Facing lower than expected revenue projections and a sluggish economy, Harford County Executive David R. Craig has requested that designated county departments and agencies return 3% of their county operating funding for the current fiscal year, according to Robert Thomas, spokesman for the county executive. The action, Thomas said, was to ensure a balanced budget in the current 2011 fiscal year and that a similar request was made in FY10.
The 3% giveback to the General Fund from county departments and outside agencies totals $5.7 million so far, including funds expected from Harford County Public Schools, the Health Department, Harford County Public Library and Harford Community College, but does not yet include a dollar amount from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office. County Budget Chief Kim Spence explained:
“The Sheriff was not excluded from the give-back. In order to ensure that public safety programs currently in place will not be put in jeopardy, we will wait until closer to the end of the fiscal year to determine the amount that could be returned. The Sheriff usually returns fund[s] each fiscal year.”
The giveback from Harford County Public Schools will be less than the requested amount, due to the state’s maintenance of effort requirement for public schools. To keep Harford County in compliance with the requirement, HCPS will give back nearly $3 million instead of the full 3%, which would have totaled $6.2 million.
Within Harford County Government, no furloughs or other cuts to salaries are part of the giveback, so county departments where budgets consist only of personnel costs did not return funds, according to Spence. She also said that the departmental budget cuts came from a number of different line items, including supplies.
Below is a breakdown of the dollar amount of the giveback to the county General Fund for all affected departments and agencies: