Frederick County Presents Balanced Budget, Includes Layoffs, Program Cuts

MACo staff has been following the fiscal impact of the economic climate on Maryland local governments fiscal year 2012 budgets. Yesterday, the Frederick Board of County Commissioners released a balanced $448 million budget proposal, that does not include tax increases, but significant cuts in programs and services, and employee layoffs.  The Gazette reports:

The budget proposal calls for significant reductions in the operations of many county departments, including the elimination of 38 staff positions, a $305,069 reduction in the funding for non-profit agencies, as well as the relinquishment of the Frederick County Head Start program, which saves $2.3 million.

The budget recommendation also features a major reorganization of the Division of Fire and Rescue Services, which reduces salaries and benefits and saves $670,000, as well as consolidation for the Planning Permitting and Development Review and the Economic Development Divisions, which saves another $584,000.

In total, the cuts affected 175 county positions — either frozen, eliminated or downgraded — to help put $8.4 million toward what started out as an $11.8 million budget deficit.

“These budget decisions were very difficult, but tough times … [require] tough decisions,” said Commissioners’ President Blaine R. Young (R), who thanked all county employees who lost their jobs for their hard work and service.

“Unlike the federal government, we simply cannot print more money to pay our bills,” he said today.

The final budget will be adopted in June by the Commissioners.

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