Charles County Commissioners Hold Work Session on FY 2016 Budget

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As part of their annual budget process, Charles County Commissioners heard from the College of Southern Maryland, libraries and the sheriff’s office last week requesting additional funding in the FY 2016 budget. This was just one of many work sessions commissioners will hold before finalizing the FY 2016 budget on June 9.

As reported by Southern Maryland Newspapers Online,

CSM President Brad Gottfried’s budget request included $20,000 from the county to help subsidize the creation of The Entrepreneurial and Innovation Institute at the college; the money would increase CSM’s more than $9 million budget.

…The college is also asking for $100,000 to create the Charles County Commissioners’ Futures Fund that would help fund training certifications for residents seeking living-wage jobs. The thought is that such jobs would enable greater access to higher education for high school students who do not qualify for federal loans and grants.

The library and sheriff’s office requested additional staff to meet increasing county needs.

Diane Johnson, acting director of public library system, requested funding in a number of areas.

The main issue concerned creating nine more positions that include additional staff which will enable the library system to expand operating hours to Sundays.

“We simply do not have enough staff to stretch services to seven days a week,” Johnson said.

Keeping the county’s public libraries open on Sundays, Johnson said, would incur an additional operating cost of $332,000. Opening one branch on Sundays would cost approximately $118,000.

Charles County Sheriff Troy Berry (D) asked the commissioners to consider funding 20 new sworn officers, 18 of whom will be assigned to road patrol. This request, according to the sheriff’s office budget report, will cost $2,042,000.

“The benefits you can expect are enhancing officer safety, deterring criminal activity and quicker response times to the outlying areas of our community,” Berry said.

Information on the FY 2016 budget can be found on the county’s website.