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Sussex County Council approves FY2025 budget

Milton Pratt
Delaware Public Media

Sussex County finalizes its Fiscal Year 2025 budget.

Sussex County Council unanimously approved the nearly $266 million spending plan earlier this week.

That total budget is about $13 million smaller than this year or a 4.6% decrease.

Sussex County Finance Director Gina Jennings explains why.

"Most of that going down has to do with the American Rescue Plan Act.," said jennings. "As we’re spending those monies down, obviously there’s less to spend.  And our Capital Funds projects are decreasing because that is the timing of all the projects."

But Jennings notes General Fund spending is up about $9 million dollars.

“The majority of that has to do with personnel.," said Jennings. "We have merit [salary increases], COLAs. We do have nine new positions in the budget, if you remember, and seven of them are specifically public safety related.  One is human resources to help with public safety and the other one is to help with the workload in Planning and Zoning."

Those 9 new positioans are adding about $3 million in spending to the General Fund budget.

The 2025 budget includes $52.5 million for wastewater infrastructure, including new sewer mains and increased treatment capacity, as well as $7.4 million for open space and farmland preservation.

There is no tax increase in the 2025 budget, but residents will see the county water rate rise by $15 annually and sewer rate go up $10.

The 2025 budget takes effect July 1st.

Tom Byrne has been a fixture covering news in Delaware for three decades. He joined Delaware Public Media in 2010 as our first news director and has guided the news team ever since. When he's not covering the news, he can be found reading history or pursuing his love of all things athletic.