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Orioles Bud april 2020 to Sept 2020
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Pittman Proposes $1.97 Billion Budget for Anne Arundel County

| May 05, 2021, 10:47 AM

Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman delivered his proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2022 to the County Council. The $1.87 billion budget strengthens the County’s fiscal health, while investing in public safety, education, and other key needs identified through an open and transparent budget process. The proposed budget accomplishes these goals while keeping the local income tax at the fourth-lowest rate in the state and slightly decreasing the property tax to $0.933, the 7th lowest in the state.

In his budget address to the Council, County Executive Pittman noted that after reduced revenue projections led to belt tightening and a healthy year-end fund balance, the FY22 budget proposal puts the County back on track for key initiatives in a fiscally responsible manner.

“This budget helps us achieve four basic goals: restore trust in government, create economic opportunity for all, implement smart growth policies, and promote health and wellness. These are the principles that guide us, not only as we budget, but also as we govern.” Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman said. “I want to thank the residents who participated in our seven budget townhalls and provided valuable feedback on the budget, and I want to thank our budget team for taking the needs identified by our residents and staff to create a budget that puts us Back On Track.”

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“I am pleased to see the county is emerging from the pandemic on sound fiscal footing and investing in programs and services our residents depend on,” said Councilwoman Sarah Lacey, Chair of the County Council. “The County Executive’s budget supports our educators, gives the health department the COVID resources it needs and funds key programs to support our most vulnerable residents. I look forward to working with my colleagues, the Auditor and the Administration over the next 45 days to pass a strong budget for Anne Arundel County.”

“I am pleased that this year’s proposed budget continues to enhance the financial soundness of the County,” said John Hammond, former Budget Officer and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of both the Retirement & Pension System and the Retiree Health Benefit Trust. “Enhancing our annual pension contribution, fully funding the Retiree Health Benefit Trust’s annual contribution, and providing a significant boost to the County’s Rainy Day Fund position Anne Arundel County well for the future. The county’s financial reserves are adequate to backstop unexpected economic impacts and county employees and retirees can count on their future benefits, which they earned during their employment, being there when they need it.”

The FY22 budget reflects fiscally responsible investment across those four basic goals:

RESTORE TRUST IN GOVERNMENT

  • Fiscal responsibility
    • $11M contribution to the County’s revenue reserve (rainy day) fund
    • Shores up pension fund by adopting more conservative rate of return
    • $20M pre-payment on our retiree benefits fund
    • Achieves debt affordability in the capital budget for the first time in five years
  • Public safety
    • $874k to expand our internationally-recognized Crisis Intervention Teams
    • Creates a new Community Services Bureau in Police Dept
    • Increases the number of paramedics in training program from 14 to 42
    • $5.4M investment to replace aging tanker trucks and other fire apparatus
    • Starting 4 new fire stations (Herald Harbor, Waugh Chapel, Jessup and Arundel)
    • 2 new sheriff’s deputies to monitor courtrooms
    • 2 new emergency planners for Office of Emergency Management

CREATING ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY

  • Investing in our educators
    • $34.5M of new funding, which is $15.7M over the maintenance of effort requirement
    • Fully funds FY22 compensation package
    • $8M for backsteps for all units
    • 15 new positions for behavioral health and special education
    • 6 new English Language Acquisition positions
    • 26 new positions to open Crofton High School
    • Raises pay for substitute teachers
    • Funds new Glen Burnie EEE Program
  • Expands summer jobs program
  • Fully funds community college request
  • Boosts community grant program from $700k to $1.9M

IMPLEMENT SMART GROWTH POLICIES

  • 3 new positions in I&P to create Stormwater Strike Team to inspect development sites
  • 3 new long range planners in Office of Planning and Zoning
  • $500k startup funding for the Resilience Authority
  • $250k to create a new forest conservation mitigation fund
  • $200k to begin rebuilding the county’s reforestation fund
  • $1M in new Greenways funding for land acquisition to meet Plan2040 conservation goals
  • $312k to plan for the county’s electric vehicle charging network

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

  • $1.1M increase in funding for mental health services
  • $5M for COVID-19 testing and vaccine efforts
  • $3.3M Renovation and expansion of Arnold Senior Center
  • $2M investment to increase access to our parks for people with disabilities
  • $8M for new community parks in Odenton and Deale
  • Bringing a county-wide trail network from concept to reality by connecting the Broadneck, WB&A, and South Shore trails
  • $2.5M for a new Jug Bay Environmental Center
  • Approximately $1M for water access projects
  • Building Severn Intergenerational Center and $4.2M of county funding for Brooklyn Park Teen Center
  • Increased vet services and new cat cages for Animal Care and Control

In addition to the priority items noted above, the budget includes key investments in County infrastructure:

  • $13.3 M for new Parole Transportation Center
  • $35.7M for corridor improvements to Route 2 and Route 3
  • $771.1M for school construction and capital improvements in the 6-year plan, including:
    • $82.8M for Old Mill Middle School South
    • $119.8M for Old Mill West High School
    • $28.8M for Quarterfield Elementary School
    • $24.9M for Hillsmere Elementary School
    • $35.8M for Rippling Woods Elementary School
    • $39.5M for Northeast Area Elementary School
    • $73.3M for CAT North
    • $155M for Old Mill High School
  • $42.3M for West County Elementary School
    $34.4M for 5 fire stations in 6-year plan  (Cape St. Claire, Herald Harbor, Waugh Chapel, Jessup, and Arundel)

Department directors and administration staff will present details of the budget in presentations to the County Council over the next two weeks. The county charter provides 45 days for the Council to deliberate on the budget, and a final vote is scheduled for Monday, June 14.

“This budget is fiscally responsible and fair. It puts us Back On Track after a challenging year, and will make Anne Arundel County The Best Place For All – far into the future,” County Executive Pittman said.

Full details of the budget, along with text and video of County Executive Pittman’s budget address, may be found on the county budget website.

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Category: Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

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