Spe­cial meet­ing set for Galena bud­get

Cecil Whig - - LOCAL - By DANIEL DIVILIO

Spe­cial from the Kent County

News

— With town staff still work­ing on the up­com­ing bud­get, the coun­cil plans to hold a spe­cial meet­ing later this month to en­sure it stays on track to have a spend­ing plan in place by the July 1 start of the new fis­cal year.

The coun­cil will hold a spe­cial meet­ing at 7 p.m. Wed­nes­day, May 25 to in­tro­duce the Fis­cal Year 2017 bud­get, which takes ef­fect July 1.

A pub­lic hear­ing on the bud­get is ex­pected to be held at the coun­cil’s June 6 meet­ing, with a pos­si­ble vote af­ter­ward.

GALENA

Also dur­ing the May 25 meet­ing, the coun­cil will hold a work­shop on a wa­ter and sewer rate study be­ing con­ducted in con­junc­tion with the long-run­ning wastew­a­ter treat­ment plant pro­ject.

There are a cou­ple of bud­get lines al­ready ex­pected to go up next year.

Dur­ing the coun­cil’s Mon­day, May 2 meet­ing, Town Man­ager Sharon Wey­gand and Don Reed, of Mary­land En­vi­ron­men­tal Ser­vice, spoke about the agency’s in­creased costs for mon­i­tor­ing the town’s wa­ter and wastew­a­ter plants.

The MES re­quest for wa­ter ser­vices is $37,161, a $1,973 in­crease from the cur­rent year. For sewer, the cost will go up to $48,883, a dif­fer­ence of $3,034.

Reed said the ma­jor­ity of the rate hikes come from salary in­creases.

“I per­son­ally feel MES is do­ing a great job, and I think it re­ally takes a bur­den off the town,” Wey­gand said.

Mayor Sam Sessa signed a new three-year trash con­tract with Re­pub­lic Ser­vices that was pre­vi­ously ap­proved by the coun­cil.

Town At­tor­ney Tom Yea­ger said the ser­vice price per unit is in­creas­ing be­cause of new costs of re­cy­cling.

Yea­ger said the costs go up in­cre­men­tally each year of the con­tract, start­ing at $16.68 per unit for the first year. The sec­ond year, the per-unit price is $17.18, which goes to $17.69 for the fi­nal year of the con­tract.

“So this has a mod­est in­crease for the ini­tial year of re­newal and then it has a con­di­tional in­crease for sub­se­quent years,” Yea­ger said. In Other Busi­ness: • Clerk/Trea­surer Bar­bara Shaw spoke about the first progress meet­ing on the town’s new wastew­a­ter treat­ment plant. She said much of the dis­cus­sion held April 18 fo­cused on how pro­ject pay­ments will be made.

“It seems like ev­ery­thing is mov­ing OK, and every­body seems happy,” Shaw said.

Sessa said the April 27 ground­break­ing for the plant was a good event. He said it had been a long road just to get to that point.

“All in all, it was a re­ally nice morn­ing,” he said.

• Yea­ger said a draft fran- chise agree­ment sub­mit­ted to Com­cast a year ago was sig­nif­i­cantly shorter than the doc­u­ment cur­rently un­der re­view. He said it ap­pears Com­cast is try­ing to sub­vert por­tions of the town’s or­di­nances through its pro­posed re­vi­sions.

“My over­all opin­ion is that Com­cast has made this much more com­pli­cated than it needs to be,” Yea­ger said.

• Coun­cil­man John Car­roll said food trucks were a sub­ject of dis­cus­sion at last month’s Kent County Coun­cil of Gov­ern­ments meet­ing. He said that may be an is­sue for the town’s plan­ning and zon­ing com­mis­sion.

Yea­ger said since the zon­ing or­di­nance does not ad­dress food trucks, they are not al­lowed in town.

“It wouldn’t hurt to be pre­pared for it,” Sessa said.

• Chief Deputy James Culp gave the Kent County Sher­iff’s Of­fice re­port for the month of April. He said deputies per­formed 56 speed as­sign­ments in Galena, is­su­ing 67 warn­ings and 89 ci­ta­tions.

Culp said April was a lit­tle busier in Galena than pre­vi­ous months. He said there were ar­rests for drink­ing and driv­ing, drugs and an out­stand­ing war­rant, and a crim­i­nal com­plaint for a bur­glary at the Galena Pizze­ria.

He said there were 12 hours of spe­cial over­time pa­trols in Galena, which does not have a mu­nic­i­pal police depart­ment, at a cost of $568 to the town. He said there re­mains $2,647 in Galena’s over­time pa­trol bud­get for the re­main­der of the year.

• Ju­dith Bie­len was named a mem­ber of the elec­tions board and Hazel Camp will serve as an al­ter­nate.

• Coun­cil­men Bud Felty and Harry Pis­apia were ab­sent from the meet­ing.

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