Wilmington, DE – With County Executive Matthew Meyer’s signature, the Fiscal Year 2018 New Castle County budget was enacted Friday afternoon. The $320 million operating and capital budget reduces the general fund capital budget by more than half from Fiscal Year 2017 levels to $15.3 million and total capital budget spending, including the sewer fund, by 36.4% to $35.4 million, reflecting the County Executive’s pledge to align expenditures with revenue. The Fiscal Year 2018 budget holds the line on county tax rates, which remain at current levels.
“When I came into office 5 months ago I inherited a budget deficit of $5 million in the current fiscal year and a structural deficit that jumps to $13 million in Fiscal Year 2018 and grows to more than $20 million within two years,” County Executive Meyer said today. “We immediately took steps to responsibly reduce government spending in ways that do not affect our level of service to the public, and those efforts are ongoing. I want to thank members of County Council who worked collaboratively with my team and for their careful deliberation and thoughtful consideration of our County’s government’s fiscal needs and priorities. Last week, Council unanimously passed a sensible, balanced budget that takes another important step towards fulfilling our commitment to reduce our deficit through honest, transparent and efficient governance, and I am proud to sign it into law today.”
The Fiscal Year 2018 budget invests new dollars in public safety, the fire service, and county library system, including:
- $160,000 in new funding to support the county’s innovative RAVE Panic Button, a safety solution that integrates government facilities, schools, community centers and other organizations seamlessly into the 911 Center, police and school response procedures;
- $134,000 in new funding to provide annual maintenance support for a Fast Track DNA machine purchased with grant funding. The Rapid DNA Machine serves as a cost-effective solution to test DNA gathered from a crime scene in support of the county police property crime initiative;
- $120,000 in new funding to support the county police’s local DNA database established in July 2016 to improve its response to increases in property crimes through quicker testing of crime scene samples;
- $621,000 in new funding to pay personnel costs, contractual services and other expenses related to the operation of the new Route 9 Library and Innovation Center currently under construction; and
- $4.2 million in continued funding to support the fire service through grants to fund a portion of their operating costs.
On March 28, Meyer presented County Council with a proposed Fiscal Year 2018 balanced budget that invests in public safety, libraries, core services and infrastructure, and makes progress in reducing expenditure growth to tackle a widening structural deficit.
Fiscal Year 2018 Operating and Capital Budgets: $320,087,242
- FY18 Operating Budget = $284,759,412
- FY18 Capital Budgets = $35,327,830
County Council voted to approve the Fiscal Year 2018 budget during its most recent meeting on May 23. The next fiscal year begins on July 1.