It contains three new reserve funds, money to buy hybrid police vehicles.
Frederick, Md (KM) A proposed fiscal year 2020 budget for the city of Frederick was introduced on Wednesday by Mayor Michael O’Connor.
Both the operating and capital budgets total $170.3-million dollars, and the city’s property tax rate will remain at 73 cents per $100 of assessed value.
Mayor O’Connor says the spending plan contains three new reserve funds. One deals with affordable housing. “And we’re proposing to seed this Affordable Housing Reserve Fund with $100,000 to allow the conversations that move forward on affordable housing in the city of Frederick to not be driven by whether or not we’ve budgeted money to make them happen, but to put that money available,” he says.
Another reserve fund deals with child care availability. “At this point, we don’t have a model for how those dollars would be allocated. It’s seed money, presently, a chance for us to pilot some potential efforts. This is $10,000 that we’re proposing, but it will allow to have a conservation about ways in which we can figure are there things we can do at the municipal level to help deal with this issue,” he says.
The third reserve fund deals with public art.
In addition to reserve funds, O’Connor says his budget has some new vehicle purchases for the Police Department. “We are proposing to buy 15 hybrid police vehicles. This is the largest and really the first in a significant step toward the transformation of city vehicle fleets into hybrid cars,” he says.
The Mayor also says hybrid cars cost $5,000 more than regular vehicles, but they save in the long run when it comes to maintenance and gasoline.
One other item in the budget include funding for a summer youth jobs program in conjunction with Frederick County Workforce Services.
The Mayor received favorable feedback from the board. Aldermen Derek Shackelford said he was pleased with a number of proposals. “A bunch of proposals have been from residents who have expressed some of these concerns or desires in regards to financing,” he said. Those issues include child care and youth employment, which he says “it’s good to see that.”
Alderman Ben MacShane says he’s happy with the transportation projects in the fiscal 2020 budget. “The improvements to the intersection at Tuscanny Drive; the improvements along the Jefferson corridor,” he says. “Some projects that had been in there previously but are still moving forward at Rosemont and Baughmans Lane; extending the shared-use path up into some of our northwest neighborhoods.”
And Alderwoman Donna Kuzemchk was especially pleased about one facet of the Mayor’s proposed budget. “I’m very excited to see that there is actually some money in here for public art. I’m really interested to where and how much,” she said.
Budget hearings begin next week. The Aldermen are expected to adopt a budge ton May 16th.
Residents can to the city’s website and fill out a feedback form, offering their thoughts, comments and suggestions about the budget.
By Kevin McManus