The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) this week approved a $319 million FY 2021 general fund operating budget. The budget reflects the County’s strong financial position and invests in education, personnel, recreation, and other essential services.
The budget is fully balanced and comes in with a $642,755 surplus. The budget reflects an increase of $5.9 million compared to the FY 2020 general fund budget of $313 million.
“The budget reflects the highest priorities of Calvert County and our commitment to sound financial management for the good of the community,” said BOCC President Kelly McConkey. “This budget takes steps to address fiscal and operational sustainability to keep us in a strong financial position while supporting access to educational, recreational, and other life-enriching opportunities for all citizens.”
The BOCC adjusted the proposed budget to add $340,000 of FY 2021 surplus funds to hire four contract deputies to meet security requirements at the circuit courthouse. The budget includes a $4.1 million increase to funding to Calvert County Public Schools, which makes up more than 45% of the general fund operating budget and 24% of the six-year capital projects budget.
Calvert County Public Schools funding is set at $134.7 million using a formula agreed upon by the BOCC and the Calvert County Board of Education. Public school funding is $3.2 million more than the state-mandated maintenance of effort.
According to a County press release:
The FY 2021 operating budget also includes:
- A $0.005 reduction to the property tax rate, from $0.937 to $0.932.
- A step increase (salary increase) for county employees plus a 1.42% cost of living adjustment for a total salary increase of about $2 million.
- An Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) contribution of $7.3 million, the full Actuarial Determined Contribution (ADC), has been provided for in this budget. As the county continues to make significant progress funding this $243 million liability for the public schools and governmental employees, the annual ADC has been reduced by two-thirds over OPEB’s funding history.
- $6.2 million is provided to the Highway Maintenance Division to fund the road paving program.
- $10.8 million will be transferred to the capital projects fund.
The budget includes an updated fee schedule for the Department of Planning & Zoning for development review, permitting and inspection services for residential and commercial projects. The changes will offset the costs of staff time and county resources to provide a fiscal benefit to the county and its citizens.
The six-year, $336 million Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) lays out the county’s capital program for FY 2021-2026. School construction and renovation account for the largest category totaling $80.5 million, with significant resources going toward Beach Elementary School and Northern Middle School. The Enterprise Fund is the next largest category of the CIP budget, totaling $79.5 million.