Frederick County Executive Introduces Proposed Fiscal Year 2022 Budget

It contains more than $21-million above maintenance of effort for the School System.







Frederick, Md (KM) “Rise, Recover, Renew.” That’s the theme for Frederick County’s fiscal year 2022 budget. County Executive Jan Gardner introduced the $717.2-million spending plan on Thursday during her public information briefing. “The budget will support our recovery so we can flourish and be healthier, stronger and better together,” she said. “The budget invests in what matters  most: education, good health, economic prosperity and fairness and equity.”

Gardner says her spending plan contains record funding for public education. “The budget funds $21.5-million for K-12 public schools above maintenance of effort, which is the legal minimum that we’re required to fund by the state. This is $20-million of additional money and $1.5-million to hold the school system harmless on enrollment,” she says.

In addition, she says $50-million has been set aside for school construction and renovation, which is in  the first year of the capital budget. . The new Rock Creek School and Blue Heron Elementary School are under construction, and there’s money for an addition to Oakdale Middle School. “Two new schools will begin construction soon: the new Waverly Elementary School and Brunswick Elementary School, and the limited renovation of an older school, Thurmont Elementary,” says Gardner.

There’s also funding for a satellite facility for the Frederick County Health Department to be located along the Golden Mile. “Your local Health Department on the Golden Mile will provide access to existing Health Department services, including Medicaid enrollment, WIC–which is Women, Infant and Children program–Infant and Toddlers, and provide information, and education sessions on maternal health and wellness, and a variety of adult chronic disease prevention programs,” say Gardner.

There’s also funding for public safety. “The budget reflects our community’s value for a safe community, and our collective support for the men and women who keep us safe by fully funding the second year of contracts for our sheriff’s deputies, corrections staff and our fire fighters,” the County Executive says.  “Significant funding” for a new and expanded medical unit at the Adult Detention Center has also been allocated, along with money  to cover part time correctional officers to better manage overtime.

There’s also money for rural broadband. “First time the county invests $1-million to advance solutions for rural broadband based on a county wide study that was completed last fall,” says Gardner. “This investment will be used to match state and federal grants to ultimately complete $21-million in needed projects to bring broadband to what I describe as the rural crescent of Frederick County.”

Funds have also been allocated for an expanded Mobile Crisis Unit with 24/7 availability. There’s also money for a feasibility study on  an agricultural innovation center, and  support for Workforce Services.

Gardner says once again, there will be no increases in the property or income tax rates in fiscal year 2022. “For the seventh year in a row, the entirety of my administration, the budget is built on existing property tax and income rates and continues our fiscal commitment to meet our long term obligations,” she says. “Our pensions are fully funded, and our OPEB {Other Post Employment Benefits} which is retiree health, is 88% funded.”

The County Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed budget on Tuesday, April 20th beginning at 6:00 PM.


By Kevin McManus