Frederick Mayor to unveil proposed spending plan -- Gazette.Net







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Mayor Randy McClement (R) will unveil his proposed fiscal 2014 budget during a workshop Wednesday with the Frederick Board of Aldermen.

McClement has kept any details of his budget under close wraps in recent weeks, preferring that the five aldermen see it before the public does.

However, the public will get its chance to weigh in during seven scheduled public hearings on Wednesdays in April and May.

The budget hearings are scheduled at 7 p.m. for the following dates and subjects:

• April 3 ­— The Frederick Police Department.

• April 10 — The Department of Public Works.

• April 17 — The Departments of Engineering, Parks and Recreation and Planning.

• April 24 — The mayor’s office, the departments of Audio/Visual, Finance, Graphic Information Systems, Human Resources, Information Technology, Legal, Purchasing, Safety and the Frederick Community Action Agency.

• May 1 — The Frederick Municipal Airport, the Departments of Economic Development and Parking and the Weinberg Center for the Arts.

• May 8 — The Capital Improvements Program.

• May 15 — Open discussion on any topic.

After the hearings, the aldermen are scheduled to adopt the tax rate and budget for fiscal 2014 on May 16 at 7 p.m.

Last year’s general fund budget had revenue and expenses of $80.4 million, up from $74 million in fiscal 2012.

Replacing equipment, making new hires and a citywide 3-percent salary increase were some of the reasons for the increase. Personnel costs were up about $670,000 from fiscal 2012.

The biggest change in fiscal 2013 was the city’s switch to a different tax plan, which lowered the county tax rate and allowed the city to increase its own taxes to make up the difference.

That resulted in a reduction in the property tax rate of 4 cents per $100 of assessed property value this year, which translated to $82 annually for a $200,000 home.

Last year’s budget also included a 10 percent increase in water and sewer rates, aimed at funding rising maintenance costs and updates to the wastewater treatment plant to meet state and federal mandates for cleaning the Chesapeake Bay.

According to the city’s utility website, a family of four pays on average about $302.50 every 90 days for water and sewer service.

For more details about the fiscal 2014 budget, visit