On May 1, the Greenbelt City Council reviewed City Manager Nicole Ard’s proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget for the Department of Planning and Community Development. That budget calls for spending $974,000 for the department, a 1.3 percent decrease from Fiscal Year 2017’s budget of $987,200. The department is also budgeted to receive $235,000 for animal control, which is in the public safety budget category. Together, they account for 4.3 percent of the city budget.
But first, it was time to mark the end of an era as this was council’s final budget worksession with Department Director Celia Craze. It has been 31 years since then Celia Wilson was hired as Greenbelt’s sole city planner. During those years she has overseen the expansion of that position to a full department covering a broad swath of responsibilities from animal control to zoning. Craze will be retiring on June 30.
Councilmembers offered Craze their congratulations and expressed their appreciation for all she has done for the city. She recalled that when she began, Greenway Center had just opened, with most of Greenbelt East yet to be developed. She said that she had planned to stay until the location of the Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters was selected but now that there is no announced schedule for this decision she decided the time to go had come.
The planning division accounts for $549,900 of the budget and is responsible for overseeing all physical development in the city. This includes reviewing development proposals, coordinating and managing capital projects, coordinating planning and development activities with other public bodies and drafting legislation, among other duties. The proposed budget for this area is 1.8 percent less than FY17’s budget.
Community Development is budgeted to spend $424,100 in FY18, a 0.7 percent decrease from the FY17 budget. This division is responsible for enforcement of housing, building, sediment control and construction codes, along with burglar alarm licensing and handbill and noise ordinance enforcement.
Read more about next year’s budget in the May 18 News Review