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Montgomery County Council approves FY17 operating budget and six-year CIP

For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 26, 2016

Montgomery Council unanimously approves

$5.3 billion County operating budget for FY 2017

and six-year Capital Improvements Program

 

Council President Nancy Floreen: ‘We have approved an Education First budget,

and we have engaged in an unprecedented partnership to rebalance our spending in a way that is responsible to all’

Lower class size, achievement gap, school construction,

public safety, ‘safety net’ are priorities

 

Library funding increased, $692 tax credit for homeowners

 

ROCKVILLE, Md., May 26, 2016—The Montgomery County Council today approved a $5.3 billion County operating budget for Fiscal Year 2017, a 4.3 percent increase over the approved budget for FY 2016. The Council also unanimously agreed on a $4.6 billion Capital Improvements Program (CIP) for Fiscal Years 2017-2022.

“We have approved an Education First budget, and we have engaged in an unprecedented partnership to rebalance our spending in a way that is responsible to all,” said Council President Nancy Floreen. “The Council’s budget plan makes the course correction required for the needs of today and the long-term future of our County.”

 

The Council reached preliminary agreement on the FY17 operating budget and the FY17-22 CIP on Thursday, May 19. The budget will go into effect on July 1.

 

Council President Floreen, Vice President Roger Berliner and Councilmembers Marc Elrich, Tom Hucker, Sidney Katz, George Leventhal, Nancy Navarro, Craig Rice and Hans Riemer unanimously supported the operating budget and the CIP.

 

The CIP provides nearly $200 million in new funding, and will address the County’s most urgent capital needs—school construction and community infrastructure.  Through a rate change to the recordation tax on property sales, the Council added nearly $170 million to accommodate school capacity and building improvement needs. The Council approved $1.73 billion over the next six years for Montgomery County Public Schools’ CIP, which is the highest funding level ever provided. The bill also will generate about $4 million in additional revenue annually for rental assistance to low and moderate income households.

Since March 15, when County Executive Leggett presented his recommended budget, the Council has worked with the community, and with department and agency leaders and union representatives, to determine how best to redirect resources to benefit County schools and residents. The result is a recalibrated budget that focuses on class size, the achievement gap, and enhanced College and County government services.

The Council approved a 1 percent general wage adjustment for all County employees, a 3.5 percent service increment for eligible County employees, and a longevity increase for eligible County employees. The Council also requested adjustments in proposed pay increases for employees of MCPS and Montgomery College, which for many employees were in the 8 percent range, to be consistent with the 4.5 percent increase approved for County employees. The change will increase support for school, College and County government services by a total of $87 million in FY17-18, $32 million in FY17 and $55 million in FY18.

“We all share many core goals,” said Council President Floreen. “These goals include closing the educational achievement gap, reducing class size, making decisions that are both achievable in the short term and sustainable over time, and ensuring that residents see results for any additional investments we ask them to make.

“To achieve these goals, we have engaged in an unprecedented partnership among all County agencies and their employee unions. We have worked together to rebalance our spending in a way that’s responsible to all, including students, taxpayers and employees.”

 

The FY17 operating budget is the first in eight years to require property tax revenue above the Charter limit, which is based on last year’s revenue plus an inflation adjustment.  The weighted average property tax rate will be $1.03 per $100 of assessed value, up 3.9 cents from the current rate.  Owner-occupants of principal residences will receive a $692 property tax credit. For the average taxable assessment in FY17, $464,441, the property tax will be $4,075, up $326 (8.7 percent).  Of this amount, $143 is the result of rising assessments, and $183 is attributable to the rate increase.

 

The Council approved a FY17 budget for MCPS of $2.46 billion, an increase of $135.9 million (5.9 percent) over the approved FY16 level. The County contribution is $1.62 billion, $89.3 million above the State’s Maintenance of Effort funding level. The Council also approved a total of $300.2 million in additional County support for MCPS in other budgets.

The Council’s partnership with the Board of Education to reallocate funds will:

  • Reduce class size by two students in many schools.
  • Lower student to staff ratios by increasing the number of para-educators.
  • Add focus teachers to impacted schools to provide target support in literacy and math.
  • Add parent community coordinators, psychologist and pupil personnel workers to provide support for our most vulnerable students and their families.
  • Add school counselors to impacted elementary schools.
  • Expand Achieving College Excellence and Success (ACES) program to more schools.
  •  

The Council approved a FY17 budget for Montgomery College of $312.5 million, an increase of $2.6 million (0.8 percent). This includes $4.5 million over the County Executive’s recommended budget to strengthen programming and services at the College.

 

The Council approved a FY17 operating budget (including all operating funds, debt service and reserve) for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission of $173.6 million, an increase of $6.6 million (4 percent) over the FY16 approved budget.

 

The Council continued to give high priority to public safety. The Police Department budget provides funding for all officers to be equipped with body cameras and adds 12 new police officers, at least six of whom will be assigned to the fast-growing Clarksburg/Germantown area. The Fire and Rescue Service budget enhances Advanced Life Support (ALS) and other services. For both departments, the Council added resources to the County Executive’s request.

 

The Council approved a budget of $41.7 million for County libraries, a 2.3 percent increase from the approved FY16 level. Funding is included to operate an interim Wheaton Library while the new Wheaton Library/Recreation Center is under construction. Weekend hours will be extended at four branches. The approved budget is the first Libraries budget to exceed the FY09 budget of $41.4 million, before significant cuts during the Great Recession.

 

The Council approved a budget of $34.3 million for the Department of Recreation, an increase of $1.89 million (6.2 percent) from the FY16 approved budget. The budget reflects a net increase of 15 full-time and six part-time positions—the fifth straight year that the department's expenditures and positions have increased. The FY17 budget is the first that is higher than the FY09 level before the recession.

The budget includes $24.3 million for the Working Families Income Supplement, an increase of $3.18 million (15.1 percent) from the FY16 approved budget. A portion of that ($1.2 million) is the result of increasing the match from 95 percent to 100 percent, consistent with Bill 8-13. [The average County cost per credit is $583—a Montgomery County resident eligible to receive an earned income tax credit from the State in the average amount of $583 would actually receive a check from the State for $1,176—$583 from the State and an additional $583 from the County.]

 

For the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, on May 12 the Montgomery and Prince George’s County Councils jointly approved the second year phase-in of the Infrastructure Investment Fee and a 3.0 percent rate increase. The average monthly residential customer impact would be $2.00 for the infrastructure fee and $1.28 for the rate increase. The WSSC plans to initiate a comprehensive study of its rate structure in FY17, consistent with the recommendations of both councils.

 

The Council provided $4 million for the Public Election Fund, in addition to the County Executive’s $1 million allocation. In 2014 the Council enacted and the County Executive signed a bill that would create a fund that candidates could opt to use to fund their campaigns. The new system will start with the 2018 cycle. Last year the Council provided $1 million in initial support for the fund.

 

The Council approved $3.11 million for 122 Council community grants to nonprofit organizations to support a variety of programs and services, including food, shelter and other safety net services. The funding also supports proposals from community nonprofit organizations to provide after-school programs for County youth, programs to help disabled residents attain employment and programs to improve quality of life for seniors. This amount is in addition to the $7.04 million for 201 discretionary community grants recommended by the County Executive.

 

The complete list of Council community grants and the approved reconciliation list can be found at http://tinyurl.com/hxmu2df .

 

Councilmember statements on the budget:

 

Council Vice President Roger Berliner said: “Our budget reflects a fundamental reality—our nationally recognized school system needs a very substantial investment.  And we are making that investment. But, while this is an education first budget, it is not an education only budget. We addressed critical priorities and attended to core government services such as funding to keep our roads in good repair, adding police and fire and rescue personnel, and strengthening our safety net for the most vulnerable. I am particularly pleased that our budget includes all-day bus service for the community of Tobytown, funding to combat hunger among low-income children and seniors, enhancements to our tree maintenance budget, increased transportation options for seniors and more resources to keep us green.

“This budget also reflects an unprecedented level of cooperation between the Board of Education, Montgomery College and the Council—for which I am very grateful. Without the true spirit of partnership that occurred, this budget would not have been possible."

 

Councilmember Marc Elrich said: “This is truly a landmark budget that reflects our commitment to addressing the needs of our schools which are at the core of our identity as a County. We heard the community loud and clear about their concerns for the school system. Faced with growing socio-economic challenges, a persistent achievement gap, over-crowded schools and classrooms, we have made the hard decisions to provide resources to expand classroom space and to improve student to teacher ratios, so that we effectively deliver instruction. More classrooms and smaller class size had to go together. This investment will not only benefit the students, which is justification enough to do it, but it truly benefits the wider community where the quality of schools affects the value of your property, perceptions about neighborhoods and decisions of employers to locate here.

 

“This budget also provides additional resources to safety net programs, increases investment in maintaining our infrastructure and enhances our commitment to the environment. In public safety, we continued the commitment to bring our services up to a level that reflects the growth that has occurred in the County by making sure that we have staffing and equipment when and where it is needed. This budget reflects a constructive partnership between the Council, MCPS, Montgomery College, our employee unions and our residents—all of whom helped directly to shape this budget.  It includes a tax increase, but we could not/cannot address the challenges we face without it.  Since the recession, we have been required to set aside tens of millions of dollars in reserve accounts that previously would have been used to fund services—simply put, these requirements have reduced revenues available for services. Having to choose between declining service and its implications for our quality of life versus raising additional revenue, I believe we made the right choice.” 

Councilmember Tom Hucker said:This Council ran in 2014 promising not to point fingers, but to address the challenges facing our school system. We promised to work collaboratively with the School Board to ensure school funding addressed classroom size and the opportunity gap. We fulfilled that promise by passing this historic budget that increases our investments in K-12 education and school construction, in workforce development and innovation, affordable housing and in a strong safety net and infrastructure system.

This budget also provides new funds in District 5 including expanded hours at the Silver Spring Library, a new client service coordinator for East County, enhancements to our childcare and after-school programs, increased staffing at fire stations in Hillandale and Burtonsville, the reopening of the Maydale Nature Center, commemorative signs at historic African-American Heritage sites throughout the County, additional funds for stump removal, tree planting and street maintenance, additional public safety personnel and funding for the American Film Institute’s Silver Theater and Cultural Center and the YMCA of Greater Metropolitan Washington.”

 

Councilmember Sidney Katz said: “This budget is the end result of many weeks of hard work. We have heard from hundreds of County residents about what is important to them and how they want us to prioritize the many competing interests. We have discussed every aspect of this budget in our respective committees and as a committee of the whole.  We have listened to the public, and we have listened to each other. Only after very careful consideration were we able to put forward a responsible budget that focuses on what is most important.

 

“I have said over and over again that raising taxes should be our method of last resort. I wish the tax rate could have been lower than what is being approved in this budget. But I also know that government needs funds in order to function—and for this, we owe thanks to the taxpayers of Montgomery County. All of these things we are doing to improve the quality of life in our County, they are not magically paid for. The money for this budget comes out of the pockets of each and every one of us. Ultimately, we have to balance revenue with the need to do what is right. We need to make wise investments. That is really what this budget is about: hope for the future of Montgomery County.”

 

Councilmember Nancy Navarro said: “Montgomery County is at a crossroads. This year, the Council had the option of staying on the path of the status quo or taking bold steps to move our County forward. This budget represents a course correction to stabilize our school system and improve services to our residents.

 

“Since the Great Recession, the Council has balanced budgets by slashing essential services residents rely on like libraries, recreation programs and programs that serve our most vulnerable. The most significant fiscal decision we made, possibly since we became a Charter County, was to re-base the school system budget. This year, we asked our County and school employees to take a smaller raise and our taxpayers to pay more in the Property and Recordation Tax. These decisions were not easy, but they will allow us to invest $90 million in our schools above the state-mandated level. These funds will be used to reduce class size, implement programs to close the achievement gap and address school overcrowding.

 

“I am proud that this budget protects programs that serve our most vulnerable residents. The Council added nearly $7 million to the Health and Human Services budget and expanded access to child care by funding the Child Care Expansion and Quality Enhancement Initiative. We continued to fund the Children’s Opportunity Fund and the Building Educated Leaders for Life (BELL) public-private partnership that will serve more than 1,000 elementary school students at Title 1 schools each summer.

 

“This budget continues to prioritize public safety by increasing the number of police officers in targeted areas. The Council also added needed funds to the County’s Street Outreach Network, which provides prevention and intervention activities for youth at risk of joining a gang. We also expanded funding for more positive youth development activities to make sure young people have a safe place to go after school, on the weekends, and during the summer. 

 

“Finally, I am extremely pleased the Council added $4 million to the Public Election Fund to support clean elections and ensure our public campaign finance system can be a model for all jurisdictions in Maryland.

 

“Budgets are about tough choices. They are also a reflection of our values and who we are as a society. I believe we will look back at the FY17 budget as a turning point. This is the moment we decided the status quo and business as usual would not suffice. As a community, we are making investments today that will ensure a brighter future for all of our residents.”

 

Councilmember Craig Rice said: “As chair of the Education Committee, I am proud this year’s budget reflects a prodigious shift in not only the way we shaped it, but the close collaboration with our education partners in doing so. The FY17 budget was able to achieve putting education first, providing the resources needed for Montgomery County Public Schools and Montgomery College to address the prevailing needs of lowering class size and closing the achievement gap. At the beginning of this year, I hosted, along with MCPS Interim Superintendent Bowers and Montgomery College President Dr. Pollard, five Education Budget forums held throughout the County. These forums reinforced what we knew was important to our County and its residents: reducing class size, addressing the achievement gap and contending with our school capacity issues.

 

“Montgomery College is a gem of our County and our State and one of the best community colleges in the nation! Serving more than 60,000 students, our community college works valiantly to ensure students continue to receive a quality education and meet the growing needs within our County. I am so pleased that this budget has added $4.5 million to the college for programmatic enhancements that include: I-BEST scholarships for job training and skill enhancement courses to support workforce readiness; ACES expansion to two more high schools so an additional 240 students can get the support they need to apply for and succeed in college; and Achieving the Promise Initiative that will help close the achievement gap for an additional 400 students by providing them faculty mentors and coaches to help them accomplish their education goals. This budget has also allowed Montgomery College to move forward with its much needed Takoma Park/Silver Spring Math and Science Center, ensuring that their campus has the capacity to provide students with the latest technology and resources they need in this field.

 

“The collaboration with both Montgomery College and Montgomery County Public Schools has reflected how passionate we all are to give our students every opportunity possible to succeed in their education. MCPS has experienced eight years of record enrollment growth, and the problems of overcrowded classrooms, our long-standing achievement gap and inadequate infrastructure needed to be addressed. It is a great school system that will be even greater as a result of this budget. This year’s operating budget includes $36 million in programmatic enhancements that include critical areas such as: increased number of teachers to reduce class size, additional Chromebooks and more counselors, para-educators and focus teachers. The Council has committed to funding our schools a significant and unprecedented $89.3 million over MOE to help our school system implement these changes needed. We also maximized our resources to address our badly needed school capacity issue, replace aging, worn out physical infrastructure, heating and cooling systems and roof replacement.

 

“This budget is a comprehensive one, and ensures that our County’s most critically needed services received increased funding so that they can provide the best level of service possible for everyone. Those providers who work daily with our most vulnerable residents will receive an increase in funding to continue to provide the high quality work they do. We have enhanced our Weekend Food/Smartsack program so we can reach more kids in need of weekend meals outside of school. In 2015, we reached a historical first of zero veterans homeless in our County, and we have made sure in this budget to continue funding to ensure it stays this way.

 

“Our public service departments have also seen an increase in funding to ensure they remain at health and strong levels. This year’s budget includes additional police officers, fire and rescue personnel, increased paramedic capacity and restoration of staffing at various area fire stations. It is our obligation to ensure that our law enforcement and fire and rescue personnel remain a strong viable group to keep our communities safe and secure.

 

“I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish this budget year, and I give thanks to Montgomery College, Montgomery County Public Schools, all of our unions and parent and community organizations for their unwavering dedication and commitment in their partnership with us to do what it takes to make this historic budget come to fruition. That partnership made this budget possible; in fact it was the only way we could have achieved it.”

 

Councilmember Hans Riemer said: “After years of treading water, this budget moves us forward with smaller class sizes for our kids, more services for our residents and sustainable compensation increases for employees. We made some hard choices, but I am confident that taxpayers will agree they are getting excellent value for their hard-earned dollars, and Montgomery County will continue to be a wonderful place to work, live and raise a family.

 

“I am most proud of the team effort between the Council and the Board of Education that led to record funding for schools, millions of dollars of school construction funding to relieve overcrowding and an increase in many other County services. I am especially pleased that some of the items I championed were included in this budget, including two new programs to promote Maker and STEM programming in the County, an expansion of after school programs for at-risk middle schoolers and funding our new public financing system to get special interest money out of politics. Much thanks to Council President Floreen and the rest of my colleagues, along with the Board of Education and all the other partners, who worked together to create a budget that truly reflects our values.”

Key Council actions regarding the Fiscal Year 2017 Montgomery County Operating Budget and the Fiscal Years 2017-22 Capital Improvements Program:

 

Montgomery County Public Schools

  • Approved total budget of $2.46 billion, an increase of $135.9 million (5.9 percent) over the current FY16 level. The FY17 tax supported budget is $2.31 billion, an increase of $135.1 million (6.2 percent) over the approved FY16 tax-supported amount.
  • Approved amount is $89.3 million above the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) level required for FY17. The required MOE for FY17 of $1.528 billion is an increase of $20.7 million in County funds over the FY16 approved total County contribution, due to enrollment increases.
  • $58.7 million of funding is for the local contribution to State retirement for teachers, as required by the General Assembly in 2012. The FY17 amount is an increase of $7.9 million over the FY16 contribution amount.
  • Provides for 801.5 full-time employees over the approved FY16 level, for a total of 22,248.7 full-time employees. The increases are primarily in teachers and instructional aides.
  • Fully funded Board of Education’s request of $27.4 million for implementation of the Technology Modernization program, including the Chromebook Initiative.
  •  

Montgomery College

  • Approved total budget of $312.5 million, a decrease of $2.6 million (0.8 percent) from the FY17 approved level. The tax-supported budget of $260.8 is an increase of $9.3 million (3.7 percent) from the FY16 budget
  • Council added $4.5 million over the County Executive’s recommended budget to enhance programming and services at the college.
  • Budget assumes an increase in tuition of $4/$8/$12 per semester hour (in-County, in-State, out-of-State).
  • $300,000 for I-BEST scholarships to support Workforce Development courses.

 

 Fire and Rescue Service

  • Approved budget for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service of $217.0 million, a reduction of $5.3 million from the FY16 approved budget. A significant portion of the decrease is related to a decrease in the amount required to be contributed to the retirement fund.
  • Increased recruit class, to start in January, to maximum 85 members, including 16 additional firefighter paramedics.
  • Advanced Life Support (ALS) services will be expanded to the Cabin John, Glen Echo and Bethesda Democracy Boulevard fire stations.
  • Added $1.68 million to restore staffing for paramedic engine at Hyattstown Fire Station No. 9.
  • Added $714,000 to restore staffing for aerial unit at Hillandale Fire Station No. 24.
  • $735,000 to complete career staffing for units at Burtonsville Fire Station No. 15.
  • $640,000 to increase recruit class size to address attrition.

 

Police

  • Approved budget of is $266.5 million, a decrease of 1.6 percent over the approved FY16 level. A significant portion of the decrease is related to a decrease in the amount required to be contributed to the retirement fund.
  • Provides funding for all officers to be equipped with body cameras.
  • Adds 12 new police officers, of which at least six will be assigned to the fast-growing Clarksburg/Germantown area.
  • $100,000 for minority recruitment initiative.

 

Health and Human Services

  • FY17 budget is for the Department of Health and Human Services is $291.3 million, an increase of 0.8 percent from the FY16 approved budget.
  • $50,000 added for security for the Community Vision and Wilkens Avenue Shelter.
  • $242,400 for case management for permanent supportive housing.
  • $740,000 for a 2 percent increase to non-profit and eligible contracts.
  • Council added $176,603 for the African American Health Program, and combined with $73,397 from County Executive funds, provides increase of $250,000 for the program.
  • Council added $220,098 for the Asian American Health initiative, and combined with $29,902 from County Executive funds, provides increase of $250,000 for the program.
  • Council added $181,451 for the Latino Health Initiative, and combined with $68,549 from County Executive funds, provides increase of $250,000 for the program.
  • $75,225 for social worker for Social Services to Adults (SSTA).
  • $2,155,899 for supplement to wages of employees assisting developmentally disabled (125 percent of minimum wage).
  • $153,180 to increase rate for Adult Foster Care.
  • $100,000 for Respite Care for seniors and people with disabilities.
  • $91,705 to expand senior cold box lunches to two new sites and to three days per week.
  • $24,500 to update InfoMontgomery per the Health Montgomery Behavioral Health Task Force.
  • $75,225 for therapist for Child and Adolescent Mental Health Clinic.
  • $132,000 for increased enrollment for Care for Kids program.
  • $290,110 for Montgomery Cares reimbursement to clinics increase by $4.
  • $397,616 to restore Montgomery Cares behavioral health program.
  • $204,100 for increased enrollment in Maternity Partnership program.
  • $50,000 for medical recuperative care in the Healthcare for the Homeless program.
  • $60,203 for community health coordinator for Healthcare for the Homeless program.
  • $230,000 for County Dental Clinic.
  • $269,759 for the Child Care Quality Enhancement initiative.
  • $469,360 to increase supplemental payments to State childcare subsidy for children 2-5.
  • $558,900 for funding for Working Parents Assistance Program subsidies to support current enrollment of 433 children through FY17.
  • $62,985 for social worker contract for Montgomery County Public Schools.
  • $360,000 to reduce lapse savings attributable to social worker positions in Child Welfare Services.
  • $194,154 for Street Outreach for a lead supervisor, a community service aide III and a 15-passenger fan.
  • $21,370 for 2 percent increase to residential treatment providers.
  • $150,000 for Weekend Food/Smartsacks program.
  • $48,010 to upgrade caregiver support coordinator to full-time.
  • $77,605 for a social worker in the East County.

 

Agriculture

  • $8,000 added to upgrade utility hookups to enable the County’s mobile agricultural lab to visit older schools.

 

Arts and Humanities Council

  • Approved the FY17 Arts and Humanities Council non-departmental account for $5.3 million.
  • $237,100 for general operating support for large organizations.
  • $46,228 for grants to small/mid-size organizations/individuals.
  • Added funding to support the Rockville-based National Philharmonic Orchestra.

 

Board of Elections

  • FY17 budget of $7.86 million, a 19.8 percent increase from the FY16 approved budget. 
  • Budget increase reflects that there is a Presidential general election to be held during FY17.
  • Funds also included for a 10th Early Voting location.

 

Circuit Court

  • FY17 budget of $14.4 million is an increase of 2.2 percent over the FY16 approved budget.
  • Two new judgeships approved by State.

 

Community Engagement

  • FY17 budget of $3.7 million is an increase of 3.5 percent over FY16 approved budget.
  • $20,000 added for International Rescue Committee to train volunteers to work with eligible parents who want to apply to the Central American Minors program.

 

Community Grants

  • FY17 budget includes $3.1 million for 122 Council grants to nonprofit organizations to support a variety of programs and services, including food, eviction prevention, utility assistance and other safety net services to help low income families facing severe economic hardships.


 

Community Use of Public Facilities

  • FY17 budget of $11.3 million is an increase of $446,193 (4.1 percent) over the FY16 approved budget.

 

 

Consumer Protection

  • FY17 budget of $2.1 million is a decrease of $278,345 (11.7 percent) from FY16 approved budget.
  • Part of decrease reflects shifting of oversight of the Commission on Common Ownership Communities to the Department of Housing and Community Affairs.


 

Correction and Rehabilitation

  • FY17 budget of $66.9 million, a decrease of $3.74 million (5.3 percent) from the FY16 approved budget. The primary driver of the decrease is the reduced required County contribution into retirement plans as a result of revised actuarial assumptions and changes.


  • Six positions added to Central Processing Unit.
  • Budget reflects savings of $300,000 over FY16 due to combining of Pretrial Services and Pre-Release and Re-entry Services divisions into one new Division of Community Corrections for better efficiency.

 

Economic Development

  • FY17 budget includes $3.4 million for the County’s incubator network, including funding associated with the County’s new “Incubator Without Walls” program in Wheaton, and funding for the County’s share of costs associated with the National CyberSecurity Center of Excellence.
  • $982,344 includes first full year of operation of WorkSource Montgomery non-departmental account.
  • $4.18 million was approved for the Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation’s first full year as the County’s lead economic development organization.
  • $2.6 million was approved for the Economic Development Fund, an increase of $724,189.
  • Economic Development Fund budget includes $500,000 for the MOVE program, which helps reduce leasing costs for businesses executing their first lease for office space in Montgomery County.

 

Energy and Environment

  • FY17 budget of $27.8 million for Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), not including Solid Waste Services, is a 9.2 percent increase over FY16 approved budget.
  • FY17 budget of $92.2 million for the Division of Solid Waste Services is a decrease of $19.7 million (17.6 percent) from FY16 approved budget. Major portion of the decrease is a result of the debt service payments on the Resource Recovery Facility ($21.4 million for FY16) ending in April 2016.
  • Water Quality Protection Fund to increase by $2.0 million (8.6 percent) from FY16 approved budget.
  • Water Quality Protection Charge to increase from $88.40 to $95.00, an increase of $6.60 (7.5 percent).
  • $500,000 (a $250,000 increase from the original FY16 budget) for increased tree planting related to County’s tree canopy law. All expenditures are assumed to be covered by fees paid by developers going through the sediment control permit process.
  • Includes $50,000 in outreach funding for a new anti-littering campaign in the White Oak area to address the EPA approved Anacostia Trash TMDL.
  • Includes $25,000 to expand pet waste program across several TMDL areas.
  • Voted along with Prince George’s County Council to increase water and sewer volumetric charges for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission by 3.0 percent, and approved the second year phase-in of the Infrastructure Investment Fee.  The average monthly residential customer impact (145 gallons of water usage per day) would be $2.00 for the infrastructure fee and $1.28 for the rate increase.
  • System development charges were maintained at FY16 levels.
  • $47,029 to fill vacant Office of Sustainability position for Data Analysis and Research (removing contractual costs).
  • $48,007 to fill vacant Office of Sustainability position for Partnership Development (removing contractual costs).

$100,000 added to provide education and outreach as required in Bill 52-14 (that bans application of pesticides to lawns and certain public grass areas).

Finance

  • $150,000 added for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)/Maker programming and grants.

 

General Services

  • FY17 budget of $37.3 million is an increase of $2.45 million (7.0 percent) from FY16 approved budget.
  • $298,585 added to increase funding to cover operating shortfalls for American Film Institute.
  • $100,000 for an energy technician to implement Bill 6-14 for the Office of Sustainability.

 

Housing and Community Affairs

  • FY17 budget of $44.2 million is an increase of 8.8 percent over FY16 approved budget.
  • $102,353 to restore position of housing code inspector.
  • $123,357 to not use Commission on Common Ownership Committee revenue for the general fund (this is a decrease to the general fund reserve).

 

Housing Initiative Fund and Housing First

  • FY17 budget includes $46.9 million for Housing Initiative Fund, an increase of $2.3 million (5.1 percent) from FY16 approved budget.
  • $150,000 for the Veterans Homeless program.
  • $250,000 to help chronically homeless adults.

 

Human Resources

  • FY17 budget of $8.20 million, an increase of 1.4 percent increase above the FY16 approved budget.


 

Legislative Branch Community Outreach

  • $50,000 for additional FY17 initiatives.

 

Legislative Oversight

  • $32,000 for the cost of outside experts required for Office of Legislative Oversight projects.


 

Libraries

  • Approved budget of $41.7 million for County libraries, a 2.3 percent increase from the approved FY16 level. The approved budget is the first Library budget in eight years above the FY09 budget of $41.4 million—prior to significant cuts during the Great Recession.
  • Funding included to operate an interim Wheaton Library while the new Wheaton Library/Recreation Center is under construction.
  • Extended weekend hours at Bethesda, Germantown, Gaithersburg and Silver Spring branches for FY17.

 

Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

  • FY17 operating budget (including all operating funds, debt service and reserve) of $173.6 million is an increase of $6.6 million (4 percent) over the FY16 approved budget.
  • Fully funded the M-NCPPC operating budget request for the Department of Parks and the Planning Department. The Council substituted reductions to debt service (as a result of favorable refinancing of bonds) in place of the programmatic reductions that would have been required as a result of the County Executive’s recommended budget.
  • Restored more than $17.5 million from the Executive’s proposed reductions of more than $28.4 million for M-NCPPC capital projects, allowing for significant renovation projects for a number of parks and trails, new recreational facilities at Ovid Hazen Wells Recreational Park in Clarksburg and the reopening of the Maydale Nature Center in Colesville.
  • Added $50,000 for historic plaques at African American Heritage Sites.

 

Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy (MCAEL)

  • FY17 budget of $1.46 million is an increase of $100,000 over the FY16 approved budget.
  • Additional funding to be used for direct services to residents to reduce existing wait lists and to maximize delivery of services in high demand areas.

 

Municipal Tax Duplication

  • $8.3 million approved for FYI7, an increase of $421,512 over the FY16 approved budget.
  • Increase from FY16 includes $40,929 attributable to speed camera revenue, with the remaining $380,583 resulting from an increase in property tax duplication.
  • Budget includes speed camera revenue ($268,930); property tax duplication ($5.5 million); and additional County grants ($2.5 million).

Procurement

  • FY17 budget of $4.49 million is an increase of $305,830 (7.3 percent) over the FY16 approved budget.

 

Public Election Fund

  • Provided $4 million for the Public Election Fund, in addition to the Executive’s $1 million allocation. In 2014 the Council approved and the County Executive signed a bill that would create a fund that candidates could opt to use to fund their campaigns. The new system will start with the 2018 cycle. Last year the Council provided $1 million in initial support for the fund.
  • $160,000 for state administrative costs/software updates.

 

Public Information

  • $10,000 to augment outreach to senior community.

 

Recreation

  • Approved a total budget of $34.3 million for the Department of Recreation, an increase of $1.89 million (6.2 percent) over the FY16 approved budget.
  • Budget reflects a net increase of 15 full-time and six part-time positions—the fifth straight year that the department's expenditures and positions have increased.
  • Funding to convert temporary positions to permanent merit positions including $542,560 for 13 positions in Recreation Areas and Centers; $174,450 for four positions in Aquatics; $17,180 for one position in Countywide Programs and $14,884 for one position in Administration/Policy Management.
  • $425,060 to open the North Potomac Community Recreation Center planned for September 2016.
  • $113,138 to re-open the Ross Boddy Neighborhood Recreation Center planned for October 2016.
  • $267,398 to add the anti-gang initiative for a year-round outdoor soccer league for at-risk youth.
  • $271,000 to increase funding to the Collaboration Council for the Excel Beyond the Bell program to make up for State funding reductions resulting from changes in priorities from the Governor's Office for Children.
  • $145,211 to support a senior center at the North Potomac Community Recreation Center.
  • $155,000 to support pool operations at Piney Branch Elementary School through Adventist Community Service and pool maintenance by the Recreation Department.
  • Added $120,000 for an Excel Beyond the Bell program at Francis Scott Key Middle School.

 

Sheriff’s Office

  • FY17 budget of $22.6 million is a decrease of 5.2 percent over FY16 approved budget.
  • $264,651 for three deputy sheriffs in July recruit class.
  • $146,575 for three deputy sheriffs in January recruit class.

 

State’s Attorney

  • FY 17 budget of $16.3 million is an increase of $531,034 (3.4 percent) over the FY16 approved budget.
  • Truancy Prevention Program expanded from 15 to 20 schools, adding five additional middle schools. Program will serve 370 students and their families in FY17, an increase of 188 students from FY16.
  • Budget includes $85,000 for translation services.
  • $149,170 for two positions (one legal assistant, one assistant state’s attorney) for Crimes Against Vulnerable Adults program.

 

Technology Services

  • FY17 budget of $41.4 million is an increase of 1.2 percent over the FY16 approved budget.
  • $150,000 for digital inclusion for underserved youth (coding events, etc.).

 

Transit Services

  • $500,000 to reinitiate Fare Share program.
  • $247,600 to extend Tobytown service to 6 a.m.-7 p.m. every day, including weekends.
  • $48,300 to increase contracts for Bethesda Transportation Solutions and Transportation Action Partnership.
  • $96,107 to extend the current Monday-through-Friday Seniors Ride Free program to Saturdays.

Transportation

  • $200,000 added for stump removal.
  • $100,000 for hazardous tree removal.
  • $100,000 for tree planting.
  • $100,000 for tree pruning.
  • $80,000 for additional arborist.
  • $500,000 for street maintenance.
  • $50,000 for temporary street lighting and $38,000 for wayfinding signs on Bonifant Street.

 

Urban Districts

  • FY17 budget of $8.75 million is a decrease of 1.5 percent from the FY16 approved budget.
  • $43,885 for Bethesda Urban Partnership compensation increases.

 

Zoning and Administrative Hearings

  • $47,000 to change hearing examiner position from three-quarter position to full-time.
  • $19,000 for a contract hearing examiner.
  • $10,000 for transcript costs.

 

FY 2017-22 Capital Improvements Program

The County’s Capital Improvements Program (CIP) is the focus of major review every two years. Among the projects approved for the FY 2017-22 CIP are:

  • Council unanimously agreed on a $4.6 billion Capital Improvements Program for Fiscal Years 2017-22, (including a record $1.73 billion for the CIP of Montgomery County Public Schools).


  • Wootton High School revitalization/expansion—August 2021 completion, avoids one-year delay.
  • Poolesville High School revitalization/expansion—August 2023 completion, avoids one-year delay.
  • New project: Walt Whitman High School addition—August 2021 completion, reduces a two-year delay from the Board of Education’s request for the project to one year.
  • New projects: Pyle and Takoma Park Middle School additions—August 2020 completion, avoids one-year delays from the Board of Education’s requests for the projects.
  • New project: Clarksburg Cluster Elementary School—August 2019 completion, avoids one-year delay from the Board of Education’s request for the project.
  • New projects: Montgomery Knolls and Pine Crest Elementary School additions—August 2020 completion, avoids two-year delays from the Board of Education’s requests for the projects.
  • New project: Piney Branch Elementary School addition—August 2021 completion, avoids a one-year delay from the Board of Education’s request for the project.
  • New projects: Greencastle, Woodlin and East Silver Spring Elementary School additions—August 2022 completion, otherwise unfunded.
  • Heating, ventilation, air conditioning replacements—significant increase approved for FY17.
  • Roof replacement $12 million in FY17 and $9.5 million in FY18. 
  • Advanced renovation of the Noyes Young Children’s Library in Kensington.
  • Increased resources by 150 percent for bicycle and pedestrian priority area improvements to $15 million over the next six years.
  • Sidewalk improvements on Bradley Boulevard and Franklin Avenue.
  • Bike lanes and turn lanes on Bradley Boulevard.
  • Improvements for Ovid Hazen Wells Park in Clarksburg.

 

# # # Release ID: 16-171
Media Contact: Neil Greenberger 240-777-7939