In the hours and days after the historic flood that ravaged Old Ellicott City and tragically took two lives, Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman made a commitment to rebuild.
Six months into the effort, Kittleman remains focused on that commitment.
As proof, the Kittleman Administration recently requested the Howard County Council a portion of last year’s budget surplus to cover $12.6 million in county expenses related to the response and recovery effort. The request comes in the form of a budget amendment that would allocate $5.9 million to county departments and set aside $1.7 million for major flood mitigation projects at the Court House Storm Water Management Facility and the George Howard Building Storm Water Management Facility.
“We are able to sustain the operations that contribute to our quality of life,” said Kittleman. “Six months into this fiscal year, it is a great testament to our able budget staff, strong fiscal planning, and sustainable economy that we can withstand the costs of the devastating July 30 flooding and provide real benefits to our community.
Also Included in the request are much-needed road resurfacing costs and vital flood mitigation projects, which will put a serious dent in the $54 million backlog of resurfacing work that built up over the past decade.
The amendment would also provide $5 million for road resurfacing, doubling the original appropriation for the previous fiscal year.
Since Kittleman took office in 2014, his administration has focused on eliminating Howard County’s $16 million budget deficit without resorting to county worker furloughs, layoffs, or tax increases. Thus far, he’s been successful.
“Strong fiscal management remains a top goal,” Kittleman said, noting that Howard County was hit by a historic snowstorm, a tornado and a devastating flood in 2016. “I believe that with the prudent budgeting strategy, we were prepared for the unexpected. This philosophy has enabled us to maintain our AAA bond rating and hold the line on taxes while still serving the County with the services our residents expect.”
The Howard County Council would need to approve the amendment for the funds to be allocated to these projects.