Sussex Co. budget unveiled, sits before county council

Sussex County has unveiled its budget for the 2018 fiscal year, which now goes before the county council.

The 143 million dollar budget pledges to keep the public a priority.

County administrator Todd Lawson says this was one of the more difficult budgets to write given the uncertainty of the state budget.

"However, I believe what we are recommending here is a good-faith effort to balance the expectations of the County and the services it provides while being sensitive to our shared financial reality," Lawson says in a press release.

Among some of the major highlights in the proposed budget, the plan includes: 

· Increased funding for the County's contract with the State of Delaware for 22 additional state police troopers to be assigned to Sussex County, up about $700,000 from $2.2 million in FY2017 to $2.9 million next year.

· A $1 million allocation of startup funds to begin a pilot project with the State of Delaware to install fiber optic cabling in an effort to expand high-speed Internet to rural parts of the county, where service from wired and wireless providers can be limited.

· Funding to increase around-the-clock paramedic coverage in the Seaford/Blades area, as well as plan for and construct two new freestanding EMS stations in the Seaford/Blades and Dagsboro districts.

· More than $8 million in capital funding to begin phased, major upgrades at the County's South Coastal, Inland Bays, and Wolfe Neck regional wastewater facilities to as much as double treatment capacity, as well as create interconnections with other public and private utilities to better manage loads during peak demand and wet seasons.

· Approximately $3.4 million to develop the newly acquired property next to the Sussex County Industrial Park outside Georgetown into a business park;

· No change in current property tax rates, sewer and water service charges, or building permit fees; however, increases are proposed for one-time sewer connections, plan review, and various Marriage Bureau fees.

A public hearing on the proposal will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 13 in council chambers at the County Administrative Offices building in Georgetown.

The public can comment in person on that date, or submit comments through the web at 

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