New Castle County Executive Meyer proposes balanced budget; highlights include critical investment in COVID-19 protections
New Castle, DE – New Castle County Executive Matthew Meyer presented a Fiscal Year 2021 balanced budget, along with emergency ordinances that make critical investments in COVID-19 responses. A link to this evening’s budget address can be found HERE. For the full submitted Fiscal Year 2021 budget, click HERE.
“We’re all in this together,” said County Executive Meyer. “We are so appreciative of our first responders and those who take care of us, we made it a priority to take care of them in this year’s budget,” as he highlighted an emergency ordinance that would free up $1 million to invest in personal protection equipment, test kits, technology and additional medical supplies to keep first responders and all county employees and county residents safe, healthy, and able to work.
Other critical investments and policy changes proposed by County Executive Meyer tonight included:
A $500,000 investment in Delaware State Housing Authority’s Emergency COVID-19 Recovery Rental Assistance program.
A $500,000 investment for emergency COVID-19 recovery rapid response for those in the greatest need. This investment will supplement the existing efforts of United Way, Delaware Community Foundation, Longwood Foundation and Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement. Rapid response moneys are distributed weekly to organizations to provide goods and services to those with the greatest needs across Delaware. Our funding will provide additional support for New Castle County goods and services.
Emergency COVID-19 Recovery County Financial Relief. Relief on certain tax collections, penalties, fees as announced earlier this week.
Bolstering the County’s seasonal Public Works jobs program to fill in gaps in County workforce by doubling the size of this seasonal job program, enabling those currently out of work to immediately begin earning a living again. Hiring for this program will begin as soon as safely possible, and the program will be larger than it has been in over a decade.
Rushing large projects out to bid; Those interested can remotely bid throughout April and May and once it is safe to do so, residents will immediately be put to work, building a library, paramedic station and providing ramped up maintenance of our sewer system and on other publicly valuable projects.
“This afternoon, Chief Financial Officer Michael Smith and his Finance team presented a balanced budget to County Council which includes no tax increases,” County Executive Meyer said. “This budget looks out for those left behind in today’s economy, investing in apprenticeships and the trades through our vocational school district, supporting our fire service and preserving more open space.”
“Many of the assumptions of our $209 million general fund operating budget, $84 million sewer operating budget and $65 million capital budget are rapidly changing. We will work with County Council in the coming months, as we see how our revenue projections change, and as we first make immediate investments to preserve our community through this crisis.”
In closing his annual address, Meyer expressed the need for continued kindness, highlighting groups and individuals around New Castle County.
“There is the kindness of the over 700 members of the Facebook group Help for Healthcare Workers Delaware, who are earnestly sewing masks with so many others across our community for those who work in nursing homes and hospitals.”
“There is the kindness of Brandywine High School students who, when schools were closing, took home the 3D printers to design and print specialized filtration masks.”
“There is the kindness of individuals like you who anonymously posted inspirational signs along the pathways in our Glasgow Park.
“Science has not yet developed a vaccine for this deadly virus. But while the scientists work hard to find one, we need to commit to kindness. Together, we are stronger than this virus, and together we will persevere.”