Frederick’s Mayor Introduces Fiscal Year 2025 Budget

He says it funds additional police officers, traffic calming and two new city departments.

Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor

Frederick, Md (KM) A proposed general fund budget for fiscal year 2025 was introduced on Monday by Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor. In a video presentation, the Mayor said the general fund budget totals $152-million. . “With the newest data showing nearly half of city residents living as asset limited, income constrained, employed–or ALICE households–I know that many of our residents face significant financial hardships,:” he said. “I’m proud that I’ve never proposed a property tax rate increase and placing that burden on the taxpayers.”

The property tax rate will remain the same at $0,7305 per $100 of assessed value. The spending plan also continues the ten-year phase out of the business personal property tax in the city.

There’s also a budget across all operating funds which includes water and sewer, stormwater, parking, the Weinberg Center for the Arts, the airport, golf course and reserve funds totaling $223-million.

In his executive summary, Mayor O’Connor says the budget continues to make investments in parks, code enforcement, traffic calming, general public safety across multiple departments. In the area of public safety, “this budget includes additional police officers, a continued commitment from prior years to insure the best response for our residents as our city grows,” he says. “This expansion aimed at bolstering traffic enforcement and enhancing safety across our neighborhoods,. addressing concerns about speeding and insuring a safe  environment for all.”

There’s also funding for sidewalks. “My proposed budget earmarks $1-million in sidewalk replacements and upgrades with a particular focus on equity emphasis areas to insure that all members of our community can navigate our city safely and comfortably,” he says.

And there’s also money for traffic calming measures. “Traffic calming measures are another key component of our quality of life enhancements with specific funding allocated for the Jefferson Street Corridor. My proposed budget continues to prioritize safe traffic at safe speeds, and improvement of road safety for both drivers and pedestrians alike,” the Mayor says.

The budget also calls for the creation of two new city departments. “Notably, my budget accounts for the establishment of an urban forestry department which aims not only to branch out our city’s tree canopy, but also to move forestry into the wider city planning process,” Mayor O’Connor says. “This initiative is supported by substantial equipment investments like an aerial bucket truck and debris chipper.”

He’s also proposing a department focused on workforce opportunity, transformation and re-entry. “The person selected to lead this department will oversee the project management of our four pillars for workforce development: emerging youth, fair wages and good jobs, re-entry and apprenticeships.” says O’Connor.

The Board of Aldermen will hold a discussion on the budget on Wednesday, April 3rd at 7:00 PM. There were also be several public hearings on various aspects of the budget during the month of April.

By Kevin McManus