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Delaware Headlines

Sussex County adopts $294.1M budget for Fiscal 2023

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Milton Pratt
/
Delaware Public Media

Sussex County adopts its 2023 budget that starts on July 1, 2022

The $294 million spending plan does not include any new taxes.

The County’s finance director Gina Jennings says the budget is more than $16 million larger than the current budget, but down an estimated $1.6 million when amended expenses were factored in, such as inflation and public safety.

Jennings notes that the new budget does include various fee increases, “So giving a brief synopsis of the water and sewer rates…there is an increase in the water rates. It’s going from $3.42 to $3.77; that’s a $35 annual increase - that’s the water rates. Sewer rates are a $24 increase from $2.96 to $3.20. There’s no change in the connection fees.”

Jennings says this is the second year in a row that the budget includes a large chunk of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding, and is boosted by a robust housing market.

Jennings says some of that money will be used to hire additional paramedics and 911 dispatchers.

The budget also earmarks $72.2 million for wastewater infrastructure, including new sewer mains, increased treatment capacity and other upgrades.

$7.4 million will go toward open space and farmland preservation.

$7.3 million will cover completing construction of a consolidated county public safety complex that expands the Emergency Operations Center. There’s also $1.5 million for a new paramedic station in the Millsboro and $2.8 million for local volunteer fire companies with ambulance service to cover salaries for paid EMTs.

The budget also continues to fund the court-ordered countywide reassessment of all properties with $3.4 million.