It’s getting close to budget time in Hagerstown 

April 2 – The Hagerstown Mayor and Council will begin their budget review for the fiscal year 2025 during a work session this afternoon. 

The budget has a $5,000 surplus at the moment. 

Wes Decker, Communications Officer for the City of Hagerstown, said, “Which isn’t a whole lot of wiggle room, but that’s where it stands at the moment. No change in personal property tax rates from FY 2024, assessed value revenue growth of about 6.9%. We did pretty well with getting some highway user revenue, which always helps our cause with certain projects. In addition to that, the utilization of the general fund, the fund balance reserves of $2.2 million in total, from a combination of previously approved budgets for projects that were not yet completed or reallocated.”

American Rescue Act funding will also be discussed. 

Decker said, “And where that stands, the status of the funding at this point, what’s been spent, what’s still out there and if anything else still needs to be allocated. So that’s just kind of a high level overview of what we’ll be discussing. There’ll be plenty more to come over the next number of weeks.”

Could any of the funding be moved to the wastewater or sewer increases? Hagerstown residents will see a 14% increase for water and 13% for wastewater. 

Decker said, “I don’t know how that will play out. Certainly there is the ability potentially, for some of that to happen. I think it really depends on how all of the discussion plays out, what the council has, as you say, an appetite for. We’ll see how all of that goes over the next several weeks and months here as we close out this fiscal year.” 

The final budget is due by the end of June.

Decker said, “So by the time we get to the middle of June, everything should be finalized and then take care of that and move on. I mean, it’s always so fluid, one flows into the next but, this is the one we’re focusing on now.”

The city manager presents the budget to mayor and council and it’s all online for public view. 

Another discussion topic this afternoon will be the cultural trail crosswalk across Baltimore Street by Meritus Park. 

Decker said, “The discussion about that has to do with where the crosswalk was supposed to go initially, and then how the construction of the stadium has affected that in a way where the crosswalk could not go straight across the street. Instead, it would go on an angle diagonally. At least one member of council wanted to further review that because it keeps people in the street for a longer period of time. So engineering will present their side of the story of that from what can and might be able to happen in terms of altering that. Then Council will provide its feedback to see exactly how that will play out in the end.”

The meeting can be attended in person in Council Chambers at 1 E. Franklin Street at 4 p.m. today or can be viewed on the city’s Facebook page or YouTube channel. 
For the agenda, click here:  https://hagerstown.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/MeetingView.aspx?MeetingID=1282&MinutesMeetingID=-1&doctype=Agenda