Frederick County Executive Releases Her Proposed FY 2025 Budget

It keeps the property tax rate the same.

County Executive Jessica Fitzwater

Frederick, Md (KM) Frederick County Executive Jessica Fitzwater released her proposed fiscal year 2025 budget on Monday. The spending plan totals $981,919,496 and raises the property tax rate to $1.11 per $100 of assessed value.

Frederick County Public Schools is receiving almost $437 million. In a pre-recorded video presentation,  Fitzwater says it’s an additional $30-million dollars for the next fiscal year. “In this upcoming year, Frederick County must give an additional $21.2 million to FCPS, or approximately one-third of the entire budget growth over the last fiscal year just to  meet our MOE {Maintenance of Effort} obligation,” she says. “My proposed budget invests an additional $10 million over our enhanced MOE obligation, providing over $30 million in additional funding for FCPS over the FY 24 budget.”

Fitzwater says this budget also contains funding to expand a youth apprenticeship program in Frederick County Government in partnership with the Public School System. “This was one of our most requested items in our balancing act surveys, and it’s a program that will help meet our Blueprint goals, and build career pathways and a stronger workforce,” she says.

There are  some school replacement projects in the budget. “We will be breaking ground later this month for replacement schools at Green Valley and Valley Elementary. Both are slated to open for students in August, 2025   A limited renovation of Monocacy Elementary and an addition to Crestwood Middle will be completed soon. Both buildings will be ready for the start of the school year,” she says.

“This budget provides daytime career fire fighters staffing on weekdays at the Wolfesville Fire Station, serving one of our most rural parts of the  county,” Fitzwater continues. “It also invests in an EMS medic captain to expand our community behavioral health program as demand for these services continues to grow.”

Funding is also set aside for some new fire stations. “Construction begins this year on a new Green Valley Fire Station with a replacement station at Carroll Manor to follow,” Fitzwater says. “We’ll also replace several vehicles for the fire service.”

But people who make up the fire service and law enforcement will be provided for in the budget. “The FY ’25 budget honors the multi-year contract commitment we made to our fire fighters. and it funds new contracts for our deputies and our correctional officers to include key salary and benefit enhancements,” she says.

Animal Control will be receiving a new position. “We heard repeatedly from the community about the need for a surgery coordinator at Animal Control to streamline operations and enhance spay and neuter services. I’m please to announce that the budget adds this position,” says Fitzwater. “In addition, the much anticipated expansion of the Animal Control  Center will begin construction in FY ’25.”

Fitzwater’s proposed budget also contains a two percent cost of living adjustment for employees, along with something else. “This budget supports the launch of an employee health clinic to provide accessible care while reducing the cost of insurance claims,” she says. “Long term health outcomes improve where this model has been implemented, and we expect to see lower absentee rates as a result.”

The budget will sent over to the County Council which will hold hearings. A spending plan for fiscal year 2025 must be adopted by May 31st.

Fiscal year 2025 begins on July 1st, 2024.

By Kevin McManus