The Takoma Park mayor and City Council last week passed a $3.6 million budget that includes $22,590 in new equipment for city agencies and a 5 percent cost of living increase for city employes.
The council also reduced the tax rate for residents to $1.55 from $1.57 for each $100 in assessed property value, but assessments have increased.
A resident with an $80,000 home, for example, can expect to pay $565 in city property taxes next year, an increase of $20 over this year's tax.
After residents complained in earlier council sessions that police car patrols have not prevented muggings and assaults of elderly residents, the council added a salary for a new foot patrol officer, according to City Administrator Alvin Nichols Sr.
The council included $12,000 for replacing two police cruisers in the nearly $1.1 million police budget. The department will also get a $1,040 camera that can photograph fingerprints from rough or dusty surfaces on which the prints are difficult to record by the conventional method of lifting them off on tape.
Set aside is nearly $93,400 to cover possible increases in utility costs. Some of the money will be used to offset the current $38,000 city deficit, according to Assistant City Administrator Richard A. Schnuer.