Middletown residents will have a chance this week to weigh in on the town’s proposed budget.
The public hearing on the proposed $3.55 million operating budget and $1.26 million water and sewer budget for fiscal 2020 will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday in the town’s municipal center.
The fiscal 2019 general fund operating budget was $3.35 million, and the water and sewer budget was $1.26 million.
The operating budget includes $1.44 million in local tax revenue, $1.79 million in the town’s share of county taxes and $253,778 in state tax revenue.
The largest expenditure in the operating budget is an item for highways and streets that costs about $815,000.
That’s often one of the biggest items in any budget, Burgess John Miller said Monday.
In September, the town decided to switch to a new tar, chip and seal process for resurfacing roads, which Miller said will hopefully help the town do more projects without drastically reducing quality.
The process involves spraying a layer of tar on the road, then spreading a layer of stone chips on top of it.
The surface is rolled to push the stone chips into the surface. Excess chips are swept away after the surface has cured for several days.
The proposed budget also includes $438,024 for public safety.
The cost of three deputies from the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office who patrol the town accounts for $388,000 of that amount, Miller said. The rest goes to expenses such as school crossing guards and a donation to the Middletown Volunteer Fire Co.
The town’s proposed water and sewer budget includes a 2 percent rate increase, after four years without an increase, Miller said.
The increase will help prepare to pay for maintenance and painting of the town’s water tower, among other things, said Commissioner Jennifer Falcinelli, who chairs the town’s Water and Sewer Committee.
The sewer budget includes $164,348 for the town’s East Wastewater Treatment Plant, which includes items such as sludge hauling, testing and analysis, and chemicals.
Most people don’t think about where their water comes from, but providing it is a huge responsibility for the town, Falcinelli said.