Town moves forward with proposed budget

Middletown is moving forward with its proposed budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year, following its first and second readings Monday night.

The town also held public hearings for both the proposed budget and for proposed fee increases to the town park located off of Senseney Avenue and Second Street. No residents spoke at either hearing.

The proposed budget of $2.3 million represents a 15.9 percent increase from the approved 2015 budget of $1.96 million.

The largest revenue increase for the town in the upcoming year is for the town’s meals tax, which includes tax revenue from the new McDonald’s located off of Reliance Rd.

In total, the proposed meals tax for the 2016 fiscal year is $117 million, and $72,000 is based on possible meals tax revenue.

Town treasurer Rebecca “Becky” Layman said the increase is based on $6,400 in meals tax revenue from McDonald’s for the month of April.

Layman noted that she estimated the McDonald’s revenue at $6,000 per month, based on April’s figures.

In addition, the town’s bank tax revenue is also slated to more than double from $4,500 in 2015 to $11,219 for 2016.

Layman said the bank tax “has fluctuated in years past” and that it is never been “quite that high.”

The town will vote on the budget during a special committee meeting on June 16, following its third reading during the budget.

Also at Monday’s meeting, the town read the proposed fee change for the town park, which would increase from the current rate of $25 per day to $50 per day.

Town Mayor Charles Harbaugh IV noted that the proposed increases will “help curb some expenses and costs that we have.”

Councilman Jeffery Pennington stated during that the public hearing that he believes the fee increase is “a bit high.”

“I don’t know that we need this to be a money-maker, necessarily,” Pennington added.

Following the work session, Pennington explained that he would like to see a $10 increase to $35 for the rental fees. “I believe that covers the cost of the power hook-up and all for the day.”

The council vote on the fee increases at its regular meeting on June 8.

Contact staff writer Kevin Green at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kgreen@nvdaily.com