Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner today proposed a fiscal 2022 budget that makes record investments in education and prioritizes health, economic prosperity, and equity. The County Executive’s budget holds tax rates steady, fully funds long-term obligations, and protects the County’s AAA bond rating.
“Our budget should reflect the community’s values,” Executive Gardner said.” “This budget funds what matters most. It creates a healthier, stronger, and even better Frederick County. Rise, recover and renew. It is like our shot in the arm– to lift us up and help us overcome, to ensure the delivery of important services both now and into the future, to make life better for people.”
The budget serves as a two-year “catch up” from the impact of the pandemic, reflecting a three-year true-up to actual income tax revenues and accumulated fund balance. The proposed budget also considers appeals and budget needs over a two-year period.
According to a press release:
Following a theme of “Rise, Recover, Renew,” the budget supports recovery so residents can flourish and be healthier, stronger, and better together.
Highlights from Executive Gardner’s presentation include:
- Making a Record Investment in Education – Funds $21.5 million over the legally required Maintenance of Effort for public education, plus $50 million in school construction and renovation in Year 1 of the Capital Improvement Program; $1.5 million for Frederick Community College; and $475,000 for Frederick County Public Libraries.
- Jump-Starting the Economy – Invests $1 million in rural broadband. Funds an agriculture innovation center feasibility study. Supports job seekers and businesses through Workforce Services.
- Restoring Good Health – Creates a permanent satellite office for the Health Department on the Golden Mile. Expands Mobile Crisis Unit availability to 24 hours a day seven days a week.
- Advancing Equity – Improves equity in the workplace. Includes $83,000 for AARCH’s Heritage Center. Funds economic empowerment programs.
- Taking Care of People – Ensures safe communities by funding contracts for law enforcement, corrections and firefighters. Provides $1 million for Community Partnership Grants.
- Valuing County Workers – Begins phase-in of new pay scale for employees. Sets minimum full-time salary for County workers at $15 an hour.
- Building a Better Future – Constructs new schools, libraries, bridges, and parks in every area of the county.
- Protecting taxpayers – Does not raise taxes. Fully funds pensions. Protects AAA bond rating.
The County Council will hold a virtual public hearing on the proposed budget at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, April 20. For details, visit www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/CountyCouncil. A complete copy of the operating and capital budgets is available at www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/budget.