Frederick County Passes $438 Million Operating Budget

Following much debate on how to eliminate $40 million  from the operating budget, the Frederick County Commissioners adopted a $438 million balanced budget for fiscal year 2011.   The Gazette reports.

The operating budget was adopted by a 3-2 vote Tuesday; Commissioners John “Lennie” Thompson Jr. (R) and Blaine R. Young (R) voted against.

Commissioners unanimously passed a $31 million capital budget and a six-year $305 million construction budget.

A dismal financial picture forced the board to delay between $2 million and $3 million in construction projects during the next year, and halt $328 million worth of construction projects in the next six years.

The $328 million in deferred projects means the county will borrow less money to fund government buildings, water and sewer, solid waste, parks, schools, roads and bridges.

“We’ve certainly have had a long and arduous budget process,” said Commissioners’ President Jan H. Gardner (D), who reminded residents that even though programs and projects were eliminated or delayed, the county still has good schools, good libraries, plenty of parks and active senior centers.

Commissioners kept the property tax rate at 93.6 cents per $100 of assessed value, even though raising it would have brought in much-needed money for the government.

Gardner said though the budget did not include furlough days or salary reductions for county staff, it also did not include pay raises.

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