Funding for county services rises in Arundel budget plan

May 02, 2002|By Rona Kobell | Rona Kobell,SUN STAFF

Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens unveiled yesterday an $883 million spending plan for next year that includes more money for schools and the police, along with a small tax cut.

Delivering her budget message to a packed crowd at the Arundel Center yesterday morning, Owens offered few surprises. She recited a familiar refrain on the importance of investing in education, public safety and land preservation, even in lean times.

Though County Council members had time for only a cursory review of Owens' proposal while she spoke, several said they doubted the debates would be as heated as in past years because there's so little money to go around. They said they took into account the fiscal constraints when recommending spending within their districts.

"All of us were very conservative with our requests," said Councilwoman Shirley Murphy, a Pasadena Democrat. "We just said, `Look, we'll keep what's in the pipeline and not ask for anything more.'"

The County Council will vote on Owens' proposed operating budget May 23 after a series of hearings on the spending plans for county departments.

The county executive's proposed capital budget of $194.7 million combined with the general fund budget of $883 million bring the proposed spending package to $1.07 billion.

Owens' proposed operating budget gives the county schools $22 million more than what they received last year.

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