Per Montgomery County: Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich today transmitted his $5.4 billion Recommended Fiscal Year 2024 Capital Budget and Amendments to the FY23-28 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) to the County Council. The recommendations are a $136.7 million (2.6 percent) increase from the previously approved capital budget. This is the second year of the County’s two-year capital budget. As a result, adjustments are limited to project changes that either meet the County’s CIP amendment criteria or are necessary to address capital or operating budget constraints. To see the complete recommended FY24 Capital Budget and amended FY23-28 Capital Improvements Program, go to https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/omb/publications.html
“My FY24 CIP amendment recommendations take advantage of opportunities to leverage significant non-County resources and reflect our broadly shared values of prioritizing education and core infrastructure improvements while considering racial equity and climate change concerns,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “These amendments are all affordable within available resources. However, high inflation due to supply chain issues, labor shortages and a tight construction market has had a major impact on this CIP proposal. Without more funding, we are limited in our ability to solve local problems and to build the kind of healthy, just, economically vibrant community we want for our residents.”
CIP Recommendations Highlights
- $1.72 billion in General Obligation bond issuances over the next six years
- This is $40 million more than the current Spending Affordability Guideline limit.
- A modest increase in bond authorizations is recommended in FY24 and FY25 to respond to a change in conditions affecting State Aid for school construction.
- $1,874,811,000 for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) capital projects.
- This is an increase of $104,010,000 (5.9 percent) from the prior approved budget.
- Record amount of funding for schools if approved by Council.
- Funding recommended for building new Burtonsville Elementary School instead of renovating current building.
- High School wellness center construction funding for Blake, Crown, Damascus, Einstein, Magruder, Northwood, Springbrook, and Woodward high schools as well as planning costs for a future center at Poolesville High School.
- MCPS’ new Materials Management Building Relocation project to facilitate redevelopment of the Stonestreet site in Rockville and modernization of warehouse facilities is added.
- $345,299,000 for Montgomery College capital projects.
- This is a $9,484,000 (2.8 percent) increase over the prior approved budget.
- $30.2 million increase for the preservation of Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing (NOAH) program.
- $282.7 million for Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) CIP projects.
- This is a $7.9 million (2.9 percent) increase over the prior approved budget.
- Substantial funding for the Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center included for the first time.
- The County has selected Montgomery Housing Partnership’s (MHP) proposal to combine an affordable housing development with a new arts center in the Wheaton Arts and Entertainment District
- MHP will develop the former WMATA site with two affordable rental buildings of 280 apartments, a standalone garage and 40 affordable for-sale units.
- The arts center will be included on the ground floor of the building fronting on Georgia Avenue.
- The center will include two performance spaces, classrooms, gallery space, back of house support space, and administrative offices.
- $1.4 billion in funding for projects that advance Montgomery County’s Climate Action Plan goals.
- Additional funding to provide a full upgrade of the County’s recycling center.
- Funding for planning and design of a new transit maintenance depot to accommodate an expanded fleet and low emission vehicle maintenance and fueling/charging facilities.
- Funding for new HVAC systems for the Executive Office Building, the Judicial Center and the 4th District Police Station that will improve energy efficiency.
- New transit maintenance depot.
- Activities to locate a site and begin preliminary design to have a new depot in place prior to the expiration of the Nicholson lease to accommodate fleet growth due to the introduction of Flex, Extra, and Bus Rapid Transit (Flash) services.
- Lactation rooms in all county buildings.
- Recommended funding will assess all County-owned and leased facilities, as well as improvements needed to comply with Bill 11-22 Lactation Rooms in County Buildings.
- Elizabeth Square Mixed-use Development in Silver Spring.
- The South County Regional Recreation and Aquatics Center (SCRRAC) is being built as part of the Housing Opportunities Commission’s (HOC) Elizabeth Square mixed-income, multigenerational, mixed-use development.
- Recommended funding will provide HOC with half the requested funds to demolish their current Elizabeth House public housing development. Additional County loans will also support the demolition project.
- Funding has been increased to complete Elizabeth Square WSSC Water sewer and storm line improvements.
As part of the FY23-28 two-year CIP process, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) assisted the Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice (ORESJ) in developing a budget equity tool to encourage departments and decision makers to consider the racial equity and social justice impacts of proposed projects, project amendments and budget decisions. ORESJ staff conducted training and provided technical assistance to departments as they requested CIP amendments. In addition, racial equity was considered in assessing possible CIP additions and deferrals. Where possible, efforts were made to hold harmless projects which could address racial disparities.
In their analysis, the Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice also noted ways in which different approaches to implementing projects could impact racial equity. This input is useful to continuing conversations about how programs can be structured to achieve our racial equity and social justice goals.
Proposed CIP project changes that have the greatest potential to advance racial equity and social justice include the $30.2 million increase for the preservation of Naturally Occurring Affordable Housing; additional High School Wellness Centers in the highest need schools; the Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center; Digital Equity – Montgomery Connects grant funding to bring broadband to affordable housing complexes; school construction projects serving communities primarily comprised of Black, Latino and low-income students; and Montgomery College projects.
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