The Board of Garrett County Commissioners held its recent public meeting on Tuesday May 16, 2023.
PUBLIC MEETING OPEN
In the public meeting session, Paul Edwards served as Chairman. The following items were discussed:
- Proclamation: National EMS Week will be celebrated May 21–27, 2023
- Recognition: Railey Design Center celebrates 10 Year Anniversary
- Resolution 2023 – 4: Adoption of the Operation of Off-Road Vehicles on Highways Ordinance Amendment
- Garrett County Department of Financial Services – Purchasing Division
- Bid #23–0427 for the Hauling of Refuse and/or Recycled Materials bid awarded to the apparent low bidder Perry’s Solid Waste Disposal in the amount of $196,169.44
- Bid #23–0427SC for the Snowy Creek Bridge G–19 Concrete Abutments Construction; the bid was rejected as the single bid was significantly over budget. The purchasing department will revise the scope of work and go out to bid again.
PUBLIC MEETING CLOSED
PUBLIC HEARING OPEN
- Duane Yoder from Community Action Committee presented a public hearing since his organization is requesting funds through the Maryland Department of Community Development Block Grant.
- There are two areas of focus for their projects:
- A program to make repairs to allow elderly individuals to stay in their homes.
- A project to help fund down payments for new homeowners.
- Mr. Yoder’s presentation begins at 17:45.
- Public comments were accepted.
PUBLIC HEARING CLOSED
PUBLIC MEETING REOPENED
- Congratulations to Cheryl DeBerry named to The Daily Records “Maryland’s Top 100 Women” list
- Public comments were accepted
PUBLIC MEETING CLOSED
- PRESENTATION: Garrett County Government – Fiscal Year 2024 Operating & Capital Budget Presentation. Final adoption is planned for June 5, 2023.
- The budget presentation begins at 35:39.
- Revenue: $100,239,615 (by “Big 12” categories):
- Real Property Tax: $55,465,732
- Income Tax: $16,500,000
- Accommodation Tax: $4,000,000
- Public Utilities Tax: $3,644,929
- Personal Property Tax: $2,719,200
- Disparity Grant: $2,537,671
- Recordation Tax: $1,800,000
- Transfer Tax: $1,800,000
- Forestry & Parks: $1,728,971
- Investment Income: $1,600,000
- Highway User Revenue: $1,498,568
- Admission & Amusement Tax: $1,000,000
- Expenses: $100,239,615
- General Government: $7,210,785
- Public Safety: $15,565,840
- Public Works: $20,197,493
- Community Health: $2,448,180
- Education: $36,019,296
- Parks, Recreation Culture: $188,160
- Public Service: $281,547
- Economic Development: $3,116,386
- Economic Opportunity: $2,297,823
- Miscellaneous: $4,475,290
- Capital Expenditures: $8,438,814
- General Government: $895,000
- Public Safety: $667,755
- Public Works: $859,500
- Education: $6,013,059
- NOTE: The state Blueprint for Maryland’s Future aims to assess the cost to educate each child individually. Each child receives a per pupil base rate in the foundation program. In addition, a child may also receive funding in up to 12 other possible funding programs.
- Based on a relatively high assessment on real property values and a low public-school enrollment, Garrett County ranks high in relative Wealth Per-Pupil.
- With a higher local funding percentage (based on the “Wealth Per-Pupil” calculation, Garrett County Government pays about 60% of the costs for each additional sub-group for which a student qualifies.
- Projected 10-Year Increase in Local Funding (through FY2023): $13,548,437
- In Summary:
- Operating & Capital requests came in $1.9 million over projected revenue.
- Proposing a $91.8 million Operating and a $8.4 million Capital Budget for a total of $100.2 million.
- Funded the operations of outside agencies an additional $524,175. Funded an additional $2.5 million of capital for these outside agencies bringing the combined total funding to $47.5 million.
- Funded the Board of Education $232,674 over the required Local Share mandate. In addition, committed to funding a $14.4 million capital plan over the next four years which this budget includes $5.2 million for the Southern Grade Band Project.
- Biggest Future Challenge is Education funding: Projecting a $13.5 million increase in operation funding for Public Schools over the next 9 years. Over next 3 years alone, beginning with FY25, we are projecting a $6.6 million increase in operation funding.
- Over $1.2 million will be invested in broadband and local business development.
- A position was added for the State’s Attorney’s Office making a part-time attorney a fulltime position.
- Investment in Public Safety employee's compensation and commitment for a salary study to address General Government compensation to compete with wage inflation & current market rates.
- No Real Property Tax rate increase. Rate will remain at $1.056
- No increases to the Water & Sewer Ad Valorem Tax Rates and a reduction in 8 of the 12 Sanitary Districts.
- No Income Tax rate increase. Rate will remain at 2.65% making Garrett County the 3rd lowest in the State.
- No Reserves were used to balance this budget.
- No new General Fund debt
- Maintaining a 10% rainy day fund
- Public comments were accepted and will be considered until June 5, 2023 via [email protected].
Public issues or concerns that are to be presented to the Board of Garrett County Commissioners during any Public Meeting should be scheduled with Carol A. Riley-Alexander, Executive Assistant to the Board of County Commissioners/County Administrator, by 11:00 p.m. on Monday one week prior to the Public Meeting Day.
The Board of Garrett County Commissioners next scheduled Public Meeting will be Monday, June 5, 2023, at the Garrett County Courthouse beginning at 4:00 p.m.