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Press Release

Publish Date: 9/13/2018

Release: Executive Delivers Budget To County Legislature

Proposed Executive Budget Stays Under Tax Cap, Maintains Critical Services and Assists County Programs

FONDA - County Executive Matthew L. Ossenfort submitted his 2019 Executive Budget to the County Legislature Sept. 5 and is proposing a $116.5 million spending plan, which stays under the tax cap.

Included in the Executive Budget is a proposed property tax levy increase of $567,405 or 1.98 percent. Anticipated general fund revenues, excluding the tax levy, are budgeted at $66.1 million. The Executive Budget includes $3.7 million in use of general fund balance.

Ossenfort said any changes to the Executive Budget are largely driven by non-discretionary contractual increases as well as from increases in expenditures from mandated programs. 

"The proposed 2019 budget remains largely unchanged compared to the current year's spending plan," Ossenfort said. "We previously took on numerous initiatives such as building and equipment improvement projects to continue moving the county forward," Ossenfort said. "I'm pleased with what our team has been able to accomplish and I'm confident the proposed budget will allow us to continue in a positive direction by maintaining critical services and assisting county programs in need of support."

The 2019 Executive Budget includes a $50,000 increase to the Montgomery County Office for Aging line. Ossenfort said the increase is an effort to assist the county's growing senior population through two strategic initiatives. The first would be reducing the waitlist for the Expanded In-home Services For The Elderly Program which provides support to seniors so they can stay in their homes and avoid expensive nursing home costs. There are currently 15 seniors on the waitlist. Funds would also be allocated to purse a volunteer driven transportation system for senior citizens in Montgomery County, modeled after a similar program in Dutchess County.  Funding will be used to purchase necessary computer software and offset additional staffing needs.

"Increasing our budget allocation for the OFA will help keep seniors in their homes by reducing the EISEP waitlist. Seniors make up a growing number of our population and their ability to join a program such as this shouldn't be hindered due to a waitlist," Ossenfort said. "Pursing a volunteer driven transportation system would alleviate undue stress on seniors who may be struggling to find rides to appointments, grocery shop or visit family members."

"Increasing funds to assist with these two initiatives would aid in the OFA's commitment to helping seniors maintain their independence and quality of life," Montgomery County Office for Aging Executive Director David Jordan said. "We are extremely grateful to the county for their ongoing continued support of our agency and mission."

"It's certainly a good start to be under the tax cap and utilizing less fund balance than last year," Budget and Finance Committee Chairman and District 7 Legislator Michael J. Pepe said. "I was encouraged to see the year-over-year net changes in departments were minimal and mostly due to non-discretionary expense increases."

"The Executive's budget is off to a great start and I'm looking forward to a productive budget process," Montgomery County Legislative Chairman Robert Headwell Jr. said.

Per the Montgomery County Charter, the Executive Budget must be filed with the Clerk of the County Legislature by Sept. 5. The County Executive and County Treasurer will meet with the Budget & Finance Committee on Sept. 11 at 5:35 p.m. in the Legislative Chambers, to review the proposed budget.