With little discussion on Tuesday night, the Cecil County Council passed the budget ordinances and resolutions that will keep the county solvent in Fiscal Year 2019, which begins July 1.
The approved budget brings a property tax rate that will remain the same at $1.0414 per $100 of assessed property value.
Last year, a majority on the Council failed to pass any budget, meaning the current budget is the budget proposed by the County Executive.
County Executive Dr. Alan McCarthy said he is pleased to see the Council approve his budget this year.
“This is the second balanced budget in 23 years,” McCarthy said, noting how previous budgets had dipped into the county’s unassigned fund balance. The County Exec has said it is his goal to grow the unassigned fund balance to an appropriate level which is important to maintain in order to keep a good bond rating.
McCarthy thanked his staff for all of the hard work that went into the formulation of the FY19 budget that was reviewed and approved by the County Council.
“This budget is an appropriate, sensible use of tax dollars,” McCarthy said, adding he is proud of the accomplishments of his administration.
“We are being recognized in the state for being on the move in the right direction,” the County Executive said.
The County Council unanimously approved a lease purchase plan for the coming fiscal year for the acquisition of vehicles not to exceed $2 million.
The multi-year Capital Improvement Plan was approved with a 4 to 1 vote, with Councilwoman Jackie Gregory saying she did not agree with some of the expenditures.
The capital projects include funding for the next phase of the new North East library and an artificial turf field at Bohemia Manor High School/Middle School.
A last minute amendment requested by the Board of Education to add more than $900,000 to help fund salary hikes approved in employee contracts did not make it into the final approved budget, with the county’s legal office saying the move could not be made within the budget without either cutting items in the county’s operating fund or adding to the property tax rate. The County Council declined to consider the request.