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Posted on: June 7, 2017

Calvert County Board of County Commissioners Approves FY 2018 Budget

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The Calvert County, Maryland, Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) yesterday approved a $282.8 million Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 operating and capital budget by a vote of 4 to 1. It is a balanced budget with no tax rate increase and no use of fund balance.

The county expects to receive the first payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) payment from the Dominion Export Facility in FY 2018, which will add approximately $25 million to general fund revenues.

“This budget clearly reflects our priorities while addressing the issues facing Calvert County,” said board President Tom Hejl. “In FY 2018, we will continue to exercise conservative financial management for the good of our citizens. This budget puts Calvert County in a strong fiscal position.”

With the FY 2018 budget, the county plans to spend $36 million more for the operating budget than in the prior fiscal year. This increased spending is largely due to the following changes:

• $1.4 million more for health insurances
• $2 million more for county road paving
• $2 million more for vehicles and equipment
• $2.5 million for employee salary increases
• $3.4 million more for new staffing, new equipment and new initiatives
• $6 million additional for Calvert County Board of Education (BOE)
• $17.9 million for Other Post Employment Benefit costs (OPEB)

As in years past, about half of the FY 2018 budget funds the operation of Calvert County Public Schools. The BOCC implemented a new funding formula with the BOE that will enable both the BOE and county government to plan and budget more effectively. About 49.9 percent or $141 million of the county’s general operating budget is committed to the public school operations, infrastructure costs and the schools’ OPEB, which represents an increase of 16.3 percent, or $19.8 million.

The county also implemented a restructuring of the overall county organization, and modified some county departments to ensure the effective and efficient use of county resources. Included in the reorganization are long-overdue staffing changes to address needs in many areas, such as public safety, planning & zoning, technology services, senior services, parks & recreation and public works. The new staffing to support these changes equals 48.2 full-time equivalent positions, more than half of which are in public safety including positions for the Sheriff’s Office, the Detention Center, Emergency Communications, and 15 of those positions will staff the new animal shelter. These additional positions also help alleviate staffing deficits caused from years of deferrals.

The BOCC moved forward with plans for a county-run animal shelter, with a goal to ensure the safe and humane treatment of all animals. The new shelter will be built in Prince Frederick. This leased facility also will house Animal Control. The shelter budget has been pro-rated for three (3) months of operation in FY 2018.

The safety of our citizens is paramount. Public safety funding in FY 2018 totals $34.2 million, representing 12.1 percent of the operating budget. Many of our citizens are also volunteers, continuing Calvert County’s tradition of a 100-percent volunteer membership fire-rescue-emergency management services (EMS) system. Through innovative marketing and strategic actions, this remarkable tradition continues.

The six-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) lays out the county’s capital program for FY 2018-2023, totaling $273.7 million. In addition to the $141 million being committed to public schools in the general operating budget noted above, school construction and renovations account for $103.6 million of the CIP budget, with significant resources focused on the replacements of Northern High and Beach Elementary schools.

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