The Wicomico County Council passed a $173 million fiscal 2023 budget that focuses on the County’s core services, such as education, public safety, health, and infrastructure.
The budget increases funding for volunteer fire and EMS companies by $1.3 million and includes a length of service awards system to assist with recruiting and retaining members. In addition, funding for the Board of Education Maintenance of Effort will increase by $260,000 and provide $1 Million to bolster school safety.
The budget includes pay increases for County employees based on a comprehensive market study conducted by a professional consulting firm. The new pay scales will render Wicomico County competitive with neighboring jurisdictions and help ensure recruitment and retention. The budget also funds the next round of pay increases for sheriff’s deputies as negotiated in the most recent three-year collective bargaining agreement.
The budget includes $325,000 for the County’s continued efforts to provide sewer service in areas experiencing septic failures. Additionally, the budget provides $70,000 to assist the health department with septic inspections and permits.
According to a statement from Acting County Executive John Psota:
The budget projects $63 Million in local income taxes receipts. This amount is an increase of 11.7% over fiscal 2022 and reflects the County’s continued economic vitality. The County’s real property assessable base increased 4.43% year over year and will yield approximately $695,000 in additional real property tax receipts. In accordance with the County revenue cap the property tax mill rate will be $0.9070 versus $0.9195 in fiscal 2022.
The County plans to bond $23,378,386 in the fall of this year to fund proposed capital improvement projects including, upgrades to the old courthouse, the Applied Technology Building at Wor-Wic College Mardela Middle/Senior High School, renovation to the Coulbourn Mill pond dam and various airport projects including the extension of runway 14/32.
The Acting County Executive wishes to express his appreciation to county citizens and the County Council for their cooperation and suggestions during the budget process.