By Josh Davis, Associate Editor
(June 28, 2018) The Berlin Town Council on Monday approved an $18.18 million budget for fiscal 2019, representing a 4.58 decrease, or about $870,000, from the previous fiscal year.
Capital projects were also lower, $3.8 million compared to $4.6 million a year ago.
Mayor Gee Williams said a budget draft publicly introduced on May 29 was slightly lower, $17.96 million, which would have been 5.74 percent lower than the fiscal 2018 budget of just over $19 million.
However, $220,000 was added to the budget, including $205,000 for Berlin EMS operational expenses and $10,000 for “part two” of a Berlin Fire Company funding study.
Williams said the total funding for the Berlin Fire Company, now $605,000, “was contingent on a contract for services for fiscal-year ’19 between Berlin Fire Company and the Town of Berlin for fire and EMS services.”
Additionally, $5,000 more was allocated to Atlantic General Hospital’s Campaign for the Future. Williams said the total contribution to the AGH campaign, $100,000, would remain the same, but would now be paid over four years instead of five.
A public hearing was opened and closed without comment, and no councilmembers opted to comment during the meeting.
The vote to approve the budget was unanimous with all five councilmembers present.
Apparently not included was a $45,000 request for an administrative assistant for Police Chief Arnold Downing, voted down 3-2 on May 29.
Also during that meeting the council voted 5-0 to retain the current property tax rate of 0.68 cents per $100 of valuation.
To view the full text of the budget, visit www.berlinmd.gov/department/finance.
The Town Council, on Monday, also approved six annual contracts: $60.580 for Angel’s Touch Cleaning Services, $38,400 for Cards Technology, $40,000 for Worcester Youth and Family Counseling Services, and not to exceed $100,000 each for Booth and Associates (electric utility consulting), Davis, Bowen & Friedel (architectural services) and EA Engineering, Science and Technology (stormwater consulting).