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Finance Report for June 2002

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By Councilmember Guy Tiberio

In the last issue of the Town Crier the Mayor discussed at length the budget he has proposed for the 2002-2003 fiscal year. I would suggest you pick up a copy at the Town Office.

On May 28, 2002 as chairman of the Finance Committee, it will be my responsibility to chair the public hearing for the proposed budget and to obtain resident comments, which may be made in person, by letter, or by e-mail at home at guyrivpark@aol.com or to the Town Office to my attention at town@ci.riverdale-park.md.us.

The hearing is only the first step in the budget process after which there will be further finance committee and council meetings prior to adopting the budget and setting the tax rate for the town fiscal year.

In the Mayor's report on the proposed budget, he indicated we have been able to maintain tax levels and service levels while some of our neighboring towns have dramatically increased their taxes or significantly reduced services. This may be true, though I would like to remind you under our old tax formula and rate, our total taxes have increased by using the special assessments to make purchases which for many years were included in the general operating budget, and in fact the proposed tax rate for this year would increase taxes again to pay for more equipment purchases which were always included in the operating expenses.

My initial review of the Mayor's proposed budget would suggest many changes should be made by councilmembers and I will be proposing these as time progresses.

The present adopted budget which was proposed to use $450,000 from our town's cash reserves or rainy day fund was reduced to only $45,000 by the efforts of the council. The newly proposed budget is balanced by using $189,000 from our reserve funds. This may be reduced.

The old adage which believes reducing costs reduces services no longer hold true. Every effort must be made to continue our excellent services but also to assure we receive the best bang for our bucks.

Again, I encourage you residents and taxpayers to take part in the forthcoming proceedings. Growing our tax base only by annexations may not be the only way to go. New commercial/industrial redevelopment and development are the really true answers. After all residential annexations demand more and more services as time passes.

At this time I would like to add my thanks to Mr. Prangley and his staff for the many grants they have obtained over the past years which have allowed us to improve our infrastructure, roads, sidewalks, lighting, etc. at little or no cost to the town. Without their efforts we would be in serious trouble. Again, congratulations and thanks.

Listed below is a small part of the many projects funded by outside grants this past year with NO direct tax burden to Riverdale Park residents.

FY 2001-2002 Grants:

  • Community Legacy $300,000

  • Neighborhood Conservation $240,000

  • Smart Growth $365,000

  • CDBG Grants $271,500

Total for FY 2001-2002 Grants listed above: $1,176,500

Guy Tiberio is the Council-member for Ward 3 and Finance Committee Chairperson.

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