Port De­posit ap­proves new bud­get, re­tains tax rate

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By JANE BELLMYER

jbellmyer@ce­cil­whig.com

— The fis­cal year will be­gin July 1 with the same prop­erty tax rate, but a bud­get that is 1 per­cent more than the cur­rent spend­ing plan, ac­cord­ing to the town’s fi­nance di­rec­tor.

Ted Sooki­asian said there was not one par­tic­u­lar cat­e­gory in Port De­posit’s bud­get that had a marked change in its spend­ing.

“One item would go up and one would go down,” he ex­plained of the $619,417 op­er­at­ing bud­get. “It’s re­ally just a con­tin­u­a­tion of the way we’re op­er­at­ing now.”

Since 2010, Port De­posit has not had to deal with wa­ter and sewer is­sues, hav­ing sold its wa­ter sys­tem to Arte­sian, and turned its waste­water op­er­a­tions over to Ce­cil County.

Prop­erty own­ers will be charged 55 cents for ev­ery

PORT DE­POSIT

$100 of as­sessed value un­der the bud­get plan struck last week. That’s slightly above the con­stant yield rate set by the Mary­land De­part­ment of As­sess­ments and Tax­a­tion.

“If we used the con­stant yield rate we would have $3,000 less in our op­er­at­ing bud­get,” he said Mon­day.

The state’s sug­ges­tion was to charge 54.62 cents per hun­dred, while the town main­tained its 55.1 cents per hun­dred rate. Sooki­asian said the con­stant yield was is­sued to the town be­fore two large prop­er­ties were re-as­sessed, which would have cre­ated the short­fall.

The util­ity tax rate is also hold­ing the line at 2.2 per­cent. Only Arte­sian, Del­marva Power and Ver­i­zon pay that tax, he added.

The one un­known in this bud­get re­mains the Tome Gas House, he said. Since the town will only have to

Rock Run Bridge to close June 16 PORT DE­POSIT

— De­tours are go­ing into place warn­ing mo­torists that the 86-yearold Rock Run Bridge will be closed be­gin­ning June 16, ac­cord­ing to a spokesman for the Mary­land State High­way Ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Charles Gis­chlar said the clo­sure is ex­pected to last 10 weeks while Richard Pier­son Co., from Wood­stown, N.J., com­pletes the $2.8 mil­lion project on the north end of have half a year of an op­er­at­ing bud­get for the his­toric struc­ture- turned- tourist­cen­ter, Sooki­asian said town of­fi­cials aren’t cer­tain how much money should be al­lo­cated.

“We’re not sure how it’s go­ing to af­fect the bud­get,” he said, adding, “We’re guess­ing at some of the ex­penses.”

The same goes for the newly opened com­fort sta­tion in Ma­rina Park. It was an­other guess to de­ter­mine how much the sup­plies and main­te­nance would cost.

Sooki­asian said the cost of trash pick up was go­ing to go up 6.1 per­cent for sev­eral rea­sons.

“Per our agree­ment with Waste Man­age­ment, we needed to raise it,” he said, not­ing that would ad­dress in­creases in cost for the hauler, in­clud­ing the 5 per­cent rise in tip­ping fees at the Ce­cil County Cen­tral Land­fill.

Port De­posit.

With Route 222 closed at Rock Run, traf­fic will be di­verted to­ward Route 1 and Route 276. A pedes­trian bridge near the con­struc­tion area will al­low for free foot traf­fic through­out.

The new bridge will be 15-feet wider to add a side­walk. In or­der to avoid dis­turb­ing an ad­ja­cent his­toric prop­erty, the road will be an­gled slightly to ac­com­mo­date the wider berth.

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