Public Safety and Education Investments Lead Harford County Budget Proposal

County Executive Barry Glassman has released a recommended county budget for fiscal year 2018 which includes no increase in tax rates yet provides record level funding for public safety, education and libraries, according to the County.

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Harford County Executive’s proposed budget surpasses funding levels in public safety and education without raising taxes.

As quoted in the Press Release, Harford County Executive Glassman said,

“Three years ago we began on a new path forward to restore fiscal responsibility and balance to local government. It has not always been easy, but I am proud that we have followed this path to reinvest in people. In fact, since taking office, my administration has eliminated 122 positions within county government and implemented efficiencies in every county department. This has allowed us to direct more than $24 million over the past three years toward restoring salaries for teachers, law enforcement and other employees who serve our citizens and improve lives in Harford County.”

The recommended operating budget directs 83% of new revenue to public safety and education and funds Harford County Public Schools at more than $5 million above the required Maintenance of Effort, according to the press release.

Budget highlights include:

RESTORING BALANCE & EFFICIENCY

  • No tax increases
  • Realistic six-year Capital Improvement Program; maintaining Harford County’s Triple-A bond rating
  • Rightsizing the county workforce, eliminating 122 positions since December 2014, and operating within our means
  • County government efficiencies have allowed us to dedicate 83% of new FY 18 revenue to education and public safety

REINVESTING IN OUR WORKFORCE

  • Merit-based salary increases of 4% per qualifying county employee
  • Increased funding equivalent to 4% for employees in the Harford County Public Library, State’s Attorney’s Office, EMS Foundation, Sheriff’s Office civilian personnel and Circuit Court system
  • $2.2 million to fully fund the first year phase-in of Sheriff’s Office Pay Study for Law Enforcement and Corrections Personnel

INVESTING IN EDUCATION

  • Record level funding continues for Harford County Public Schools:
  • Operating funding for Harford County Public Schools at $238,715,645 or $5,447,307 above the Maintenance of Effort requirement
  • Support for teachers, with $5 million in increased funding dedicated for instructional salaries
  • Fully funded Harford Community College request at $850,000

STRENGTHENING COMMUNITIES

  • Increased county funding for prevention of heroin addiction and related support services
  • $4.6 million for Agricultural Land Preservation
  • Record level funding for Harford County Public Library
  • New EMS division under the Department of Emergency Services consisting of 16 paramedic positions and a medical director at no increased cost to the County
  • New VFC Ladies Auxiliary Service Program
  • Contributions to historically preserve the Hosanna School Museum and McComas Institute

CAPITAL PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS

  • $15 million investment in county road and bridge projects
  • Storm water remediation projects funded at $6.25 million
  • Full funding to replace North Harford High School’s artificial turf field
  • $650,000 towards priority repairs for Volunteer Fire Company facilities and life safety equipment
  • Reinvesting in water & sewer infrastructure: $10.9 million
  • Funding to connect the Ma and Pa Heritage Trail
  • Construction to begin in 2018 for the $99.2 million Havre de Grace Middle/High School replacement project
  • Funding to complete the $7.6 million Bel Air Elementary School HVAC System and Open Classroom Conversion project
  • $1 million in funding for school technology in HCPS
  • North Harford High School Aquaculture Lab and Greenhouse project funded at $830,000
  • Fully funded FY 18 and FY 19 request from HCPS for Swimming Pool Renovations

For more information, the entire budget is published on the county website at http://www.harfordcountymd.gov/1531/Budget-and-Management-Research.