Frederick residents will have five chances to comment on Mayor Michael O’Connor’s $112 million fiscal 2022 general fund budget proposal, with hearings slated for this month and next.
O’Connor unveiled the proposal, which would keep the city’s municipal property tax rate the same for the ninth straight year, on Thursday.
“As we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, I’m committed to the continued collaboration with our community, the city’s executive leadership team and the Board of Aldermen to create and sustain a community where everyone has the opportunity to live, work, play and thrive,” O’Connor said in a recorded announcement.
Last year, the city’s aldermen cut about $5 million from O’Connor’s proposed $105 million spending plan as a result of predictions of sharply falling revenues at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The proposal includes a $112.1 million general fund budget. Along with that, the budgets for water and sewer, stormwater, parking, the Weinberg Center for the Arts, Frederick Municipal Airport, Clustered Spires Golf Course and reserves bring the total proposed budget to $169.6 million.
O’Connor’s proposal will include an equity program administrator to help evaluate and administer programs and help improve access to city contracts for businesses owned by women and minorities.
The mayor and aldermen recently heard evidence from a city-requested disparity study that such companies have problems securing contracts with the city.
The budget would also fund more multilingual and American Sign Language translation abilities, as well as a citywide student internship program.
It would also fund recommendations from a study by the Army Corps of Engineers to address stormwater issues and flooding in parts of the city.
There would also be further restructuring of the city’s newly-formed Department of Housing and Human Services, as well as programs to expand transportation options for vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians, O’Connor said.
The budget is available on the city’s website at cityoffrederickmd.gov/fy22budget, where residents can submit comments using a feedback button.
The city will also hold budget discussions on April 7, April 14, April 26, April 29 and May 3, and people can offer feedback before the budget is approved by the aldermen.