Without considering the courthouse, the county's bond authorization hovers around $96 million, a level similar to previous years under the Kittleman administration and substantially lower than the previous administration's levels.
Staying on par with last year, the county's spending advisory committee recommended bringing bond authorizations down to $85 million. The committee released a report that forecasted a financially strained outlook for the county over the next several years.
In a statement, Kittleman applauded his administration's ability to pursue fiscal prudence without cutting services, even in the face of the Ellicott City flood.
"This budget 'fast-forwards' long-delayed projects, some for decades, as well as introduces new ones that will support our shared goals," Kittleman wrote in a statement.
While the courthouse is the priciest project in recent years, Kittleman's proposal includes $44 million in county funding for education. The largest commitments include $19 million for a 42nd elementary school, $12.3 million to purchase a new school site and $11 million to design and renovate a nursing and science and technology building at Howard Community College.
Kittleman has also earmarked an additional $1.8 million for flood management in Ellicott City and Valley Mede, a neighborhood that has struggled with flooding for years.
His proposal also includes funds to begin planning other projects, including $250,000 for a new detox and outpatient treatment center to address the opioid crisis; $200,000 to support senior activities at the East Columbia Senior Center; and $500,000 to design an indoor pool at the North Laurel Community Center.
Next year, the administration also plans to begin designing a new fire station in west Columbia and begin planning a new central police station. As the county's contract with a vendor expires next year, the administration is also proposing $6.2 million to replace a public safety radio system.
For roads and transportation, Kittleman is proposing $4.5 million in funding to chip away at a $56 million backlog in road resurfacing and other improvements that have accumulated over the last decade.
Blandair Regional Park, which is currently under construction, would also get a $1.7 million boost under Kittleman's budget, which proposes a new playground, dog park and picnic shelter.
Kittleman wrote that his budget reflects his administration's "prudent and fiscally responsible approach by focusing on making government more responsive, efficient and accessible."