Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman released her $1.35 billion fiscal 2015 budget today, which almost fully restores reserve funds to pre-recession levels and adds 28 new public safety positions, 20 police officers and 8 firefighters. As reported by the Annapolis Capital,
The county’s reserve fund stands $5 million shy of its peak pre-recession level, Budget Officer John Hammond said. The reserve fund, which topped $49 million in 2008, had dipped to $17 million by 2010. This year, it has been restored to $44 million, Hammond said.
According to a budget highlights document, the proposed fiscal 2015 budget grows by approximately $30 million while the property tax rate decreases by 0.7 cents, consistent with the county’s property tax revenue cap.
County Executive Neuman shared details of the new police officer positions in a press release.
The added officers included in the County Executive’s proposed budget will support a growing population in Anne Arundel County, which currently consists of over 550,000 residents, not accounting for the influx of citizens who work in Anne Arundel County as well as the frequent military, government and entertainment visits daily. Although Anne Arundel County enjoys a relatively low crime rate, all of the citizens who have made this their home and that patronize the County deserve an additional public safety presence.
“The addition of these 20 new positions is the beginning of an effort to increase the public safety presence in Anne Arundel County,” said County Executive Neuman. “Public safety is our top priority in the county, and I remain committed to taking the necessary steps to providing the highest level of service to our citizens.”
The County Council will now begin its review of the budget, with adoption expected on June 6, 2014. Public hearings will be held on May 8 and May 12.
Additional information on the proposed fiscal year 2015 budget can be found on the county’s Office of Budget page on the website.