$4.1M Fenwick Budget Proposed

FENWICK ISLAND – A proposed spending plan of $4.1 million will advance to the town council for approval with a favorable recommendation from the Fenwick Island Budget Committee.

On Tuesday, the committee voted unanimously to send a proposed fiscal year 2022 budget of $4,190,477 to the town council for approval. Town Manager Terry Tieman said the spending plan includes an operating budget of $2,341,132 and a capital budget of $1,849,285.

“Fenwick did very well during the pandemic, but when making this budget last year we weren’t sure what would happen,” she told committee members this week. “We wanted to take a conservative approach again this year.”

The fiscal year 2022 operating budget represents a 3.82% increase over the current year’s budget, Tieman said. Proposed revenues include $2.23 million in transfers, $724,250 in taxes, $405,000 in rental receipt tax and $245,000 in building permit fees, among other things.

Tieman noted the operating budget includes a 1.9% increase in tax revenues, a 5.8% increase in service charge revenues, a 16.6% increase in permit revenues and a 44% increase in rental tax revenues.

“Rental tax is having a banner year this year …,” she added. “You can hardly find availability anywhere in the beach community.”

Proposed expenses include $832,414 for the police department, $456,410 for general government, $389,191 for administration, $407,860 for lifeguards and $255,317 for public works.

The property tax rate remains unchanged.

“Because there was so much building this year we believe it might be more prudent to wait one more year …,” Tieman said. “We should review the property tax next year.”

Capital projects for the coming year are projected to cost $1.8 million, Tieman told committee members this week. The capital budget for fiscal year 2022 includes $1,111,678 for a hydraulic dredging project in the Little Assawoman Bay, $545,054 for the first phase of a sidewalk construction project, $46,000 for a new police vehicle and more than $100,000 in drainage projects.

Councilman Richard Mais noted the capital budget highlighted the town’s priorities for the coming year.

“If you look at these projects, four of them are about drainage,” he said.

After further discussion, the committee voted to accept the proposed spending plan for fiscal year 2022. The budget document can be viewed online at fenwickisland.delaware.gov/finance.

The budget will now advance to the Fenwick Island Town Council for approval. The next fiscal year begins on Aug. 1.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.