At a public information briefing today, County Executive Jan Gardner shared highlights of major construction projects included in the preliminary capital budget and Capital Improvements Program, reviewed operating budget requests, and announced an online budget survey to gather public input on citizens’ priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. The budget is based on no tax rate increases. She shared good news about school construction, libraries, parks, fire stations, roads and many other projects, and encouraged the community to attend the March 14 public hearing to share their priorities.
“Preparing and presenting the county budget is the most important responsibility I have as County Executive and the most significant task we do together as a community,” said Executive Gardner. “How and where we spend our community’s money reflects our strategic priorities and our shared values. I invite our citizens to let their voices be heard.”
In the draft capital budget, priority school projects are on track. These include a new Urbana Elementary School, a new Rock Creek School, and a new and expanded Waverley Elementary School. The Capital Improvements Program also advances a new elementary school in the eastern part of the county, and a 300-seat addition to Oakdale Middle School. Other construction projects include renovations of buildings at Frederick Community College, new public library branches, and new park development and expansion. Funding for sustainability programs, fire stations, public safety, roads and bridges, technology, and other requests are also in the draft budget.
Citizens are encouraged to weigh in on funding priorities for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2020, which begins July 1, 2019. Online surveys will be available through March 31. They can be found at www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/BudgetSurveys.
A public hearing on the operating and capital budgets will be held at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 14, at Winchester Hall, 12 E. Church Street, Frederick, Md. Citizens who cannot attend in person are invited to participate on social media during the public hearing, which will be streamed live on Executive Gardner’s Facebook page, www.Facebook.com/JanGardnerExec. The hearing also will be televised on FCG TV, cable channels 19 and 1085, and webcast on www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/FCGTV.