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What the County CIP Budget Means for Wheaton

The county executive's CIP recommendations for FY2013 do not include funding for the design phase of renovating the Wheaton Library and the neighborhood recreation center on Georgia Avenue.

 

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett has released his recommendations for the county’s Fiscal Year CIP budget, which is now available on the county website.

Leggett proposes spending $4.21 billion in capital funding over the next six years, according to the Washington Post.

Overall, the proposal would be $168 million, or 4.2 percent, more than the previous capital spending plan proposed two years ago. But Leggett proposed $1.36 billion in school construction funds, a 0.3 percent decrease over the previous plan. The county school board had requested $1.49 billion, or a nearly 10 percent increase.

The CIP, which stands for Capital Improvements Program, addresses the county’s long-term development plans by estimating costs and recommending construction schedules. Although the county executive proposes the CIP, the Montgomery County Council “may amend an approved capital improvements program at any time by an affirmative vote of six Councilmembers,” according to the county website.

Here’s the shortlist of items in Leggett’s recommended CIP budget that would directly affect Wheaton:

In an Office of Management & Budget memorandum addressed to the Montgomery County Council president about the CIP, Leggett prioritized four “transit-oriented developments,” including the Wheaton Redevelopment. Later on in the memo, Leggett writes the following:

“Significant progress has also been made in the efforts to bring more high-density, transit-oriented, development to Wheaton.  Plans have been developed to build several high rise office buildings over the Wheaton bus bay facilities adjacent to the Wheaton metro station, as well as a town square.  Negotiations with a private developer and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) are underway regarding the first phase of the project – the building of a platform for staging the high rise structures.  Outreach to nearby businesses has also begun to ensure adequate time for them to plan for any construction impacts and to determine how the County can best support them during the redevelopment period.  Funding included in my recommended budget represents a down payment on the rebirth of a vibrant, urban, and transit-oriented Wheaton.”

The bulk of county funding proposed for the Wheaton Redevelopment Program comes from more than $40 million worth of general obligation bonds, or G.O. bonds, which will be eventually paid off with county taxpayers' money. 

Still confused about how to read the budget? The county includes a guide on its website.

Did we miss anything in the budget that will specifically affect Wheaton? Let us know in the comments below.

AntonFisher January 18, 2012 at 01:57 AM
No funding allocated until FY2015 to plan, design and construct a joint Wheaton Library and Community Recreation Center. So by the time it is built and done, it will be at least 10 years from now.
Rachel Young January 18, 2012 at 04:22 PM
I found this article informative. Thanks for unpacking some of the essentials from the CIP budget.
Manny Hidalgo January 22, 2012 at 02:47 PM
Hi Esther. I'm surprised you left out the outpouring of concerns expressed at the Town Hall Budget meeting by small business owners in the Wheaton Triangle regarding the fact that the $40 million subsidy for BF Saul does nothing to mitigate the impact of construction on their businesses. We are also very concerned about the fact that the $40 million does not include a new Mid-County Regional Services Center which essentially means the elimination of space for Proyecto Salud which provides quality health care to thousands of Montgomery County residents without health insurance. We believe that a $40 million subsidy to a multi-million dollar developer with no strings attached is bad policy and we will fight it every step of the way. Best Regards, Manny Hidalgo Exec Dir, LEDC

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