Cumberland Times-News

January 13, 2013

A good report

County finds itself on firm financial footing

Cumberland Times-News

— Allegany County’s government truly has grown financially stronger and sounder, as commission President Michael McKay said during a recent state of the county address.

One proof of this is that the county has found a way to save about $1 million by refinancing its debt. That money will be put to good use in this county, rather than simply finding its way into someone else’s pockets.

The county’s desire to get on a sound financial footing has come at some cost. Government has been downsized, and the number of employees under the commissioners’ control has declined by 18 percent over the past three years, which translates to jobs that no longer exist.

However, the county also managed to complete a dozen public works projects last year, including a $1.8-million industrial park building and the $1.32-million Bedford Road area sewer replacement.

It also decided to borrow $9.2 million that will go toward the new $12.2-million Allegany High School — a project that is long overdue.

In the face of an ongoing decline in financial support from the state, the county commissioners and the Board of Education both have been diligent in finding ways to save money. The school board by itself has reduced its energy costs by millions of dollars over the past several years.

Our local leadership really is figuring how to do more with less. If only those people in Washington and Annapolis would learn to do the same.