Town plans for War of 1812 celebration also discussed
by Terri HoganStaff Writer
A budget shortfall in Brookeville will not impact services to town residents, Town Commissioners said Monday evening during their annual meeting.
Town Commissioners unveiled a proposed budget for fiscal 2013 that projects revenues of $153,817 and expenses totaling $188,716, creating a deficit of more than $34,000.
“Overall, we are in good financial shape,” Commission President Michael Acierno said. “We have been very frugal due to economic problems and cuts in revenue provided to municipalities from the state.”
Acierno said although the preliminary budget shows a slight deficit, he thinks tax revenues expected to come next month will reduce what he said likely will be a one-year deficit. He also pointed out net reserves total $347,646.
The town budget should be finalized and approved by the commissioners next month, and will take effect July 1.
Acierno formally announced the results of the May 8 election to fill one commissioner position. Commissioners Katherine Farquhar and Suzanne Daley both have another year remaining on their terms.
Acierno ran unopposed, and was re-elected to another two-year term, which he says will be his last. He has served on the commission since 2007.
He said he was encouraged to continue his role as a commissioner because of the planning of the bicentennial celebration of Brookeville’s role in the War of 1812.
The town plans to commemorate the events of Aug. 26, 1814, when President James Madison fled to Brookeville when British troops burned Washington, D.C.
“I don’t think it is a good idea for one person to spend too much time in this job, and my time is getting more difficult to manage,” Acierno said. “I think it makes sense on both a personal and professional level to step down after this term ends.”
Plans for the War of 1812 celebration continue to take shape, under the direction of resident and chair of the Brookeville Bicentennial Commission, Sandra Heiler.
Heiler announced The Friends of the Maryland State Archives has received a $10,000 grant from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, which will fund DAR Fellowships at the Maryland State Archives to study the War of 1812 in Brookeville.
“We know about Madison, but we want to know more about what the town and the people were like at that time,” said Acierno. “This will be a micro-history, which seeks to fill in the historical gaps.”
Archaeological digs also will begin this summer. Other bicentennial plans include a study documenting the town’s historic buildings, a pubic symposium and a possible re-enactment.
In other town news, a new website is under construction, and expected to go live in “the very near future.” In addition to saving the town money, it will allow the town more control of the site, enabling officials to change content and create new pages as needed.
Academy rentals continue to increase, bringing in more income last year than ever before. Interior and exterior improvements have been made to the Academy and the Brookeville Schoolhouse, in an effort to “spruce up” the town in preparation for visitors and events during the next two years.