It's a little more than the current spending plan.
A proposed fiscal year 2014 budget was unveiled Wednesday at Frederick City Hall. The spending plan totals $89,168,934, which is 8.96% more than the current budget that totals $82,040,954.
Mayor Randy McClement says it expresses the priorities of the Aldermen and the citizens. "Public works, public safety and economic development, as well as employee retention," he says.
The budget contains no increase in the city's property tax rate.
Mayor McClement also says he's proposing funding to hire five additional police officers for the fall, 2013 Police Academy to bring the force up to 141 sworn officers. But that may not mean five additional cops on the street, he says. "If we need five extra people to do that to keep it at 141, there's money set aside to do that," McClement says. "Now, if we have the academy and we don't the extra personnel, then they won't use it. But we had to be able to allocate some money in the stream to allow that situation to happen."
The budget also sets aside funding to fix up roads, specifically those that are in need of serious repair. "We have probably about six-and-a-half million dollars worth of road repairs that have to be done. I've got it in the budget and I think we got it worked out where we can make that happen. On top of that, a regular street budget is three-and-a-half million dollars," he says.
McClement says putting aside money for road repairs hasn't been easy during the slow economy. He says the state has cut the Highway User Fee revenue coming into Frederick. In 2007, the amount the city received was $3.2-million. This year, it was $1.4-million.
The Mayor says the city's civilian employees will be getting a 4% merit increase as part of his budget. These workers have gone without merit increases for four years. "They have been asked to help keep the cost of City services down during these tough economic times, and have done an outstanding job accomplishing that task," says Mayor McClement in his budget submittal letter.
In addition, police officers will receive a 4% step increase. In lieu of a cost of living adjustment for employees, McClement is proposing a one-time payment for all full time and graded part time employees of 3% of their annual salary.
The big budget book totaling more than 200 pages has been presented to the Board of Aldermen. He says members will go over it, and offer their recommendations.
The first budget workshop is scheduled for Wednesday, April 3rd at 7:00 PM in the first floor hearing room at city hall. It will also be broadcast on Channel 99, and streamed on the city's website, which is www.cityoffrederick.com
Adoption of the budget is expected on May 16th at 7:00 PM.