Levy Court unanimously approves $72.5M budget

The largest capital expenditure in the Kent County budget is an investment of $10 million in the new Kent County Recreation Center set to be constructed on New Burton Road in Dover. Kent County Levy Court President Brooks Banta was among the speakers at the October groundbreaking ceremony. (Delaware State News file/Dave Chambers)

The largest capital expenditure in the Kent County budget is an investment of $10 million in the new Kent County Recreation Center set to be constructed on New Burton Road in Dover. Kent County Levy Court President Brooks Banta was among the speakers at the October groundbreaking ceremony. (Delaware State News file/Dave Chambers)

DOVER — Kent County Levy Court has approved unanimously its Fiscal Year 2016 budget. Supplying its more than 173,000 residents with services ranging from marriage licenses to garbage collection, the county has constructed a budget of $72.5 million for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015, and ending June 30, 2016.

The seven Levy Court commissioners, the county administrator and other senior staff worked together to create the budget taking into account key topics like population growth, projected economic conditions and capital investments.

The county budget always is developed as a balanced budget, meaning that the total operating expenses do not exceed revenues and other financing sources.

“I’m pleased to be able to support a balanced budget that includes expansions in both public safety and recreational services,” Commissioner Eric Buckson said of voting in favor of the budget.

For FY16, the county expects to bring in $72.5 million, mostly through property tax (40.5 percent) and other financing sources, and projects to expend $72.5 million with the biggest recipients of the funds being personnel (70.9 percent) and capital expenditures (34 percent).

The largest capital expenditure is an investment of $10 million in the new Kent County Recreation Center set to be constructed on New Burton Road in Dover. The $10 million is nearly half of the $24.9 million capital expenditure budget.

Major changes in the FY16 budget compared to FY15 is a 2 percent salary increase to coincide with the projected cost of living increase. A handful of positions also were created and eliminated. Four new positions were created to staff the Recreation Center. The last major difference is the annual contribution to the pension fund is $1.4 million, an increase of $192,616 from FY 15.

“I’m personally pleased with the effort of the county administrator, director of finance and employees who pulled together during a still precarious time, only three years after the recession. Because of their abilities, we’ve been able to go another year without seeing a tax increase,” Levy Court President Brooks Banta said.

 

Reach staff writer Ashton Brown at abrown@newszap.com. Follow @AshtonReports on Twitter.

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