Higher fees for city services will make it costlier to own property in Rockville despite a 2-cent reduction in the property tax rate, under the 1982 municipal budget proposes to the major and city council Monday night by City Manager Larry N. Blick.
The $18.5 million opoerating budget calls for lowering the city's property tax rate to 93 cents per $100 assessed value. It also proposes raising sewer rates by 21 percent, trash collection fees by 16 percent and water rates by 4.6 percent.
Blick said this means the average Rockville homeowner would pay $34.64 more for city services in the next fiscal year, against an average property-tax saving of $9.
Public hearings on the proposed budget are to be scheduled for next month.
Blick said Rockville must raise its sewer rate because the city is paying increased disposal charges to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission and the Blue Plains treatment facility in D.C. The proposed new rate is $1.47 per 1,000 gallons, up from $1.22.
Rising disposal fees at the Montgomery County landfill and higher gasoline and vehicle maintenance costs were cited as the reasons for raising trash collection fees from $82.20 to $90 per year. The city water rate would go from 86 cents to 90 cent per 1,000 gallons.
Mayor William E. Hanna Jr. called the rate hikes a "sad" necessity and added, "We are aware disposal becomes an increasingly expensive proprosal."
Those 25 percent of property owners whose property already has been reassessed will pay 3.7 percent more in taxes in 1982, Blick noted. Within the next year, he said, all property in the city will be reassessed.
The proposed budget includes funds for nine city functions, the largest amount being $4.8 million for storm water management, equipment replacement, preservation of the city's historic landmarks and leaf collection. It allocates $3.5 million for police, law enforcement and maintenance of the water system. City recreation programs and park maintenance are budgeted for $3.2 million.
Blick also presented the city's proposes Capital Improvement Program (CIP) for fiscal years 1982 through 1987. The $28.3 million plan allows $5.9 million for public facilities projects to be funded next year, including transportation programs related to the opening of Metrorail service in Rockville in 1983. It also outlines support projects aimed at revitalizing the city's downtown.
Capital improvements are financed from the city's general operating fund, special assessments, water and sewer fees and state and county grants.
Among the CIP allocations proposed for 1982: $267,800 for planning, design and development of Wootton's Mill Park: $1.6 million for reconstruction of North and South Washington streets between Beall Avenue and Jefferson Street; $71,000 for two coin-operated, lighted tennis courts in Woodley Garden Park, and $1.7 million to open Courthouse Square (adjacent to the new county office complex) to limited auto traffic and to improve downtown intersections.