Gov. Budget Includes $15M For County Projects

BERLIN – More than $15 million in capital projects are being proposed for Worcester County in the coming fiscal year.

Last Friday, Gov. Wes Moore announced his preliminary budget plan for fiscal year 2024. The $63 billion spending plan – which includes $500 million to fund Blueprint for Maryland’s Future and $500 million dedicated to transportation initiatives – also proposes a $7.1 billion capital budget that includes $15,715,174 for projects in Worcester County.

“This fiscally responsible budget positions Maryland to build a competitive and thriving economy that includes everyone while advancing critical priorities in education, health, and the environment,” Moore said. “We’ve made it clear – our administration is here to make the lives of every Marylander better, and this budget plan is how we accomplish that.”

This year’s proposed capital budget includes more than $3 billion in Maryland Department of Transportation projects. In Worcester County, $1.7 million would be dedicated to planning for the Route 90 corridor improvement project.

The capital budget also proposed $3.8 million for a new Berlin police barrack, forensic lab and garage, $2 million for the Ocean City Beach Replenishment and Hurricane Protection Program and $2.2 million for a new Worcester County library. For months, local officials have been working on plans to tear down the former armory building in Pocomoke to make space for a new library branch.

“We are excited the library is in the budget,” Jennifer Ranck, the library’s executive director, said this week. “But it is a draft budget.”

The governor’s proposed capital budget also includes $3.6 million for improvements to Pocomoke River State Park and $1.4 million for Buckingham Elementary School. Just last week, the Worcester County Board of Education voted to accept a feasibility study for a new facility at the school’s existing location.

“We just started with something to get the conversation going,” Facilities Planner Joe Price told board members during last week’s presentation of conceptual plans. “This is kind of what this is.”

The governor’s proposed budget will now advance to the General Assembly, where it will undergo any changes before its approval. As a result of a 2020 amendment, this year’s budget process will be the first in state history in which lawmakers will not only be able to make cuts but increases and additions. The General Assembly is still tasked with passing a balanced budget that is equal or less than the governor’s proposed spending plan.

The full budget presentation is listed on the state’s budget and management website,

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.