Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Sussex County proposes budget about $15 million less than this year

Milton Pratt
Delaware Public Media

Sussex County proposes a $278.6 million budget for Fiscal Year 2024.

This budget is down about $15 million or 5.3% from the current year.

County Administrator Todd Lawson explains why.

"The decrease is being driven by one-time expenditures occurring in the previous year. These expenditures include the completion of various capital projects in the use of one-time American Rescue Plan Act funds,” said Lawson. “As any prudent government we continue to keep our ongoing operational expenses in check."

The proposed budget includes $66.1 million for wastewater infrastructure, including spending on new sewer mains, increased treatment capacity, and other upgrades to the utility systems.

And County Finance Director Gina Jennings says property taxes will remain unchanged.

"There are no increases in the tax rate. We are using reserves - that's use of reserves are up from last year. There's 10 million in the general fund and 15 million in the capital fund," said Jennings.

Jennings notes there are proposed fee increases including $10 annually for sewer and $15 annually for unmetered water on public utility systems.

The budget includes $3.4 million to continue the court-ordered property reassessment.

There’s also $2 million earmarked for the design, planning, and construction of paramedic stations in Dewey Beach, Lincoln, Millsboro, and Milton areas, and $5.7 million for local fire companies and ambulance squads.

There’s also $7.4 million to preserve open space and farmland, and an increase in funding to $4.1 million for the county’s contract with the state for 23 supplemental state police troopers assigned to the county.

Sussex County Council has to approve a budget by June 30. A public hearing on the budget takes place June 20.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.