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Federal funding allows for spending increase in Sussex County budget

Milton Pratt
Delaware Public Media

Federal dollars will allow more spending this upcoming year in Sussex County. 

County Council approved its FY 2022 budget Tuesday.

Officials say the $278 million plan is the most significant in Sussex County history.  This year’s budget was a little more than $177 million, largely diminished by concerns related to COVID lockdowns.


The roughly $100 million increase is largely the result of federal funding from the American Rescue Plan passed in March.


The county’s budget includes slight changes to utility rates—$4 annually for sewer and $15 for water. Property taxes will stay the same.


In a statement, County Administrator Todd Lawson said Sussex is in “a very strong financial position,” calling the budget “both appropriate and affordable.”


The plan’s capital expenses include more than $72 million for wastewater infrastructure and utility upgrades, just over $6 million for construction of a public safety complex and another $2 million for continued broadband internet expansion.


$3.7 million will renew the county’s contract with the state, keeping an extra 22 state troopers assigned to Sussex.


Sussex County must adopt a balanced budget by June 30th of each year.


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