MAYOR AND COUNCIL PUBLIC HEARING
ORDINANCE O3-2020 BUDGET FOR FISCAL YEAR 2022
Mayor Foster called the public hearing to order at 7:07 p.m. In attendance were Councilmembers Sam Shoge, Tom Herz, Ellsworth Tolliver and Meghan Efland, W. S. Ingersoll (Town Manager), Kees de Mooy (Zoning Administrator), Amanda Miller (Finance Director), Jennifer Mulligan (Town Clerk) and guests.
Ms. Mulligan read the public notice into the record as follows:
At 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 7, 2021, the Mayor and Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed FY21-22 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 on www.townofchestertown.com where the public will be welcome to make oral comments. Written comments are also welcome. The draft budget proposes remaining at the current tax rate of $.43 and the budget is available for review in the office of the Mayor and Council.
By Order of
David Foster, Mayor”
Mr. Ingersoll stated that two (2) separate workshops were held on the budget and the Town was presenting a balanced budget with: capital improvements in the amount of $100,000.00 for street paving, 5% raises across the board for employees, and two (2) new police cars. He said that the signs were of a financial forecast of healthy financial improvement due to construction in the new business campus and in the building of new homes in Town. He said that this budget allowed for some things that have not been permitted over the last several years, such as raises and capital improvements. He said the tax rate would remain the same.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that there was increased funding to several community organizations this year.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Utilities budget was balanced with no increase in water/sewer rates, and the Marina budget was getting healthier every year with the number of boats using the marina.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that income taxes were on the rise, as were real estate assessments and taxes.
Mr. Ingersoll asked if there were any questions.
Mr. Shoge stated that a steady increase should be shown over the next several years in taxes from the new Dixon Expansion as they were part of the Enterprise Zone. Mr. Ingersoll stated that many other businesses in Town were also benefitting from inclusion in the Enterprise Zone.
Mr. Shoge asked if there would be an uptake in transfer taxes due to the real estate sales. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the Town would recognize an increase in the assessable tax base, but transfer taxes go to Kent County.
Mr. Shoge asked what the surplus would be used for this year. Mr. Ingersoll stated that the surplus could not be folded into the new budget but was there for use where emergency or unexpected capital funds were needed. He said that he would like to do more paving in Town as soon as possible.
Ms. Efland asked about the A&E budget. Ms. Miller stated that there was $17,000.00 for A&E and the remaining $59,154.00 was to Main Street. Ms. Efland asked if an additional $2,500.00 can be taken from the surplus to go to Main Street to better split the difference. The Council agreed.
Rev. Tolliver asked about the Rising Sons as they requested $1,000.00 for program funding. The Council agreed for $1,000.00 to go to the Rising Sons.
Mr. Ingersoll stated that he did not recommend the suggested funding of block parties for HOAs in any private communities. The Council agreed.
Mr. Shoge stated that the Town might want to reconsider funding to community agencies when other grant funding was available. Mr. Herz stated that the forms should be sent out to community groups with a firm deadline to be considered at each budget.
Mr. Herz asked what level of funding Kent County gives to the Visitors Center. Mr. Ingersoll stated that rent is paid by the Upper Shore Regional Council through Kent County but that was the extent of their funding.
Ms. Miller stated that the funding ($42,254) recently received from Kent County as a tax setoff is going to be added to trash expenses and to street repaving.
There being no further questions or comments, Ms. Efland moved to adjourn the public hearing at 7:37p.m., was seconded by Mr. Herz and carried unanimously.
Submitted by: Approved by:
Jennifer Mulligan David Foster
Town Clerk Mayor