Likening the budget to a jigsaw puzzle with many pieces working together to create a high quality of life, Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner today unveiled her proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2020. The budget is lean, sensible, balanced, and fiscally responsible, and it delivers results, including outstanding schools, safe communities, efficient services and a high quality of life. Income and property tax rates remain unchanged.
The budget reflects modest growth, with a third of new revenues going toward paying the bills and sustaining existing service, and half supporting employees across all agencies. New spending accounts for an increase of less than 1% of the total budget, with most directed toward public safety. The budget also continues the County Executive’s strong commitment to public education, with an additional $12.2 million for Frederick County Public Schools to ensure the best teachers in the classroom and high-achieving student outcomes, and an additional $1 million for Frederick Community College.
In the coming year, residents will see the opening of two new parks, the Myersville Branch Library, construction of Urbana Elementary School, and numerous road and bridge projects.
During her presentation, Executive Gardner highlighted new initiatives for the upcoming budget year:
- Composting. The budget includes funding through the solid waste enterprise fund for a composting demonstration project to incentivize the private sector to offer composting, and to support composting within our schools.
- Branding. To implement the next step of the County’s Growth Opportunities strategy, the budget funds the development of a branding and marketing plan to support emerging businesses and help to retain existing employers.
- Affordable Housing. A bill will be introduced that dedicates a portion of existing recordation tax revenues to affordable housing. Funds from these tax revenues were set aside last year for the Housing Initiative Fund. Legislation would codify the funding commitment.
Fiscal Year 2020 begins July 1, 2019. The County Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed FY20 operating and capital budgets at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, April 30, in Winchester Hall, 12 East Church Street, Frederick. Detail copies of the proposed budget can be viewed on the County’s website at www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/Budget. A video of today’s presentation is available for viewing at www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/FCGTV.