From Harford County government:
Harford County Executive David R. Craig has announced the proposed budget for Harford County for FY 2013. The proposed budget keeps the County’s tax rate of $1.042, below the Constant Yield for the second consecutive year.
“This budget was crafted by adhering to sound fiscal management policies that keep our County operating within its means with no increase in taxes”, County Executive Craig stated. “The budget reflects a balanced approach to governing, the realities of a fragile economy and the priorities of our community”, Craig added.
For the fourth consecutive year, the budget does not include pay raises or cost-of-living adjustments for County employees. However, the budget also does not require furloughs, layoffs or shift in health care or pension costs.
The total proposed FY 2013 budget for all funds is $742,686,935. Of that $618,303,679 is dedicated to the Operating Budget and $124,383,256 is allocated to the Capital Budget. Approximately 75 cents of every General Fund dollar is allocated to education and public safety.
The proposed FY 2013 budget includes nearly $1 million above Maintenance of Effort to the Board of Education. Additionally, Harford County Government is preparing for what will be the first in a series of significant cost shifts of teacher’s pensions from the State of Maryland.
Depending upon final action of the Maryland General Assembly, the projected impact in FY 2013 could range from $3.2 million to $9.8 million.
With respect to Public Safety, the budget includes an additional $123,000 to fund operational costs for the new Southern Precinct of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, as well as $4.2 million to improve communications technology and interoperability among public safety agencies.
Furthermore an additional $400,000 has been allocated to the EMS Foundation to support emergency medical service providers as they meet the growing demand in calls for service. The proposed FY 2013 Capital Budget also includes $20 million to construct a new Emergency Operations Center which has been in the planning for several years.
In keeping with his commitment of enhancing public safety the County Executive has included $2,647,814 for the EMS Foundation and $6,809,642 for the volunteer fire service. Furthermore, the Capital Budget includes $500,000 for an addition to House 3 of the Susquehanna Hose Company in Havre de Grace.
In addition to the investments in public safety and education, the budget proposal includes funding for infrastructure improvements for roads and bridges. This includes $5.6 million for resurfacing of the County’s 630 plus miles of asphalt roads and $2.9 million for fifteen bridge improvement projects.
In an effort to prioritize future capital infrastructure investments to meet the increased demands for service and enhancing quality of life for the citizens of Harford County, $1.25 million has been provided to develop a Countywide Facilities Master Plan. The proposed Facilities Master Plan will include projects of the Board of Education, Harford County Public Library, the Harford County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Parks and Recreation. The Countywide Facilities Master Plan will help establish a roadmap for the County to properly plan for future capital infrastructure projects.
“Overall this budget reflects a balance of the many divergent wants and needs of our community, and our ability to provide for those wants and needs through the taxes our citizens pay”, remarked County Executive Craig. The proposed FY 2013 budget reflects our collective values while continuing the tradition of sound financial management,” Craig stated.