Council to act on budget

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By Chris Sardelli

County Council will vote on final reading of the county’s 2009-10 budget Monday.

County Administrator Steve Willis said this is considered a “continuation budget” because it includes no pay raises, tax hikes, millage increases, layoffs or additional programs than the previous year’s budget. He also said there have been no changes to the budget from the second reading.

“This is going to be the same as last time,” Willis said.

Council has already given two readings to the new budget, which is projected at just over $31 million, with a deficit of almost $350,000.

Officials have said they plan to eliminate that deficit by final reading.

Council suspended third reading at a previous meeting waiting to see if the state Legislature would change state property tax laws, but it did not. There were no comments made during a recent public hearing on the budget.

Willis said the vote on the budget will be slightly different than previous years because council will consider two motions.

This is a result of outgoing Chairman Fred Thomas announcing his plans to leave council to assume a new county magistrate judge’s position.

As such, there will be a separate motion to vote on the magistrate budget, and Thomas will not participate.

Council will also consider two items presented by Keith Tunnell, president of the Lancaster County Economic Development Corp.

Tunnel will present a proposal for construction of a speculative building at the Heath Springs Industrial Park. The plan is to use the building to attract new businesses to the area.

“This is so if a company wanted to move in immediately, it (the building) would be available,” Willis said.

Council is also expected to vote on funding $75,000 towards a facility for a proposed call center training program.

The program, jointly developed by the development corporation and York Technical College, would help train local workers to get them ready for call center careers.

The program is also designed to attract call centers to Lancaster County.

Council will meet at 6 p.m. in council chambers at the Lancaster County Administration Building. The meeting is open to the public.

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli  at csardelli@thelancasternews.com or at (803) 416-8416