Glade Valley Government 

Walkersville Town Meeting on Tax and Water Rate and Budgets for FY 2021

The Town of Walkersville will hold a public hearing Wednesday, May 27, 2020 on adopting tax and water rates, and the budgets for fiscal year 2021.

The current tax rate is 16¢ per hundred dollars of assessed real property value. The constant yield tax rate for fiscal year 2021, which is the rate that would net the same dollar amount collected by the Town of Walkersville, would be 15.47¢ per hundred dollars of assessed real property value. Burgess Weddle noted during the last Budget Workshop that 16¢ is the lowest tax rate for a town of 3,000 people or more in Maryland.

Town Commissioner Michael McNiesh made a presentation several weeks ago showing that the Town of Walkersville consistently ends each fiscal year with a large surplus. Those surplus funds have piled up over the years and allowed the town to purchase property and finance the new water treatment plant.

The proposed tax rate for fiscal year 14¢ per hundred dollars of assessed real property value. That would be a 1.47¢ reduction from the constant yield tax rate and 2¢ tax cut from the current tax rate.

The Town Commissioners spent a lot of time discussing spending down some of the Town’s surplus. They proposed moving $1,006,000 from surplus funds to the general fund budget, $1,000,000 for capital projects, and $6,000 for public advertising notices on the Walkersville Wire.

A host of projects were discussed during a budget workshop, but not included in the published minutes. Those projects include:

  • Redoing Town Hall to make it handicap accessible,
  • Securing the Town Hall,
  • Creating more work space in Town Hall,
  • Updating the maintenance area to secure and protect equipment,
  • A Sidewalk Fund,
  • Tele-work Capabilities for Town staff,
  • Paving Creamery Park,
  • Increasing Security Cameras, and
  • Updating Playground Equipment.

The projects proposed would leave the Town of Walkersville with a surplus of approximately $6,140,000. Commissioner McNiesh added that the surplus will be over $8,000,000 with the repayment of funds loaned to the Water Fund.

The Town did approve adding a sixth Resident State Trooper to the Town’s law enforcement. Walkersville’s Resident Troopers have reported an increase of calls and the expectation of more calls for service with so many new residents coming to the community through the new developments. Due to the length of time to get a new trooper once the contract is amended, the cost will not be incurred until fiscal year 2022.

The Public Hearing Notice, which was only sent to the Frederick News Post, is as follows (links to budgets added by GladeValley.net):

The Town of Walkersville will hold a Public Hearing on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall, 21 West Frederick Street, for the purpose of adopting the real estate tax rate, and the General Fund and Water Fund introduced budgets. Copies of the introduced budgets can be found at www.walkersvillemd.gov.  Comments for the hearing record will be received 5/20 -5/27/2020 via email at townofwalkersville@comcast.net or mailed to the Town Hall at P.O. Box 249, Walkersville, MD  21793, or dropped in the Town’s slot outside the front door.

All interested citizens shall have the opportunity to be heard via the above methods.

The public notice for the tax rate is as follows (again, not sent to GladeValley.net):

PUBLIC NOTICE

TOWN OF WALKERSVILLE

The Town of Walkersville will hold a Public Hearing on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall, 21 West Frederick Street, for the purpose of adopting Ordinance 2020-07 which reinstates §85-1 Assessment made against all customers of Town water system.  An annual fee of $50 will be assessed on each water customer and included on each semiannual water bill in the amount of $25.  Comments for the hearing record will be received 5/22 -5/27/2020 via email at townofwalkersville@comcast.net or mailed to the Town Hall at P.O. Box 249, Walkersville, MD  21793, or dropped in the Town’s slot outside the front door.

All interested citizens shall have the opportunity to be heard via the above methods.

As Town Hall remains closed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the meeting will be broadcast live on Facebook and GladeValley.net at 7:30 p.m on May 27, 2020.

All questions concerning the budget and any other agenda items may be e-mailed to sgf.walkersville@gmail.com by 3 p.m. on May 27, 2020.

The Agenda for the meeting is:

  1. 7:30 PM – Call to Order – Burgess Chad Weddle

Pledge of Allegiance
Prayer

  1.  Approval of the Town Meeting Minutes of May 13, 2020
     
  2. ORDER OF BUSINESS:
  • Public Hearing on General Fund Budget
  • Public Hearing on Water Fund Budget
  • Public Hearing on Ordinance 2020-07 – Assessment on Water Customers
  • Adopt General Fund Budget and Property Tax Rate
  • Adopt Water Fund Budget
  • More Information on Long and Short Term Disability Coverage for Employees
  • Select Trash and Yard Waste Options from Awarded Contract with J&J Trash
  • Update on Frederick County/Maryland Governor Directives on Covid-19
  • Accounts Payable
  • Commissioners Concerns
  • Previously submitted Public Comments and Concerns
  1. ANNOUNCEMENTS (unless changed/cancelled due to Gov. Hogan/CDC recommendations):
  • Wed., June 10, 7:30 p.m. – Town Meeting
  • Wed., June 24, 7:30 p.m. – Town Meeting
  1. Closed Personnel/Legal Meeting
  2. Adjournment

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