The city of Frederick would spend more than $105 million on items such as police, economic development, parks and public works under a fiscal 2021 operating budget proposed by Mayor Michael O'Connor Wednesday — an increase of about $4 million from a year ago.

O'Connor announced the budget at a press briefing Wednesday.

The $105,566,887 budget would advance human services and housing programs, find ways to plan and reimagine communities as the city grows, find the best ways to use existing land and infrastructure, evolve as a place where companies and workers want to be, and find the best ways to communicate and connect with city residents, he said.

The city's budget “is our commitment to how best to spend city resources to strengthen the community,” O'Connor said.

The adopted fiscal 2020 budget was $101,075,358. 

The schedule of hearings on the budget has been altered by the state of emergency caused by the spread of COVID-19.

The proposed budget includes more than $35 million in funding for the Frederick Police Department, nearly $17 million in public works operations, and $6.5 million for housing and human services, among other spending.

It includes money for road construction and safety projects including on West 7th Street, Monocacy Boulevard between Md. 26 to U.S. 15, Butterfly Lane, and West Patrick Street, as well as intersection improvements at East and All Saints streets and Yellow Springs Road and Tuscanney Drive.

The proposed budget projects $73.5 million in taxes, as well as other sources of revenue.

The proposed property tax rate would stay the same as it has since 2014, at 73 cents per $100 of assessed value.

While the operating budget is more than $105 million, the city's overall budget — including enterprise funds, special revenue funds, and a capital improvements program — totals $207,535,546.

Several of the city's aldermen said Wednesday they were still absorbing the details of O'Connor's proposal and could not comment.

The city's budget hearings will have a different look and an adjusted timeline, as it moves to virtual meetings in an effort to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

The first public hearing on the proposed budget will be on April 14 at 7 p.m. Additional meetings will be on April 22 and 27, both with hearings from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

A final hearing and the budget's adoption will be at 7 p.m. on May 7.

Information on how to access the virtual meetings will be coming soon, according to a release from the city.

Follow Ryan Marshall on Twitter: @RMarshallFNP

Ryan Marshall is the transportation and growth and development reporter for the News-Post. He can be reached at rmarshall@newspost.com.

(5) comments

Jaco

Adding an additional $4million in spending is totally naive and irresponsible at a time like this. Too bad O’Connor terminated one of the best grant writers in Maryland. The City will need every bit of revenue it can come up with. Time to significantly downsize the size of the staff in the mayor’s office.

xJacky1

It would be refreshing if the burden on homeowners was reduced just once. Sadly, it won’t happen again.

elymus43

Focus on cutting the budget, and not increasing the budget. One good way is the stop the new home building, and all new growth.

micky

"Strengthen our community" by repairing the streets. There are many intersections that rattle your teeth when you pass through. Increase the street repair budget, quick !!

Kville

Where is the money coming to pay for this? tax revenue is going to fall off a cliff this year at both the state and local levels. Maryland cannot print money like the Federal Reserve bank does. Better to focus the budget on essentials.

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