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Residents can weigh in on Funkstown budget

June 07, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE

FUNKSTOWN -- There's still time for Funkstown residents to tell Town Council members how they feel about the possibility of trash and yard waste collection being cut back.

The council didn't come to a consensus about the collections during a Monday night budget workshop. The public hearing on the budget will be at 7 p.m. June 14 at Town Hall and the council is expected to vote on the budget afterward.

Mayor Paul N. Crampton Jr. encouraged council members to talk to their neighbors about the matter. Councilman Kim Ramer was absent.

For now, the proposed budget will include $79,000 for those services. That's enough to cover continuing the existing once-a-week yard waste collection from April through November and twice-a-week trash collection. Bids for renewing those services recently came in and the council needs to vote on the contract before the end of June, possibly on June 14.

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Councilman Richard L. Gaver said he wants to cut trash collection to once a week and Councilman John Phillips III said he'd like to reduce the frequency of yard waste collection.

Enough council members wanted to try cutting the deputy's hours that the proposed budget will include reducing them from 40 hours a month to 20 hours, which would save $10,800 for the year.

Since the town doesn't have to sign a formal contract with the Washington County Sheriff's Office for the deputy's hours, that leaves the option open of reviewing the situation in six months and deciding if the council wants to reinstate the full 40 hours a month for the rest of the year, town officials said.

The proposed budget also includes a 6-cent property tax rate increase and a 4.5 percent water rate hike that also would affect the cost of sewer service because water use is part of that calculation, Town Clerk/Treasurer Brenda L. Haynes said.

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