Includes Cuts to Operating and Capital Budgets
(Bel Air, MD – March 31, 2009) – – Harford County Executive David R. Craig unveiled his proposed budget for FY 2010 today, which includes the sharpest cuts in the General Fund in more than 25 years. The proposed budget includes a $23 million reduction to the General Fund and a cut of $37 million in the Capital Budget as compared with FY 09.
“Developing the proposed FY 2010 Operating and Capital Budget has been a truly daunting task,” County Executive Craig stated. “However, throughout this process we have kept the public’s needs and concerns foremost in our thoughts, as we strive to maintain services, especially in the areas of public safety and public education,” the county executive stated.
The proposed FY 2010 budget although lean, does not include any increase in taxes for the citizens of Harford County.
The total FY 2010 budget including all funds is $811,556,090, a decrease of $74,488,052 from the current FY 2009 budget of $886,044,142. The total proposed Capital Budget is $232,206,403 which decreased dramatically from the FY 2009 Capital Budget of $268,935,543.
The proposed FY 2010 budget includes five furlough days for all government employees exclusive of public safety and public education. The furloughs extend also to include elected officials. Details regarding the specifics of the furlough days will be disclosed in the near future.
Honoring his commitment to public safety, the county executive proposed a $1 million increase for the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, which provides funds to annualize 10 new deputy positions created for part of FY 2009, as well as fleet rental expenses. Funds are also provided in the proposed FY 2010 budget to begin construction of a new Southern Precinct near MD Rt. 152 and MD Rt. 40 in the Edgewood area of Harford County.
Earlier this year in FY 2009, the Board of Education was one of several agencies and departments that were requested by the county executive to “give back” nearly five percent of the operating budget as the county sought to maintain a balanced budget in the face of declining revenues.
As a result, the Board of Education returned approximately $4 million of their FY 2009 county allocation. The proposed FY 2010 Operating Budget returns the school system to their original level of funding for FY 2009 at $210,914,800.
Almost immediately after FY 2009 began, Harford County Government began belt tightening measures as unanticipated declines in revenue occurred. Many cost reduction and efficiency measures were implemented late last fall.
Some of the cost saving measures which have recently been implemented include a reduction in the take-home fleet of vehicles by county personnel; changes in post-retirement health care benefits; abolishment of four positions within government; restrictions on overtime and the suspension of the county’s tuition reimbursement program and uniform cleaning allowance to mention a few.
“Through prudent budgeting, strategic planning and maintaining open lines of communication, we are effectively dealing with the pressures brought on by a problematic global economy and Maryland’s budget deficit,” County Executive Craig remarked. “We have put forth a conservative budget to meet the needs of the citizens we serve, while at the same time maintaining our workforce without layoffs,” the county executive added.