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Baltimore County Council makes small cuts to county budget ahead of May 26 vote

Council cuts represent less than one-tenth of one percent of the overall budget.

The Baltimore County Council plans to cut less than $200,000 from the county's proposed general fund budget of nearly $2 billion.

Council members voted unanimously Thursday to make $195,709 in cuts to County Executive Kevin Kamenetz's proposed budget. The cuts represent less than one-tenth of one percent of the budget.

The cuts will come from the county's property management department ($106,893) and at the new Baltimore County Animal Services shelter in Baldwin ($88,816). The cut at the shelter will reduce the number of contract security guards from two to one.

Council Chairwoman Vicki Almond, a Reisterstown Democrat, said the budget already is lean, leaving few opportunities for budget cuts.

The council has only limited abilities to make changes to the county executive's proposal.

Councilman Wade Kach, a Cockeysville Republican, attempted to cut $2.5 million from an economic development grant fund, on the grounds that the fund already has several million dollars sitting in it. Kach's motion failed on a 3-4 vote that fell along party lines.

When state aid, federal aid and water and sewer payments are added to the nearly $2 billion general fund, total county spending is about $3.4 billion. The budget is scheduled to take effect on July 1.

Council members plan to take a final vote on adopting the budget on May 26. The council will meet at 10 a.m. in the Historic Courthouse, 400 Washington Ave. in Towson.

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