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:
- Funding for new Glenmont and Wheaton Rescue Squad replacement stations
- Funding to support child care, a “Linkages to Learning” center and a school-based health center at select Montgomery County public schools including ,
- No funding allocated until FY2015 to plan, design and construct a joint and
- Funding for renovating in the M-NCPPC expenditures
- Funding for Master Plan Implementations, also in the M-NCPPC expenditures
- A one-year delay for the modernization of and (and all other MCPS high school modernization projects) “due to affordability concerns” (page 2)
- A one-year delay for plans for a wellness center at Wheaton High School, to match the delay in the overall modernization project
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.