Aldermen plan to offer alternatives Saturday to the mayor's proposed $73.74 million budget for fiscal 2012.

They will discuss the budget at the following times:

- 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Municipal Annex building, 140 W. Patrick St.

- 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall

- 7 p.m. Thursday at City Hall

Executive makes the grade

Josh Russin may be newly hired as the mayor's executive, but he impressed aldermen May 3 with his grasp of the city's business.

"These are complex things, and you're on it," Alderwoman Kelly Russell said.

"It's the staff," Russin responded. "You have a lot of good staff."

"Adding you to the list now," Russell said.

Taxi ranks to grow

The city has three new taxicab permits for sale based on increased population.

Christine Grob, the city's special vehicle coordinator, said anyone may apply for the permit as long as the conditions are met.

If more than three applications come in, a lottery will determine who gets the permits.

Each application must be submitted, accompanied by a certified check for $2,500, to Grob before 2 p.m. Monday. An applicant may apply for more than one permit. The fee is nonrefundable once a permit is issued.

If a lottery is necessary, it will be at 9:30 a.m. May 24 in the City Hall boardroom.

More information and permit applications are available from Grob, 301-600-2122 or cgrob@frederickmdpolice.org.

Financial situation tests city's resolve

Alderwomen Shelley Aloi and Karen Young are optimistic the city will manage to cope with strained city finances in 2012 and in future years.

Aloi thanked "those looking to fill in gaps ... of service to the poorest of the poor," who may find fewer public services offered next year.

Young said tackling the city's deficits -- millions of dollars worth for the foreseeable future -- did not seem so discouraging after al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was caught.

The 10-year search for the terrorist demonstrated that perseverance pays off, she said.

"The one thing that keeps resonating with me is there isn't anything that can't be done ... when you really put your mind to something ... it does give me great hope."

Historic preservation wins honors

Residents and businesses recently received recognition for historic preservation projects in the city.

Their recognition coincided with National Preservation Month and the May 4 Historic Preservation Awards Celebration.

The following projects, individuals and organizations received awards:

n 344 N. Market St. rehabilitation: Honorable mention to Elizabeth and Douglas Comer and Joel T. Anderson

- 121 Record St. rehabilitation: Kirsten and John Johansen

- 8 W. Seventh St. rehabilitation: Murphy Properties LLC

- 629 N. Market St. new construction design of the Bernard W. Brown Community Center: Zavos Architecture + Design LLC and Housing Authority of Frederick

- 15 W. Patrick St. stewardship of the Cultural Arts Center: the Frederick Arts Council

The winners of the 2011 This Place Matters photo contest are: Stephen Parnes and The Banner School; Nancy Ferguson for her photo of Rose Hill Manor; Kirsten Tydings for her photo of Visitation Academy

Photographs of the award-winning projects will be posted at www.cityoffrederick.com/preservation.

Customers have choice of electricity providers

Frederick residents have an opportunity to learn about energy options and savings from a panel of experts.

At 7 p.m. May 24 at City Hall, the public can attend a free event to learn about electric choice from Paula Carmody, Maryland People's counsel, and a panel of electric suppliers.

Jim Pierobon of the Maryland Clean Energy Center will moderate the panel.

Frederick County's Office of Sustainability and Environmental Resources will invite city households to take Challenge 1: Be a Power Saver!

Power Saver-designated households save energy to reduce utility bills, using home energy audits, making an energy saving action plan, and implementing home energy projects.

Free Power Saver handbooks will be available for all residents who register for the program.

Suppliers will describe ways to save energy and reduce expense.

All who would like to attend the free event are asked to register at Business infrederick.com or call 301-600-6360 or email dgoff@cityoffrederick.com.

More information is available from Richard Griffin, director of economic development, at 301-600-6361 or by email at rgriffin@cityoffrederick.com.

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