Jay Fergusonjay@deepcreekvacations.com301-501-0420

Garrett Co. Officials Review Proposed Fiscal Year 2014 Budget At Public Mtg.

May. 9, 2013

The Garrett County commissioners held a public meeting yesterday evening at Garrett College to review and receive comments on their proposed Fiscal Year 2014 budget. About 175 people attended the nearly two-hour event.

County officials have been working on the budget for several months, and the commissioners will officially approve its final version on June 4.

Commission board chair Bob Gatto indicated that the real property tax would remain at the current rate of $.99 per $100 of assessed value for FY ’14. Based on that rate, Department of Financial Services director Wendy Yoder estimates the county’s revenue next fiscal year will be $78.3 million, which is $4.4 million less than in FY ’13.

Most of the county’s revenue is garnered from property taxes, particularly those at Deep Creek Lake. Yoder noted that beginning in January 2014, properties south of the Rt. 219 bridge at the lake will be reassessed.

“This area accounts for about 60 percent of the county’s overall assessable base,” Yoder said.

She indicated this could result in a 15 to 20 percent decline in lakefront property assessments, amounting to about $100,000 per property, in FY ’15. This could equate to an overall 6 percent decrease in county total gross assessable base.

“This decrease translates into a potential loss of $2.9 million in total property tax revenue for the county in Fiscal Year 2015,” Yoder said.

To compensate for the drop in revenue for FY ’14, most county departments can expect to receive the same amount of funding they did in FY ’13, while a few will receive less, in particularly the Roads Department.

County officials are proposing to decrease that department’s allocation by about $156,000. This includes a decrease for winter operations overtime. The department was allocated $490,953 for winter overtime in FY ’13. The proposed allocation for that line item in FY ’14 is $350,000.

Allocations for the Roads Department’s winter abrasive expenses, however, will be increased by $200,000. County administrator Monty Pagenhardt said the increase was for the purchase of additional salt.

The Sheriff’s Office is one of the few departments expected to receive an allocation increase. In FY ’13, the office received $2.8 million, compared to a proposed $3 million in FY ’14. The increase, in part, is the result a new plan to assign resource officers at Southern High School and the Northern High/Middle School Complex. Most of the funding will come from three-year grants.

The Detention Center will also receive increased funding. The proposed FY ’14 allocation is $1.89 million, compared to about $1.82 million in FY ’13. The extra money, in part, is to cover such items as training expenses and increases in medical care for inmates, according to Pagenhardt.

The county will allocate the same amount of funding to the Board of Education in FY ’14 as in FY ’13, $26 million.

“I’ve never seen our financial situation in such a state,” said Garrett County Education Association president Mike Pula, noting that the local public school system continues to see “devastating” funding cuts from Maryland.

He said his group recognizes the commissioners’ financial assistance. Pula noted, however, the “grim” statistics: three schools have been closed, salaries have been frozen, classroom sizes have increased, people have been laid off, and 90 positions have been lost through attrition.

“The long and short of the budget story is: What you’ve done is not enough,” Pula said.

He indicated the BOE will continue to lose millions of dollars from the state and asked the commissioners for their help in maintaining high quality education.

“We’re in serious need of help, and there is just no where else to turn,” Pula said. “We need the board of commissioners to commit to making the school system in Garrett County its priority before anymore of it disappears.”

Commissioner Gatto indicated the commissioners would be meeting with school superintendent Dr. Janet Wilson and the BOE in June to discuss funding issues for FY ’15 and beyond.

“I spent 31 years in the public education system, so I know an awful lot about public schools and I know an awful lot about what teachers face,” Commissioner Jim Raley said. “I also spent 14 years on the school board, so I know an awful lot about the school board’s budget.”

He indicated the key to the county’s revenue woes and increasing its population. More here.republican_logo



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Jay Ferguson

Who I Am My name is Jay Ferguson, and I am a lifelong resident of the Deep Creek Lake area. I am also co-owner of the real estate side of Taylor Made. I have been in the real estate business for 21+ years now and I LOVE what I do! I have to say, my career really took off when I co-founded the real estate side of Taylor Made in 2014. Its been an amazing experience, building a real estate company from the ground up and achieving so much so quickly! In August 2016, we purchased Long & Foster Real Estate Deep Creek, where I had started my career in 2000. In 2018, we on-boarded virtually every agent from Coldwell Banker Deep Creek Realty as they closed up shop and the real estate family grew even more! We now have over 40 sales agents and have expanded to West Virginia and Pennsylvania, as well. Taylor Made is the #1 vacation rental company at Deep Creek with over 475 vacation rental homes, and over one hundred thousand yearly visitors. Its amazing what we have accomplished using the principles of honesty, teamwork and customer service! Personally, my wife Jessica and I enjoy traveling and especially spending time in the outdoors, hiking and exploring the many diverse areas that Garrett County is naturally blessed with. We have raised two wonderful children here, Kayleah (22) and Noah (13). In the summer, we love spending time on the water with friends & family and enjoying the lake life! We are both active in our church, our community & local school activities, and we fill our schedule with plenty of volunteer efforts. I currently serve on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity. I am proud to say that I was named Deep Creek Time’s Favorite ‘Community Champion’ in 2019. I was also named Garrett County Realtor of the Year in 2018-19, as well. I really enjoy promoting my hometown. I am very proud of the resort area that has developed over my lifetime and look forward to growing the area even more! Deep Creek Lake has been described as ‘The Lake Tahoe of the east', and I think that speaks volumes about the potential to own property here! Deep Creek Lake isn't really a town or city by itself; it's comprised of three towns: Oakland, Swanton & McHenry, Maryland. I am very passionate about my hometown and am impressed with how many people know about it as we travel around the country. Deep Creek Lake is an amazing place to visit and even better place to live! During the pandemic in 2020, our market exploded and more and more people left their primary residence in the city to live here permanently. With distance learning in schools and tele-commuting becoming the ‘norm’, many more people were drawn to the area to ‘live where they love to play’. Why You Want Me Working for You: In addition to being an owner, I am consistently one of the top-producing agents in the entire area and the Associate Broker of record for Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales. I have 21+ years of experience and I am a problem solver. There aren’t many situations that I have not encountered and I have a strategy for almost every scenario that you may encounter. I have extensively trained in all areas of real estate & emerging technologies, and also have trained as an appraiser, as well as served as a full-time Broker. I have a strong knowledge of the industry, as well as many trusted local contacts & affiliations that allow me to perform at a very high level and deliver results. I have a great deal of respect for my peers in this industry and have strong working relationships that I would love to put to work for you. Call me to discuss your situation - I know I can be of great service to you & others you care about! Honesty. Integrity. Results.