Town Council members will hold a public hearing tonight, offering residents a chance to comment on the proposed budget for the fiscal year 2019-2020.
In addition to the Town Council’s public hearing, it will also hold a joint public hearing with the Planning Commission to discuss a special use permit application.
The two public hearings will take place half an hour before the town’s regular meeting begins at 7:30 p.m.
Before approving next year’s budget, council members will have to vote to amend the current budget because town revenues came in about $38,000 less than projected. Dan Harshman, the mayor, said at last month’s meeting the amended budget is balanced but council members had to hold a public hearing before they could officially vote to amend it.
One of the reasons the current budget came in under projections, Harshman said last month, were new taxes the town tried implementing. The new cigarette tax was a “shot in the dark” he said, and next year’s budget was adjusted to reflect the revenue the town saw from it this year.
Changes to next year’s budget include 3 percent raises for full-time town employees, including Harshman, after Vice Mayor Steve Wood tacked on the amendment as last month’s meeting was closing.
The town is also considering increasing the meals tax from 5 percent to 6 percent. All other taxes within town will remain the same, though water and sewer rates will be going up with the minimum bill for water increasing $1 for the first 3,000 gallons and minimum sewer bill increasing $4 for the first 3,000 gallons. Harshman said the town will be using a sliding scale to gauge costs for water and sewer levels over the minimum bill.
Harshman said the trash bill will also increase .50 in order to cover increases in the town’s contract.
Council members will read the amended ordinances that affect the meals tax, water, sewer and trash to reflect the changes in the budget. Council members will also read the proposed budget before voting on the ordinances and budget at their June meeting.
Council members can make changes to the budget between tonight’s meeting and their meeting in June, though they cannot make any changes that would increase taxes without holding another public hearing.
The public hearing will be at 7 p.m. tonight at the Town Hall.