Talbot Proposed Budget: Public Safety Focus; Reserves Untouched

Talbot County recently proposed a FY 2015 budget of $74,560,000, an increase of 2.9% from the current budget of $72,450,000. The budget does not use general fund reserves, savings and transfers from other funds and is balanced in hopes of a slight increase of tax revenue.

Priorities in the budget include:

  • Public Safety & Health (Personnel, Equipment, Buildings)
  • Infrastructure (Roads, Buildings, and Emergency Communications)
  • Public School System (Maintenance of Effort & Infrastructure)
  • Investments in Technology (MUNIS, RecTrac, Mobile Access, Web Access, etc.)

From the Star Democrat coverage of the budget,

Acting Talbot County Manager Clay Stamp described the budget process, saying it was collaborative in nature. He and the finance office talked to each county department, asking them to focus their requests on “real needs.”

To Stamp, the county council and the finance office, the most pressing problems to be dealt with in the county are issues in public safety.

“Public safety is a priority in this budget,” Angela Lane said.

Lane said that the proposed general fund budget adds ten new positions, and is transferring two county positions to the state.

“But of those ten new positions, seven are in public safety,” Lane said.

The budget is calling for two new sheriff’s deputies, two additional corrections officers, two additional 911dispatch operators, and one additional paramedic.

Public safety is proposed to receive a total of $12,630,889, reflecting a 6.92 percent increase.

The other three new positions are in the county’s permits and inspections department, facility maintenance and administration.

The proposed general fund budget also includes a step increase for county employees.

After public safety, priorities in the proposed budget include increased funding for road maintenance and increased funding for health services.

Monies allotted for county road maintenance are $2,669,865, reflecting a 16.80 percent increase, and funding for health services is proposed to be $2,299,650 reflecting a 17.98 percent raise, which will include health services in the public schools.

And, as a matter of course, the proposed general fund budget continues to meet the state’s mandated “Maintenance of Effort” in county funding of Talbot County Public Schools.

More than half of county revenues are used to fund the public school system, at 51.9 percent. The public school system is proposed to receive a 0.48 percent raise in fiscal 2015, or a total of $38,710,200.

For the full proposed FY 2015 budget, visit Talbot County’s budget webpage.