BoCC Accomplishments

Sworn into office December 1, 2010

Budget Impacts:

  • Eliminated the Pension Program Plan for the Board of County Commissioners.
  • Reduced BOCC Expense Accounts by 90%, from $2500.00/ year to $250.00/year for each commissioner.
  • Made significant changes to the Frederick County Defined Benefit Pension Plan. The Plan is currently funded at 82%. Based on these changes and the Plan’s very favorable investment results, it is expected that the funding will improve appreciably and should be close to 90% by the end of our term. As of 6/30/2012 the State’s retirement plan’s actuarial funded status was at 67.4%.
  • Increased the contributions to the Pension Plan from the County Employees, 2% for non-uniformed employees (from 4% to 6%) and 1% for uniformed employees (from 8% to 9%)
  • Established a Defined Contribution Retirement Plan for specific employee groups hired on or after July 1, 2012, relieving the taxpayers of the long term unfunded liabilities.
  • Fully funded the annual required contribution (ARC) for OPEB (retiree health benefits) and reduced the unfunded liability. The current market value of assets held in OPEB trust is $51 million.
  • Continue to reduce and restructure the size of County Government regarding the budget and full time employees (FTE’s). Frederick County at its peak had 2,646 budgeted FTE’s. As of November 1, 2013, we have 2, 077 part-time and full time positions filled, with the goal to continue to reduce the size of government.
  • Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit (MPDU) Program Payment in Lieu Option; applicants may now choose to make a payment to the Frederick County Housing Initiative Fund of $17,500 per required MPDU.
  • Reduced the Building Excise Tax Rate
    • Residential
      • 700 square feet up to 1,400 square feet /from $0.10 to $0.00
      • 1,400 square feet+/from $0.25 to $0.00
    • Non-Residential
      • From $0.75 to $0.00
  • Reduced the Trailer Park Tax Rate from 15% of Rental Receipts to $0.00.
  • Implemented a Senior Tax Credit for Senior Citizens of Frederick County.
  • As of August 21, 2013, 605 Senior Citizens have taken advantage of the credit on their fiscal year 2014 real estate tax bi
  • Implemented a new Pay Scale for Fire and Rescue Services uniformed employees.
  • Restored the Pay Scale for Frederick County Deputies.
  • Reduced the admissions and amusement tax rate to 0% for all categories.
  • Implemented a Merit Step and COLA for Frederick County Government Employees for FY2013 & FY2014; no raises from 2009-2012.
  • Moved up School Construction Projects :
    • Oakdale Elementary School Addition-moved up 1 year from 2013 to 2012.
    • North Frederick Elementary Addition/Modernization-moved up 1 year from 2015 to 2014.
    • Frederick High School Modernization- moved up 1 year from 2017 to 2016.
    • Moved forward the design of the new Urbana Area Elementary School project to FY14
    • Increased the General Fund contribution designated for BOE projects by $3.1 million
    • Moved forward site work and pre-construction work for the new Urbana Area Elementary School project to FY16 and the equipment funding to FY17.
    • Moved the Urbana Middle School fit-out project forward two years contingent on the receipt of the developer contribution funds.
  • A $100.00 Frederick County Real Property Tax Credit was returned to all home owner occupied properties/$6.7 million dollars; equivalent to a 3 cent tax cut in 2012.
  • Created an APFO School Mitigation Fee Ordinance to raise money for school construction and to give developers/builders an option to pay more for schools and create jobs.
  • Bond Rating: Immediate changes by this board resulted in a bond rating upgrade by Fitch.
  • Privatization of the County Owned Nursing Home Since FY2000, taxpayers have subsidized over $53 million for both operations. The County approved the sale to Aurora Holdings VII, LLC, for $30 million on June 25, 2013.

Taking Care of Business:

  • Frederick County is “Open for Business”:
    • Developed the Strategic Plan; currently 74.4% completed with a target completion of 100% by next year.
    • Business Friendly Improvement Areas Action Items: Initiated January 1, 2011. Identified over 260 Rules/Regulations/Fees/Taxes to be eliminated/reduced or modified. As of November 27, 2103, 221 have been completed, over 83% of the total.
    • Created a Community Development Authority, a funding mechanism for the new Jefferson Technology Park. It will bring an estimated 7,100 jobs and $185 million in income tax revenue to the County.
    • Eliminated the $65.00 permit fee for Dishwasher, Hot Water Heater and Garbage Disposal permits.
    • Eliminated the $100.00 annual notification fee for Home Security Systems.
    • Extended Permitting Service Hours for Homeowners; now open until 6:00 PM on Wednesdays.
    • New Outreach Program to visit Frederick County Businesses every week. Part of the business friendly Strategic Plan. Businesses feel that they are being heard.
    • Extended payment plans for water and sewer capacity fees, sometimes called connection fees, paid by small businesses, reducing the burdensome upfront expenses that often prohibit the start of new business. Financing is now available for terms up to 10 years, at the option of the applicant.
    • Reduced the septage disposal fees from $35.00 per ton to $18.00 per ton (Resolution 11-16, effective July 20,2011)
    • Reduced the fees associated with the sale of bulk water from $25 per thousand gallons to $10.00 per thousand gallons (Resolution 12-21, effective October 1, 2012)
    • Reduced the Capacity Adjustment Factors used in the calculation toward the payment water and/or sewerage capacity fees for approximately 75% customer/business types and included a new initiative providing
    • Reduced water and sewer capacity fees for certain customer/business types obtaining LEED Certification (Resolution 12-14, effective August 16, 2012).
    • Repealed Alarm System Registration Ordinance, 2/28/13
    • Expanded the use of credit card payments by partnering with electronic payment processor Govolution.
    • Credit and debit card donations available through the “Donate Now” link on the county webpage at www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/donate.
    • Effective October 1st, 2013, credit cards are now available for point of sale transactions, including tax payments, permit and landfill fees.
    • Funded an additional $1.6 million for one-time capital expenses including $40,000 for temporary Urbana Elementary School bathrooms and $1,560,000 for technology Improvements in FY13. Currently funding an additional $3.1 million for one-time education initiative capital improvements.

Back to Basics – Cooperation with our Municipalities: Brunswick, Burkittsville, Emmitsburg, Frederick City, Middletown, Mount Airy, Myersville, New Market, Rosemont, Thurmont, Walkersville and Woodsboro

  • Established Municipal Recycling Centers in Emmitsburg, Middletown, & Walkersville.
  • Ended the long contentious judicial review with the County’s 12 Towns and Municipalities of imposed APFO on New Annexations.
  • Eliminated charging municipalities $1.00 per parcel on tax bills to their residents.
  • Re-established the Tax Equity Program with the Municipalities, ending another contentious issue; a 55% increase in revenue to towns from $7.4 million to $11.5 million.
  • Rosemont Water Funding Project –Worked with the City of Brunswick, the Village of Rosemont and the Maryland Department of the Environment to provide the residents of the Village of Rosemont with a supply of Frederick County water at or near their current water rates. Project completed December 2013.
  • Established the Tax Differential Program:
    • In FY13, the City of Frederick tax rate was reduced 12.3 cents to $ .8130 for a total of $7.6 Million. In FY14, the City tax rate was reduced 12.83 cents to $.9357 for a total of $8.28 Million.
    • In FY13, the Town of Myersville tax rate was reduced 11.72 cents to $.8188 for a total of $174,000. In FY14, the Town tax rate was reduced 12.35 cents to $.9405 for a total of $184,000.

Public/Private Partnerships:

  • Privatization and Other Service Delivery Models: As we reduce the size of government we will continue to utilize private companies, contractors, and part-time non-benefitted employees to deliver services while not assuming the long term liabilities, such as pensions and benefits to the taxpayers.
  • Head Start Services transfer to the YMCA. Saved over $2 million dollars in salaries and benefits to the taxpayers of Frederick County while providing the same service.
  • Outsourced Sewer Televising Inspection Services saving approximately $190,000.00.
  • Currently Dining Services at the County Nursing Home, our “helpdesk” for technology service and inventory management, and some Internal Audit Services have been transferred to private companies. Pilot Programs began for Public Improvement Agreements for developer funded streets and storm drains.
  • Identified synergies with the Frederick County Board of Education. Frederick County Public Schools now assumes total responsibility of Frederick County Government’s warehouse and mail room operations. The warehouse merger alone is projected to yield a savings of $80,000 in the first year of operation, and approximately $124,000 per year thereafter. Pilot Programs approved by the Board and in progress:

May 2012

    • L-3 Services for the outsourcing of the IIT helpdesk functions and inventory management.
    • Parks and Recreation Division started a pilot program to contract portions of Rose Hill maintenance including:
    • Chimney inspection and cleaning
    • Carpet cleaning
    • Tree trimming or removal
    • Exterior painting
    • Garage door repair
    • Alarm systems maintenance and monitoring
    • Parking Lot Striping
    • Roof gutter cleaning
    • Initiatives At Other County Parks:
    • Contracting Snow removal (where appropriate)
    • Farmland leases of County property to private farmers
    • Contract Mowing of Kemptown Park, Catoctin Creek Park and the Ballenger Creek Trail
    • Combined some duties of County Security Staff and Park Rangers
    • Contracted Exterior window cleaning, Parking Lot Striping, (9 Parks), Roof replacement, Point of Rocks Storm Water Pond repair
    • Other areas being considered for contracting in the future include:
    • Subsurface drain inspection and flushing
    • Fencing Repair
    • Leaf removal

June 2012

    • A major portion of the Frederick County Internal Audit function was outsourced, June 28, 2012.
    • The Division of Public Works started the following:
    • Pilot program for Public Improvement Agreements for developer funded streets and storm drains.
    • Pilot program for automated time keeping.
    • Solicit proposals for Highway Operation’s Chip Seal and Crack Maintenance, Weed Control (spraying) and Carcass removal.
    • Snow Removal Services by contractors to supplement County’s workforce for the snow removal operations
    • Tree Trimming, Maintenance, Removal Stump Grinding and planting
    • Developing proposal to outsource Culvert and Headwall replacements
    • Minor vehicle maintenance
    • Use of retired law enforcement vehicles for non-emergency service

Synergies success:

  • This BOCC convened a Synergies Committee to seek and obtain valuable efficiencies and tax savings on various projects and endeavors in which Frederick County. Government participated with one or more other governmental entities in the County—Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS), Frederick Community College, The City of Frederick and other municipalities. These efforts resulted in over $6 million in savings in 2011 with projected savings of over $3 million per year in future years. In 2011, the savings were primarily due to new, cooperative purchasing with FCPS ($1.479 million), joint participation in a CIGNA health insurance program ($2.7 million), and joint participation with FCPS in parks and recreation programs ($1.0 million).
  • Assisted in securing funds of $1 million for a loan from Woodsboro Bank to Brunswick Volunteer Fire Company for their new Fire Hall.
  • Moved our Interagency Information Technologies Division to Winchester Hall. The county building at 117 East Church Street that housed this division is for sale, which will put the facility back on the tax rolls. A Task Force has been formed and county employees from the 118 North Market Street facility, also for sale, will transfer to the former Montevue Assisted Living site once renovations are complete in December.
  • Long-Term Building Consolidation Synergy & Efficiency Plan
  • Reorganization of the Division of Fire and Rescue Services to improve efficiencies, savings and structural issues as of July 1, 2013.

Also:

  • Termination of the 520 North Market Street facility HVAC replacement project and advertising the building for sale.
  • Large Business Tax Credit – Legislation adopted by the 2011 Maryland General Assembly.
  • Small Business Tax Credit – Legislation adopted by the 2012 Maryland General Assembly.
  • Instituted an Invocation/Prayer to open the BOCC meetings.
  • Established English as the Official Language of Frederick County.
  • Planned, developed and opened to the public 60 Community Garden Plots at Ballenger Creek Park, where citizens could grow their own produce, as a way to promote better nutritional health and provide agricultural education opportunities for children and their families, April 2012.
  • Restructured the Frederick County Installment Purchase Program (IPP) to incorporate a bidding process in order to preserve more productive farmland at a lower cost to the County, 12/19/2013
  • The Charter of Frederick County was approved by the voters on November 6, 2012. It will change the present commissioner form of government to charter home rule government on December 1, 2014.
  • Fire Services Ordinance –The BOCC adopted an ordinance on January 8, 2013, to provide legal authority for the Director of our Division of Fire and Rescue Services to manage a fully integrated volunteer and career fire and rescue system as Chief of Fire and Rescue Services.
  • TransIT – Named 2013 Best Large Fixed Route System in Maryland for the 2nd year in a row. TransIT drivers have received one or both of the Best in State awards every year for more than 10 years
  • TransIT’s bus advertising program generated 10% more revenue that projected in its first year. The first bus wrap was sold in 2013 and will generate over $13,000 to offset operating expenses. TransIT is on track for an over 5% increase in ridership for FY14.
  • Emergency Sheltering Program – September, 2013, approved a memorandum of understanding to provide funding to 3 non-profit agencies from the county’s Initiative Fund for sheltering services.

Approved:

  • Members of any Frederick County Board or Commission may recite the Pledge of Allegiance, October 10, 2013.
  • Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Frederick to contribute to the Monocacy Boulevard Project, November 2013

Appointed:

  • Substance Abuse Awareness Task Force – Established to get parental information to the community on a consistent basis, October, 2013.
  • Impacts on Growth Task Force– Established to review and investigate the impacts of housing and development growth, November, 2013.

Established:

  • Land Trust- Creates permanent Affordable Housing forever; approved September 12, 2013.
  • New security policies at Winchester Hall for visitors and staff, October 2013
  • Foreclosure Clean Up Act- Uses MPDU (Moderately Priced Dwelling Units) Payment in Lieu funds to help cleanup up foreclosures in neighborhoods throughout Frederick County in partnership with Land Trust.
  • Neighborhood Conservation Initiative Grant: Frederick County awarded a $1 Million Dollar Grant for the purpose of revitalizing neighborhoods.