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Council to hold budget hearing Monday

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By Chris Sardelli

The public will have a chance to comment on the county’s proposed 2009-10 budget at Lancaster County Council’s meeting Monday.

County Administrator Steve Willis said County Council will hold off on the third reading of the budget, but will hold a hearing to receive comments.

“We’re moving forward with the hearing and we invite the public to come up and make comments,” Willis said.

Council will wait until its last meeting of the month to discuss final reading of the budget. Willis said council had been waiting to see if the state Legislature would change state property tax laws, which it did not.

“I’m pretty sure we’ll have enough revenue growth so as not to raise the taxes,” he said. “We can carry on this year’s budget to next year.”

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.

Call center project

Council will also discuss a funding request for a proposed facility for a call center training program. The program, jointly developed by the Lancaster County Economic Development Corp. and York Technical College, would help train local workers to get them ready for call center careers. The program is being designed to attract call centers to the county.

Willis said the facility and program are an investment in the county’s economic future.

“It’s akin to going fishing. You can save money by not buying worms, but the chances of catching fish decrease greatly,” he said. “Hopefully, this program will attract businesses who will bring jobs to put our citizens back to work.”

There will also be a closed session to discuss an economic development issue, several legal briefings and a personnel matter.

Council will meet at 6 p.m. in council chambers at the Lancaster County Administration Building.

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