Regional Airport Manager Carolyn Motz said the airport's proposed operating budget for the next fiscal year represents a 8.69 percent decrease from the current fiscal year's budget.

The tentative fiscal year 2006 budget is $1.35 million, which is $128,667 less than fiscal year 2005's budget of $1.48 million.

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Motz said a large part of the reduction is the result of uncertainty over whether the airport will have commercial service in the coming fiscal year. As a worst-case scenario, she said the airport decided not to include any revenue from passenger facility charges in the tentative budget.

The airport is waiting for word from the U.S. Department of Transportation on whether it is redesignated as an Essential Air Service facility, which could hold the current commercial carrier at the airport through a federal subsidy until another carrier is found.

Air Midwest, which provides commercial flights to and from Pittsburgh for U.S. Airways Express, said earlier this year it planned to pull out of Hagerstown effective March 6. U.S. Airways said last week that the Hagerstown flights were extended through May 17.

· The Highway Department budget lists a decrease in fiscal year 2006 when compared to the current year's budget.

Highway Director Ted Wolford said that department's proposed budget is $6.51 million next fiscal year, down $264,994 from this fiscal year's budget of $6.78 million. Wolford said the department is struggling to make up for state funding cuts.

· The Transportation Department's preliminary budget is projected to increase 12.58 percent for fiscal year 2006.

The proposed budget for the next fiscal year is $1.99 million, up $222,825 from $1.77 million this fiscal year.

Transportation Director Kevin Cerrone said the department intends to receive increases in federal and state grants. He also said rising fuel costs are driving up expenses for the department.

The County Commissioners plan to review department operating budgets weekly before a public hearing scheduled for May 10, according to a written statement.

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