Kent County Levy Court unanimously passed a balanced FY 2014 budget at its business meeting on Tuesday. The total budget came in at $59,902,750.
The general fund was set at $23,440,050 with $5,534,900 for capital projects. The sewer fund was set at $1,258,400 with a rate of $2.34 per gallon of sewage. The street light fund was set at $888,900 and the trash fund was budgeted as $3,051,000.
A 2-percent COLA increase and a 1-percent step increase for county employees were also approved. The COLA increase added an additional $291,200 to the overall budget, which was funded with $226,400 from the general fund and $64,800 from the sewer fund. The 1-percent step added $127,300 to the overall budget, with $98,700 from the general fund and $28,600 from the sewer fund. The county will have 292 funded positions, which is just one less than in Fiscal Year 2013.
Property tax rates will remain at 30 cents per $100 of assessed value. Budget Analyst Debbie Elders is expecting to see $160,000 more in revenue from property taxes, however due to new building and home purchases.
The annual operating budget for the Kent County Library District was budgeted at $614,000, with a rate of 3.3 cents per $100 of assessed property value for properties located in unincorporated areas in Kent County. Funds in this budget are designated for the Kent County Public Library.
Commissioner George “Jody” Sweeney told his fellow commissioners that he had recently had the opportunity to boast about the Levy Court passing a balanced budget this early in the year.
“We do it first, we set the bar for the other counties to follow and we do it well,” he said.