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Executive Kittleman presents operating budget for Fiscal Year 2018 to County Council

Executive Kittleman presents operating budget for Fiscal Year 2018 to County Council

April 19, 2017

Media Contact:
Deidre McCabe, Director of Strategic Planning and Communications, 410-313-4023
Holly Sun, Howard County Budget Administrator, 410-313-2077

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – County Executive Allan H. Kittleman today presented his $1.1 billion General Fund Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2018 to the County Council, continuing his focus on education, public safety, health, housing, community services and economic development.

The proposed FY 2018 Operating Budget for all funds totals $1.58 billion, a 5.6 percent increase from last year’s budget. Excluding PAYGO for one-time expenses, the proposed $1.1 billion General Fund budget represents an increase of $39.2 million – or 3.7 percent – over FY 2017. (PAYGO is the prior fund balance carried over from previous budget years.)

“Projected revenue increases continue to be modest, therefore requiring the same disciplined approach to the budget that we took last year,” said Kittleman. “This strong fiscal management allows us to withstand unexpected circumstances and still hold the line on taxes. This year, we withstood the enormous fiscal impact of the July 30 flood in Ellicott City without cutting services, raising taxes or compromising our priorities.”

Kittleman highlighted funding for his 24/7 Education Initiative. “We know it takes a 24-hours-a-day approach to foster positive environments for children’s health, education and success. This budget builds on work we’ve done over that past 18 months, adding programs developed through a collaborative, data-driven process that ensures every dollar spent is tied to an outcome.”

Highlights of the FY 2018 operating budget include:

Education

• Direct appropriation of $572.2 million to the Howard County Public School System, which is $10 million more than last year and $2.3 million above the required Maintenance of Effort (MOE) level.

• Nearly $67 million for debt service payments for school system capital projects and the county’s OPEB contribution for school system retiree benefits.

• $34 million for Howard Community College, an increase of $1.7 million (or 5.3 percent).

• $20.3 million for the Howard County Library System of, an increase of $765,000 (or 3.9 percent).

• $500,000 for the 24/7 Education Initiative for programs tackling achievement disparities. Initiatives will help provide mental health services for children; provide summer food access in targeted areas; address critical performance gaps; and add a human services specialist to support the initiative, grants management and program development.

Housing, Health and Community Services

• Additional support for mental health initiatives, including a psychiatrist position to improve access to care.

• $150,000 to support coordinated efforts in fighting the opioid crisis.

• New human trafficking prevention manager to coordinate with county agencies involved in this effort.

• Funds to create a Community Resources Campus, bringing together county departments, the state Department of Social Services and many nonprofits at one central, accessible location.

• Two positions to increase programs at the new Elkridge 50+ Center and funding for nonprofits such as Adaptive Living, NeighborRide and Meals on Wheels. • $484,000 to nonprofits supporting individuals with disabilities, including the Howard County Autism Society, Camp Attaway, the Arc of Howard County, Humanim, Accessible Resources for Independence and Adaptive Living.

• Funding to support opening of the new Leola Dorsey Community Resource Center, including $140,000 for Volunteers of America and $77,500 to Grassroots for expanded services.

Infrastructure and Economic Development

• $4.5 million in PAYGO to continue progress on the 10-year backlog of road resurfacing projects.

• Developing an implementation plan to revitalize the Route 1 corridor and expanding the Route 1 Tax Credit.

• Funding a Route 1 Traffic Safety Audit.

• Hiring an energy manager to help achieve energy efficiency and cost savings.

• Creation of the Howard County Innovation Center in Columbia Gateway to serve as a catalyst to attract private investments and expand the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship.

Kittleman and Budget Director Holly Sun will be available Friday, April 21 at 11 a.m. at the George Howard Building to meet with members of the media to discuss the proposed budget. The County Council will hold a public hearing on the operating budget on Tuesday, May 2 at 7:00 p.m. in the Banneker Room of the George Howard Building. The FY 2018 operating budget can be reviewed online at https://www.howardcountymd.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=wCZksrvRhBQ%3d&portalid=0.

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