St. Mary’s County Commissioners approved the county’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget this week. The budget, which totals $222.6 million, holds the property tax rate and provides for employee merit increases. The following is an excerpt from a prepared statement on the budget as reported in the BayNet.com:
“Our County employees and Sheriff’s staff will receive 2 step increases, something they have not received in 3years. Our Department Heads, who have not had a raise in 5 years, will receive a similar adjustment. And just to set the record straight, the Department Heads serve on a yearly contract basis and are not merit employees. Until this action, some of their employees were making as much as they. We continue to fund their post benefit and retirement accounts.
“The Board of Education negotiated their union contracts prior to our budget and, in most cases, we were able to satisfy their pre-negotiated agreements. We funded its budget by approximately 7% over Maintenance of Effort requirements. We worked diligently to fund the new Duke Elementary School in Leonardtown and committed our share of the Spring Ridge Middle School renovations up front. We will now wait to see what sort of a commitment the State will make on this critical project. We set aside monies for their post benefit and retirement accounts. It should be noted that St. Mary’s County is one of the leading County’s in the state to make this annual contribution.