Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner released her first budget as county executive last week. The budget, which totals $536 million, focuses on funding for schools and public safety. As reported by the Frederick News Post,
Her budget plan, which she characterized as “lean and mean,” would increase spending by 1.93 percent over the prior year and breaks even without any tax increases.
At the same time, it would fund public schools above the legal requirement for the first time in six years. Gardner’s proposal would surpass state-mandated public school funding levels by $4.2 million, elevating to $250 million the county’s payout to the Frederick County Board of Education.
The budget proposal would also pay for four new deputies in the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office and 10 new firefighters in the county’s fire and rescue services division. It sets aside $250,000 to reinstate the grant-in-aid program supporting local nonprofits, a funding category that was eliminated by prior county leaders.
The County Council will begin holding public hearings on the budget this week and the budget must be adopted by May 25.
More information on the county’s proposed FY 2016 budget can be found on the county’s website.