Sussex County adopts 2020 budget with community support

SUSSEX COUNTY, Del. – Well it’s not everyday an approved county budget gets all smiles, but that’s exactly what happened Tuesday in Sussex County.

“We had a lot of compliments, a lot of thank yous,” says Gina Jennings, Sussex County Finance Director.

A response you might not expect during a county budget public hearing, but that’s what Sussex County councilmembers were met with Tuesday.

Sussex County resident and advocate for the homeless, Jim Martin explains, “The vibe was very positive. I mean a lot of people are happy you know they’re doing a good job as county executives you know as our elected officials.”

It’s a positive reaction to Sussex County’s roughly $185 million 2020 financial plan and for good reason.

“No taxes are going up, we don’t have any fees our service charges aren’t going up.”

No raise in rates while also setting aside $2 million for towers to expand broadband and investing more money in public safety and economic development.

“The local law enforcement is getting an extra $5,000 for each of the agencies and municipalities.”

But the group that was the most shocked by the budget – the public libraries who finally got the money they so desperately needed.

Laurel Public Library Director Gail Bruce says, “With this additional $20,000 it allows us to not only continue to do the programs and everything that we do, but also to increase our resources to our community. There’s such a need in these communities in Sussex County and the library has really stepped in to fill the gap in a lot of those things.”

Small financial victories that made it easy for the community and officials to fully adopt the plan in place.

Martin adds, “We’re happy and Sussex County as far as the economics of Sussex County, it’s on fire right now and a lot of people want to live here.”

The adopted budget also sets aside $50,000 that will go towards the Cheer Senior Center’s new kitchen plans. Plus, $1 million is also in the budget to cover design costs for an expanded public safety complex.

Categories: Check It Out, Delaware