FREDERICK, Md. (WDVM) — On Thursday, Frederick County Executive Jan Gardner unveiled the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2022.
The economy was hard hit by the pandemic, but the county continued to stay afloat thanks to $45 million in federal CARES Act money. Revenues also continued to grow in spite of COVID.
Now, one year later we know more than we did than when the pandemic first began. County Executive Gardner believes that the future looks bright, which is why the capital budget is set to help the county Rise, Recover, and Renew.
The healthier, stronger budget features:
- 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 p.m. on Tuesday, April 20.