Nash said the budget, which is 1.1% higher than 2019’s spending plan, helps to return the county from the hole it was still digging itself out of following the recession.
“We have spent so much time recovering from what we had to do in the downturn,” she said. “We’re adding back things we had to cut, important things we had to cut.”
It took until 2018 for county revenues to exceed 2008 collections. The 2020 budget — and estimated tax revenues — are now higher than they've ever been.
Still, she said, the county was only able to fund half of the departmental requests.
“There are definitely things that are needed that we just couldn’t afford at this point,” she said.
Nash said the budget aligns with the county’s goals, including safety, mobility and livability.
The expenditures allow the county to pay for 2020 elections, begin a pilot program using rapid-response vehicles for EMS calls and build a water research center, called the Water Tower. Money will also go to a civic center expansion, roadwork and water and sewer projects. The county intends to spend $14 million to improve cyber security.
“We have a lot of ways we could be put in a bad situation and we have to keep building our defenses,” Nash said.
The county will spend $401 million on capital projects; the rest will go toward operations.