MAYOR AND COUNCIL
PUBLIC HEARING ON FY2020-21 BUDGET
JUNE 1, 2020
Mayor Cerino called the Public Hearing to order at 7:00 p.m. In attendance were Councilmembers David Foster, Thomas Herz, Ellsworth Tolliver and Meghan Efland, W. S. Ingersoll (Town Manager), Amanda Miller (Treasury Specialist), Jennifer Mulligan (Town Clerk) and guests.
Mayor Cerino read the public notice into the record as follows:
“At 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 1, 2020, the Mayor and Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed FY20-21 Town Budget. Due to COVID-19 restrictions in place, citizens are encouraged to attend the public hearing via Zoom, by following directions that will be posted at www.townofchestertown.com where the public will be welcome to make oral comments. Written comments are also welcome. The budget proposes remaining at the current tax rate of $.43 and is available for review in the office of the Mayor and Council.”
Mr. Ingersoll stated that this was a balanced budget with limited capital improvements included. He said that this was a difficult year and revenues were expected to decline, especially due to the effects on the economy due to the COVID-19 virus. He said that the Town was in good financial shape, however, for being the middle of a pandemic.
Ms. Miller went over the FY21 budget. She stated that the Town was projecting revenues over expenses in the amount of $43,000.00. Highway User Funds were conservatively budgeted at $30,000.00 less than what the Town found out today from the State would be received. The Marina had a deficit which will be made up by the General Fund in the amount of $30,706.00.
Mr. Foster asked what the $93,500.00 miscellaneous figure was for on the budget in the General Fund. Ms. Miller stated that this was the annual loan principal payment for the Marina. Mayor Cerino stated that the Town paid the loan principal and the Marina was historically able to pay the annual interest. Mayor Cerino stated that this budget continued all services in place with money left over to cover the deficit at the Marina.
Mr. Foster asked if this $93,500.00 figure will go down after this year due to the USDA grant. Mayor Cerino stated that the annual principal amount was part of the 20-year bond that purchased the Marina land that cannot be prepaid until after the tenth year..
Mayor Cerino stated that the budget funds the Police Department with 12 officers and said that they were currently at 9 full-time officers.
Ms. Miller stated that the line of credit for the Marina will be paid off by the grant from USDA and there will be $160,000.00 left to pay back the general fund for shortages over the years. The USDA grant does not show in this budget because funds were expected in the current fiscal year.
Ms. Miller stated that the USDA loan comes directly out from the General Fund and said that she thought that the Marina could have paid it this year before the pandemic hit. She said that when recreational boating was not permitted by the Governor’s orders, she left the payments in the General Fund.
Mayor Cerino asked if there were any questions or comments.
Mr. Foster stated that speed cameras were discussed in budget workshops and asked if the installation was still being explored. Chief Dolgos stated that tests were going to be run on Campus Avenue and along High Street for potential installation. He said that upcoming legislature may aid in getting the cameras for the Town. Chief Dolgos stated that the SHA told him that their policy was to only allow speed cameras on State roads where the school is directly on the road itself and not within a half mile as the law provides. . He said that town streets would not require State Highway approval and would be easier to get permitted. Mayor Cerino stated that the Planning Commission has been looking for ways to cut down speed on Campus Avenue for years and a camera could work in that location.
Ms. Efland asked about the meeting further along in the year that had been discussed that would take a second look at the revenues and expenditures. Mayor Cerino stated that he would like to meet sometime in November. A late November or early December meeting was planned..
There being no further questions or comments, Rev. Tolliver moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:16 p.m., was seconded by Ms. Efland and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan Chris Cerino
Town Clerk Mayor