Keep taxes low, preserve core services, emphasis on public safety

    Despite a $5.1 million budget deficit, New Castle County executive Paul Clark’s FY2013 budget calls for no tax increase, no service cuts, no layoffs and conserving the county’s reserves.

    Clark’s $166.6 million operating budget is a 1.6 percent increase from FY2012, with an emphasis on public safety. “From feedback from the public, from the citizens of New Castle County, public safety is important,” said Clark. “If you’re also looking from an economic development point of view, if you don’t have a safe place to have your business or your employees to live, people don’t want to come here.” Clark also proposed a $71 million sewer fund budget. There is no increase in sewer rates in the recommended budget and, it too, conserves available reserves. Lastly, is the capital budget. Clark is proposing a $17 million capital improvement program including $4.2 million to renovate and build libraries in Bear, Claymont, below the canal and in the Route 9 community. $400,000 is designated for a stand alone paramedic station on the grounds of Christiana Care’s new hospital complex in Middletown, $800,000 to upgrade paramedics’ lifesaving equipment and $330,000 for police body armor. County council must approve the budget by June 1.

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