Cecil’s Proposed Budget Maintains Tax Rates, Provides Resources to Combat Substance Abuse

Cecil County Executive Tari Moore recently released her proposed fiscal year 2015 budget.  The $239.4 million operating budget, of which $178.5 million is general funds, maintains the county property tax rate and provides resources to help the county fight its substance abuse problems.

As reported by the Cecil Whig, although many agency budget requests where greater, the proposed budget provides a funding increase of 3.5% in a number of areas.

Cecil County Public Schools is allocated a total of $75,523,845, which is a 3.5-percent increase over their current operating budget and $2 million more than the maintenance of effort level required by law. The county board of education had requested a 6.1-percent increase over fiscal year 2014.

It also includes a new drug and alcohol education program for grades 3-12 as a prevention initiative to fight the county’s substance abuse problem and it includes additional support for special education students and technology improvements.

Moore included $8.3 million in her proposed budget for a physical therapy assistant program, enhancement of the STEM pathway to four-year colleges, and start-up supplies, equipment and support for the new Engineering and Math building at Cecil College.

The college requested an increase of 9.5-percent over the current year, but Moore provided a 3.5-percent increase.

Moore also provided a 3.5-percent increase over last year’s budget for the Cecil County Public Library system. It had requested a 7.7-percent increase.

The proposed budget provides the following funds to combat drug problems in the county.

The Cecil County Sheriff’s Office is provided funding to hire one new deputy to combat drugs and drug-related crime through the Drug Task Force. An additional assistant State’s Attorney position to prosecute drug cases is also included in Moore’s proposed budget, which she said could get funded by a grant.

The executive’s budget also includes matching funds for a lab analyst dedicated to drug tests for Cecil County, funding for a drug court coordinator in circuit court and $345,000 for the health department’s new initiative to reduce substance abuse and overdose deaths, including outreach, early intervention and treatment services.

More information on the County Executive’s proposed budget can be found on the county’s website.