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Proposed budget hikes trash fees

June 24, 2007|by MARLO BARNHART

FUNKSTOWN - Funkstown's proposed budget for the coming fiscal year calls for an increase in the garbage collection fee charged to residents, but holds the line on the property tax rate.

The proposed budget lists total revenue for the coming year - from taxes, water and sewer, grants, interest, licenses and permits - at $753,424. That would be an increase over revenue of $720,529 in fiscal year 2007.

Expenditures in the proposed budget total $638,138, an increase from the fiscal 2007 figure of $599,107.

One of the largest expenditure increases is expected to be garbage collection costs.

For fiscal year 2008, the budget shows $72,000 has been earmarked for garbage pickup, an increase of $10,000 for a full-year contract.

The town picks up 50 percent of the tab for garbage collection, and residents pay the other half.

Town Clerk Brenda Haynes said trash pickup currently costs town residents $25 per quarter. There is a proposal for the cost to go up to $30 per quarter starting July 1, Haynes said.

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If that change is approved, the increase would show up on the October bills.

The town property tax rate of 22 cents per $100 of assessed value would remain the same for fiscal 2008 under the proposed budget, Haynes said.

Operating revenue from water and sewer fees and hookup charges is expected to be $453,006, an increase of more than $21,000 from the previous fiscal year.

Funkstown buys water from the City of Hagerstown, then charges its water customers for the water and the cost of maintaining the waterlines, Haynes said.

Haynes said quarterly water and sewer fees increased 5 percent in February, and will increase another 5 percent in January 2008.

These increases were approved earlier:

· The quarterly water fee for in-town customers is $34.07 for up to 6,000 gallons and $4.48 for each additional 1,000 gallons. In January 2008, in-town customers will pay $35.77 for up to 6,000 gallons and $4.70 for each additional 1,000 gallons.

· For out-of-town customers, the quarterly fee for water is $45.49 for the first 6,000 gallons and $5.99 for each additional 1,000 gallons. Beginning in January, out-of-town customers will pay $47.76 for the first 6,000 gallons and $6.28 for each additional 1,000 gallons.

· The quarterly sewer fee for in-town customers is $62.05 for the first 6,000 gallons and $8.73 for each additional 1,000 gallons. In January, that will increase to $65.16 for the first 6,000 gallons and $9.16 for each additional 1,000 gallons.

· For out-of-town customers, the quarterly fee for sewer is $82.90 for the first 6,000 gallons and $11.68 for each additional 1,000 gallons. That will increase in January to $87.04 for the first 6,000 gallons and $12.26 for each additional 1,000 gallons.

"The fees had to go up because of the Maryland Department of the Environment," Haynes said.

The increases were a condition of the town receiving a loan for an upgrade of the town's wastewater system, which is expected to cost an estimated $3.19 million.

Haynes said increases also are being considered for the town's water and sewer hookup rates.

For town residents, one water hookup now is $3,000. Under a proposed increase, that would increase to $4,500. Out-of town-residents now pay $4,500 for one water hookup, with a proposed increase to $5,500.

Haynes said the current and proposed sewer hookup fees are the same for in-town and out-of-town residents.

The proposed budget lists salaries for the four town employees at a total of $121,520. Employees include one town clerk, one secretary and two maintenance workers.

While not salaried, town council members receive credits on their water bills, Haynes said. In addition to the water credit, the mayor receives an allowance for travel, which is listed in the proposed budget at $1,920 for fiscal 2008.

Some other proposed expenditures for fiscal 2008 include $5,000 for the town's fire company, $1,500 for park repairs and maintenance, $500 for snow and ice removal, $500 for election costs and $500 for the town picnic.

Funkstown residents will have a chance to read and ask questions about the town's fiscal 2008 budget during a special meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.




If you go



What: Public meeting on Funkstown's fiscal 2008 budget

When: Tuesday, 7 p.m.

Where: Town Hall

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