The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) approved a $312.9 million fiscal year (FY) 2020 general fund operating budget. It is a balanced budget and the most notable change is the $3 million increase for the new Career Emergency Medical Services Division to supplement Calvert County’s volunteer fire/rescue/Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel that provide life-saving services to citizens. FY 2020 begins July 1, 2019.
The general fund budget for FY 2020 reflects an increase of $15.4 million compared to the FY 2019 general fund budget of $297.5 million. Sixty percent, or $9.3 million, of revenue increase is due to the county’s payment in lieu of tax (PILOT) agreement with Dominion Energy Cove Point.
“The budget addresses many issues facing Calvert County and reflects our commitment to sound financial management for the good of the citizens,” said BOCC President Thomas “Tim” Hutchins. “This budget keeps us in a strong fiscal position while supporting our public schools, public safety and ensuring that every tax dollar benefits the community.”
The budget includes a $4.2 million funding increase to Calvert County Public Schools, which makes up more than 47 percent of the general fund operating budget and 30 percent of the six-year capital projects budget. Calvert County Public Schools funding is set at $130.6 million using a formula agreed upon by the BOCC and the Calvert County Board of Education.
The FY 2020 operating budget also includes:
- $6 million for the Calvert County Highway Maintenance Division to fund the road paving program.
- A step increase for county government employees and a 2.05 percent cost of living adjustment.
- New salary scales for sheriff’s deputies and correctional officers, providing a 5 percent adjustment.
- Increase of approximately $3.8 million in one-time transfers to capital projects.
In 2016, the BOCC identified a growing concern about the ability to maintain an all-volunteer fire, rescue and EMS team. The BOCC approved one paid EMS supervisor in the FY 2019 budget to begin building supplemental support for the county’s volunteer paramedics. The FY 2020 budget funds a new Career Emergency Medical Services Division with 25 employees to staff two advanced life support units.
The six-year, $360.8 million Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) lays out the county’s capital program for FY 2020-2025. School construction and renovation account for $107.7 million, with significant resources going toward Beach Elementary School and Northern Middle School. Public safety makes up the second largest portion of the CIP budget, totaling $61.3 million.
In order to reduce use of prior year funds in the Solid Waste and Recycling Enterprise Fund, the Department of Public Works, Solid Waste Division, recommended an increase to residential and commercial recycling and solid waste fees. In FY 2020, the solid waste fee will increase by $13, or $1.08 per month, or an equivalent total annual fee of $142 on the property tax bill.
Residents are encouraged to review the approved budget online. For more information about the FY 2020 budget, contact the Calvert County Department of Finance and Budget at 410-535-1600, ext. 2435. Information on Calvert County Government services can be found online at www.CalvertCountyMd.gov