Baltimore County News
Citing Strong Fiscal Responsibility, All Three Major Ratings Agencies Affirmed Baltimore County’s Creditworthiness Despite Global Economic Challenges
Amid the unparalleled economic interruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Baltimore County today announced it has maintained triple-A bond ratings from all three major rating agencies, allowing the County to continue issuing bonds at the lowest possible interest rate—saving millions of dollars for County taxpayers.
This week Moody’s Investor Service, Fitch Ratings, and S&P Global Ratings each reaffirmed the County’s triple-A rating, making Baltimore County one of only 49 counties nationwide to receive the highest rating from all three agencies.
"Our ability to maintain top-tier financial ratings while we navigate this global pandemic speaks to our responsible fiscal management and resilient local economy,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said. “We have taken prudent steps to put Baltimore County on stronger fiscal footing, but we know more difficult decisions remain ahead in order to maintain our focus on meeting the basic needs and goals for our communities—without risking the County’s long-term fiscal health.”
In their reports, the rating agencies noted Baltimore County’s very strong management and diverse tax base. The ratings also incorporate financial policies and revenue enhancements that this Administration’s new management team is implementing.
Olszewski submitted his second budget on April 15, which was approved in bipartisan fashion by the County Council on May 29. The Administration’s FY21 budget made historic cuts while maintaining key investments in public education, public safety, and the County workforce, while also taking steps to support the County’s investment in the trust fund which supports retiree health care benefits—also known as Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB).Wed, 08 Jul 2020 16:00:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/amid-covid-19-pandemic-baltimore-county-retains-coveted-triple-triple-a-bond-ratings
Long Awaited East-West Connection to Make Continuous Circuit from Route 40 to White Marsh Boulevard
Baltimore County today announced the completion of the latest phase of the Campbell Boulevard project, which runs between Bird River Road and Windlass Run in Middle River.
The new road completes a continuous circuit between Route 40 to Route 43 (White Marsh Boulevard) and will open to traffic Tuesday, July 7.
“This long-awaited project is a major gain for eastern Baltimore County and will provide a convenient connection for residents that will reduce congestion, expand bike access, and improve street safety,” County Executive Johnny Olszewski said.
Started in the fall of 2018, the 0.7 mile stretch of Campbell Boulevard will provide two travel lanes, a center turn lane and two, seven-foot wide bike lanes. The project cost approximately $5 million.
This newly completed segment fulfills a longtime need for an East-West connection first identified in the 1980s.
“I’m glad to see this latest investment in our community,” Council Chair and District 6 Councilmember Cathy Bevins said. “This new stretch of road will better connect our neighborhoods and help improve quality of life for our residents.”
This is the latest component of the County’s three-phase Campbell Boulevard Extended Project, a 3.1 mile long project which, when completed, will connect Route 7 (Philadelphia Road) to Route 43 (White Marsh Boulevard) to help relieve congestion at key intersections and improve road safety.
The project’s completed second phase runs from Route 40 to Bird River Road and intersects with the newly completed portion of Campbell Boulevard. The final stage of the project will run from Philadelphia Road to Route 40 and will include the reconstruction of the Mohrs Lane Bridge. This final phase of the project is anticipated to begin in 2023.Mon, 06 Jul 2020 18:30:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/baltimore-county-to-open-campbell-boulevard-in-middle-river
Additional $1 Million in Phase One Funding and $2 Million in Phase Two Funding will Assist More Families at Risk of Losing Housing as a Result of Pandemic
After significant response from residents applying for assistance from Phase One of Baltimore County’s Eviction Prevention Program, County Executive Johnny Olszewski has allocated an additional $1 million to support residents who are struggling to pay their rent and other housing-related expenses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This new funding will supplement the County’s previous $1 million allocation to assist households at risk of losing their current housing when the state moratorium on evictions is lifted.
In addition, the County has allocated an additional $2 million in Community Development Block Grant–Corona Virus (CDBG-CV) funds for Phase Two of its eviction prevention efforts. The County in June issued an RFP to enter into grant agreements with eligible community-based organizations to address homelessness and expand eviction prevention efforts through subsistence payments and security deposits.
Phase Two will enable partnering organizations to tackle the issue of eviction prevention in a more comprehensive manner and will focus on the County residents impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
“Families across Baltimore County are facing significant financial challenges as a result of the pandemic, and it’s critical that we help as many of those families as we can. These additional funds will help more families avoid homelessness and provide a bridge while they get back on their feet,” Olszewski said. “We will continue to identify ways to provide resources that help our families weather this storm.”
Applications for Phase One of the Eviction Prevention Program have closed. The additional funding will enable the County to provide support to more of the families who have already applied prior to the announced deadline. The County expects that at least 800 households will receive assistance.
The original $1 million for this phase of the Eviction Prevention Program came from the County’s allocation of federal Coronavirus Relief Funds and Emergency Assistance to Families with Children through the Department of Social Services. The additional funds will come from the County’s allocation of federal Coronavirus Relief Funds.
In addition to financial support for residents, the County has partnered with the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition's Fair Housing Action Center (FHAC) to provide the following services:
- Financial coaching and counseling, including assistance negotiating with landlords
- Referral to supportive services, including legal assistance
- Renters’ tax credit applications and assistance
The eviction prevention initiative is the latest effort by Baltimore County to strengthen the safety net for families suffering economic losses as a result of the pandemic. Baltimore County government and Baltimore County Public Schools have provided more than three million meals for County residents. Information about food resources is available at www.BaltimoreCountyMD.gov/FoodHelp.
For more information about these initiatives and other efforts to respond to the pandemic, visit www.BaltimoreCountyMD.gov/Coronavirus.Mon, 06 Jul 2020 15:30:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/olszewski-commits-additional-funds-for-eviction-prevention
All Collections and Drop-Off Centers will Operate Normally on July 3
On Saturday, July 4, trash collection will not occur in Baltimore County, and all three trash and recycling drop-off centers will be closed. Residents with Saturday trash collection should hold their material until their next scheduled trash collection day.
Collection schedules are available for download on the Bureau of Solid Waste Management’s website and may also be requested by calling 410-887-2000. Schedules are also available on the County’s BaltCoGo mobile app.
On Friday, July 3, all scheduled collections will be running normally and all drop-off centers will be open with normal operating hours; however, the Bureau of Solid Waste Management’s customer service line will be closed in observance of the Independence Day holiday.
Collections of all types may occur later than usual during the week following Independence Day. If a collection does not occur on the scheduled day during this period of time, materials should be left out until collection occurs.
Drop-off facilities will reopen on Monday, July 6.
For more information, residents may visit the Bureau of Solid Waste Management’s website or call 410-887-2000.Thu, 02 Jul 2020 13:15:00 GMThttps://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/News/BaltimoreCountyNow/no-trash-collection-on-independence-day-drop-off-centers-closed