A proposed fiscal year 2015 budget for the City of Frederick was introduced on Wednesday. The spending plan totals $130,826,770 on the operating side, and $30,051,848 on the capital side.
"While we're seeing signs of recovery in our local economy, the city is still faced with increasing costs and needs which exceed available revenue," says Mayor Randy McClement, who presented the budget to the Board of Aldermen on Wednesday.
He also said after receiving all of the requests and reviewing the revenue estimates, the city was facing a $20-million deficit for fiscal 2015. But he says department heads and the city's Budget and Purchasing Director, Katie Barkdoll, helped to bring that budget into balance. "Please note that every department, in coordination with and understanding of other department needs, made tough decisions in balancing the f.y. 15 budget," says the Mayor.
The property tax rate will remain the same at 73.05-cents per $100 of assessed value.
McClement says the city's employees will be seeing some extra money in their paychecks. Civilian workers will get a 4% merit pay increase, and sworn uniformed officers will get at 4% step increase and a 3% cost of living increase.
In addition, the Police force will be brought up to 141 officers. "We did this by allocating funds to accommodate up to five additional officers in the fall, 2013, academy. I've allocated funds to do the same in the f.y. '15 budget. And as a side note, we have achieved our goal of 141 sworn officers in the department," he says.
Other projects in the budget include funding for Willow Oak Drive, and planning and engineering for Christopher's Crossing. There is also money for planning and engineering to remove silt from Lake Linganore, the city's second largest source of water. $226,000 has been allocated for the design of Hargett Farm Park.
Budget hearings are scheduled for April 2nd, 9th, 15th, 23rd, and 30th. There will also be hearings on May 7th and 13th. All of them will take place the Municipal Annex Building on West Patrick Street beginning at 7:00 PM. The Board of Aldermen is expected to vote on the budget on My 15th at 7:00 PM in the City Hall Boardroom.
All of the budget details are available from the city's website at www.cityoffrederick.com.