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Montgomery County Council reaches unanimous agreement on Fiscal Year 2018 operating budget

For Immediate Release: Thursday, May 18, 2017

Montgomery County Council reaches unanimous

preliminary agreement on

$5.4 billion operating budget for FY 2018

 

Council President Roger Berliner: Budget ‘Balances and harmonizes our

fiscal realities with our values . . . builds on the basics’

MCPS, Montgomery College, public safety,

‘safety net’, early childhood programs, BRT are priorities

 

 Property tax stays within County ‘Charter Limit’;

$692 tax credit for homeowners approved

 

ROCKVILLE, Md., May 18, 2017—The Montgomery County Council today reached unanimous preliminary agreement on a $5.4 billion County operating budget for Fiscal Year 2018, a 2.7 percent increase over the approved budget for FY 2017. The budget strongly supports Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College, the County’s public safety programs and the safety net services provided by the County and non-profit organizations.

“I believe the budget we have just approved harmonizes our fiscal realities with our values while building on the basic services that our residents and taxpayers see and rely on every day,” said Council President Roger Berliner. He went on to say “the budget builds on the basics and makes progress on pressing needs. At the same time, our budget holds the line on property taxes and continues the tradition of fiscal responsibility that has allowed us to weather economic storms and maintain our respected AAA bond rating that is the hallmark of well-run governments.”

 

NOTE: Council President Berliner’s complete remarks regarding the budget agreement can be found at http://tinyurl.com/k2x7xr7 .

 

The Council is scheduled to formally adopt the FY18 operating budget on Thursday, May 25.  The budget will go into effect on July 1. Updated information about the budget is available at http://tinyurl.com/mp2o2gj .

 

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

 

The approved budget includes tax-supported expenditures of $4.8 billion and an additional $672.2 million in non-tax supported expenditures. The budget reflects a property tax rate of $1.0013 per $100 of assessed value, which keeps the property tax rate within the County's ‘Charter Limit.’ The rate is 2.51 cents below the current rate.

 

The budget includes a property tax credit of $692 for homeowners whose properties are their primary residences. The annual bill for the average homeowner will increase by $20.00.

 

The approved budget also meets the FY18 target for the County’s reserve—8.9 percent of adjusted governmental revenues.

 

The approved budget funds $2.52 billion for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS)—100 percent of the request of the Board of Education. This represents an increase of $64.6 million (2.6 percent) compared to the FY 17 approved budget. The FY18 tax supported budget request is $2.37 billion, an increase of 2.5 percent over the FY17 amount.

 

The funding will provide for an additional 103.8 full-time employees over the approved FY17 level, for a total of 22,284.3. The increase is primarily in teacher positions (91.2).

 

The funding includes $2.1 million that the Council added representing the difference between the Board of Education’s request and the County Executive’s recommendation after accounting for the additional fund balance resources.

 

Funding for Montgomery College is $314.7 million after Council added $3.2 million over the County Executive’s recommended budget to fund compensation and benefit increases for College employees. Funding for the College is above the required Maintenance of Effort level for the sixth year in a row, bringing the combined increase in County Government support to the College since 2013 to 47 percent, representing an increase of more than 71 percent in per-student funding over that time frame.

 

The College’s budget assumes a tuition increase of 1.6 percent ($2 per semester hour for in-County students, $4 per semester hour for in-state students and $6 per hour for out-of-state students).

 

The budget includes funding for contracts with non-profit service providers in the Department of Health and Human Services budget that overall represents a 1.9 percent increase above the department’s FY17 approved budget. The Executive’s recommended budget erroneously showed a 1 percent decrease for those providers, but the Executive made clear his support for a 1 percent increase.  The Council quickly indicated that it would find funding for those contracts as it restored the recommended 1 percent decrease and it eventually approved a 2 percent increase for the non-profit service providers.

 

The Council continued its emphasis on increasing a variety of early childhood programs. It added to the budget $2.2 million to support expansion of 10 Montgomery County Public Schools Head Start classrooms to full school day programs. It also provided $342,000 for pre-kindergarten services for 40 3-to-5 year-olds.

 

The Council also provided funding to establish the County’s first supervised visitation and exchange center that will allow for scheduled and safe interactions for families involved in difficult child custody arrangements.

 

The Council unanimously approved the employee pay increases in each collective bargaining agreement negotiated by the County Executive for FY18 with organizations representing County employees.

 

·       The agreement with the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 35, will provide a 2 percent general wage adjustment for all bargaining unit members effective on the first pay period beginning after July 1, 2017, 3.5 percent service increments for all eligible members on their anniversary and 3.5 percent longevity increments for bargaining unit members with 20 years of service.

·       The agreement with Local 1664 of Montgomery County Career Fire Fighters Association of the International Association of Fire Fighters, AFL-CIO will provide a 2 percent general wage adjustment beginning on the first pay period beginning after October 1, 2017, a 3.5 percent longevity increment for eligible bargaining unit members with either 20 or 24 years of service and a 3.5 service increments for all eligible bargaining unit members on their anniversary.

·       The agreement with Local 1994 of the Municipal and County Government Employees Organization of the United Food and Commercial Workers, AFL-CIO (MCGEO) provides a 2 percent general wage adjustment beginning on the first pay period after Aug. 1, 2017, for members in the OPT/SLT, Deputy Sheriff Uniform, and Correctional Officer salary schedules. It provides an increase of 25 cents per hour for seasonal employees, a 3.5 percent service increment for all eligible members on their anniversary and a 3.5 percent longevity increment for eligible members with 20 years of service.

·        Effective the first full pay period after Aug. 1, the Council approved a 2 percent general wage adjustment and adjustment to the minimum and maximum of each grade in the salary schedules for County Government non-represented employees. 

 

The approved budget for Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL) is $42.7 million, an increase of $1.07 million (2.6 percent) above the FY17 approved budget. The Library’s budget was restored to its prerecession level in the FYI6 approved budget, and the FY18 budget continues to expand MCPL's ability to serve County residents. The budget includes funding to expand hours at three branches (Kensington Park, Little Falls and Twinbrook) and adds funding for a Deaf Culture Digital Library.

 

The Council approved $3.2 million for 138 Council grants to nonprofit organizations for a variety of programs that support youth development, housing, health, hunger prevention, services for seniors and the disabled, and community and economic development. This amount is in addition to the $7.91 million for 223 discretionary community grants recommended by the County Executive.

 

The complete list of Council community grants can be found at http://tinyurl.com/levn9p4 . The complete list of items approved on the reconciliation list can be found at http://tinyurl.com/m8r3ja6 .

 

Councilmember statements on the budget:

 

Council Vice President Hans Riemer: “My goal for this budget was to secure a significant new investment in pre-kindergarten and after-school programs for our most vulnerable children. I am thrilled that the Council agreed with my proposal to expand Head Start from part-day to full-day. We funded new pre-K slots and a record expansion of child care subsidies, and new after-school programs for our highest poverty elementary schools. I ran for office to make a real difference for low-income children, and the Council budget delivers."

 

Councilmember Marc Elrich: “While this is mostly a hold-the-line budget, we were able to take some important steps forward.  As chair of the Public Safety Committee, I was pleased that we restored overnight staffing for the Police Department and added six new positions to address crime hots spots. Particularly noteworthy is the addition of an ALS chase car, which meets the need for increased emergency services in Fire and Rescue without building another station—a great example of right-sizing government. We also heard the concerns of residents and Takoma Park leaders and added a paramedic to their fire station. With support from Court Watch Montgomery, the County Executive and my colleagues, we created the first County-operated Supervised Visitation and Exchange Center, providing a safe place for child visitation exchanges for victims of domestic violence.

 

“I am also pleased that we have included funding to implement my recently adopted tenant legislation. The budget provides increased funding for inspections and enforcement, as well as two positions to assist tenants in resolving complaints. We gave the school system a modest increase, which reflects our appreciation of a more cooperative process and our optimism that the administration is leading our schools in a better direction.  Despite the positive progress, I continue to remind people that we will not close the long-standing “achievement gap” in a short time, and our partners in the non-profit community are critical to that effort.

 

“I appreciate the reasonable and responsible collective bargaining agreements reached with County employees. Our important obligations for collective bargaining combined with the preservation of the existing budget did not leave much room for new initiatives.  While we added some funding for social services, schools, consumer protection and public safety, we must find new ways to address the growing list of unmet needs for our residents within the revenue resources available to us. Given the slow pace of the continuing economic recovery, these realities only reinforce my view that we must look within our existing budgets, where I’m convinced there are opportunities for creative solutions to address problems and move the County forward.”

 

 

Councilmember Nancy Floreen: Montgomery County residents are rightly proud of our Parks and Recreation departments, which are separate in Montgomery County. These departments were hit hard during the recession, and we continue to work to bring some aspects of their budgets back to pre-recession levels and to expand and enhance some of the facilities and services residents enjoy most.

 

“This year, we increased funding for catching up on deferred maintenance and cleaning, enhancing ballfields and expanding park facilities and trail systems. On the capital side of the budget, we kept the North Branch Trail and the Little Bennett Day Use Area projects on schedule, which is great news for the neighboring communities. I am especially pleased that we also managed to avoid delaying the Ovid Hazen Wells Recreational Area project, including relocation of the carousel from Wheaton Regional Park to Ovid Hazen Wells Park, thereby fulfilling our long-standing commitment to the residents of Clarksburg.”

Councilmember Tom Hucker: “Kids should be able to play on their school fields. Physical activity is vital for not only our children’s health, but their academic achievement too. Yet the fields are in too poor of condition to do so at schools such as Takoma Park Elementary and Rolling Terrace. Our new $750,000 pilot program will start to fix this problem at about a half-dozen elementary schools in the County, with the goal of fixing them all in the future.

“The new budget also provides $450,000 for needed 24/7 paramedic services at Takoma Park’s fire station, one of only a handful of stations in the County without paramedics. We also included $250,000 for the new East County Opportunity Zone. It will have a job center run by WorkSource Montgomery, including programs to help adults and youths gain job skills needed for today’s workplace. It also will provide help with child-care expenses for job-seekers, microloan assistance for entrepreneurs and other programs.”

 

Councilmember Sidney Katz: “I am pleased that the Council was able to pass a budget that responds to the needs of residents by taking a close look at our school system and our public safety needs, as well as much needed infrastructure improvements so critical for our growing population. We worked closely with MCPS to develop a plan that fully funds its request and also asks for adequate reporting regarding how the funds are being used to achieve our mutual goals. 

 

“As a member of the Public Safety Committee, it was important to me that we look closely at the needs of our public safety departments to ensure that they are receiving the funding that they require for personnel, equipment and training.  We were able to both restore and add much needed personnel to the police department, as well as to budget for a 65-member recruit class for the Fire and Rescue Service   As chair of the Domestic Violence Coordinating Council, I am especially pleased that we were able to provide the funding necessary to open a supervised visitation and exchange center in Rockville—the first County-run facility of its kind in Montgomery County.  We were able to do all of this while preserving our reserves and assisting our non-profits—and without raising taxes.”

 

Councilmember George Leventhal: “As chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee, I am gratified that we have provided an increase in funding to help alleviate homelessness, protect abused women and children and provide medical care for the less fortunate. We also added language to the MCPS budget resolution requesting data and measures that evaluate whether the additional funding provided by the Council is reducing the opportunity and academic achievement gap.”

 

Councilmember Nancy Navarro: “Budgets are a reflection of our values and who we are as a society. As chair of the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee, I have worked side-by-side with my colleagues to maintain our County’s AAA credit rating by making fiscally responsible decisions.

 

“Education remains a high priority for us. We are making important investments in Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College and our social safety-net. We have invested in accessible, affordable, high quality early care and education by adding capacity in Pre-K programs, expanding Head Start to full-day at 10 MCPS classrooms, and reducing the Working Parents Assistance Program waitlist for families with children ages 0-5.

“We continue to prioritize public safety by increasing the number of police officers in targeted areas. On this note, I am pleased to have secured funding for additional police officers in Wheaton, added sites for positive youth development activities for vulnerable youth, increased quality after school activities at three additional elementary schools and added capacity for our MC311 call center. The Council also bolstered services aimed at addressing domestic violence by including extra funds for the County’s first supervised visitation and monitored child exchange center.

“I am also pleased that the Council added an additional $1 million to the Public Campaign Election Fund, bringing it to the level recommended by the Committee to Recommend Funding for this fund.

 

“We continue to support our economic development efforts, as well as our workforce development initiatives. This year we took a well-balanced approach to funding the myriad of services and amenities that contribute to our quality of life.

 

“Lastly, I want to thank our constituents for their active engagement in this budget process and their contributions to our great County.”

 

Councilmember Craig Rice: “MCPS and Montgomery College led the charge in being true partners in the collaborative investment in our County’s future.  As chair of the Education Committee, I  actively worked with Dr. Jack Smith, and am pleased to say that the Council was able to fully fund the school system’s budget, helping it continue its efforts to lower class size and implement new initiatives to close the opportunity, equity and academic gaps within our schools.  

 

“Our partners in higher education—Montgomery College—under the strong stewardship of Dr. Pollard, worked to bring forward a thoughtful moderate budget that the Council was able to largely fund as well.  These funds, along with state support, will allow the College to minimize tuition increases next year while still maintaining the high quality programs and services provided for all of its  students. Education remains a high priority with the County Council and I am committed to ensuring that our educational partners receive the resources needed so all of our students can be successful.”

 

 

Key Council actions regarding the Fiscal Year 2018 Montgomery County Operating Budget and amendments to the Fiscal Years 2017-22 Capital Improvements Program:

 

Montgomery County Public Schools

  • Approved 100 percent of the Board of Education’s request for a total of $2.52 billion for the FY18 MCPS operating budget. This represents an increase of $64.6 million (2.6 percent) compared to the FY17 approved budget.
  • Includes a local contribution that is $19.0 million above the State-mandated Maintenance of Effort (MOE) level for FY18. The required MOE contribution for FY18 is $1.64 billion, an increase of $28.1 million over the FY17 approved total County contribution due to enrollment increases. The Board requested a local contribution of $1.67 billion.
  • Includes $58.6 million for the local contribution to State retirement for teachers, as required by the General Assembly in 2012.
  • Includes funding for an additional 103.8 full-time employees over the approved FY17 level, for a total of 22,284.3. The increase is primarily in teacher positions (91.2).
  • Funding will enable MCPS to meet needs of projected total enrollment of 161,302 for FY18. This is an increase of 2,292 over the actual FY17 enrollment. Comparing enrollment projections (which affect the budget changes year to year), the FY18 budget projection is an increase of 2,286 over the budgeted FYI7 level. Enrollment of students with Limited English Proficiency is projected to increase by 500, for a total of 23,150 students for FY18.

 

Montgomery College

  • Approved total budget of $314.7 million. The tax-supported budget is $262.8 million.
  • Council added $3.2 million over the County Executive’s recommended budget to fund compensation and benefit increases for College employees.
  • The college’s budget assumes an increase in tuition of 1.6 percent ($2 per semester hour for in-County students, $4 per semester hour for in-State students and $8 per hour for out-of-state students).

 

 Fire and Rescue Service

  • Approved FY18 budget of $214.9 million.
  • Includes recruit class expected to graduate 65 firefighters. Five of those positions will support the Advanced Life Support (ALS) chase car at Aspen Hill (Station 40) and the remaining 60 will replace personnel lost through attrition.
  • Includes $190,500 and one new captain position to provide liaison services at the WMATA Rail Operations Control Center.
  • Added $450,000 for five full-time employees to staff a paramedic position at Takoma Park Station 2.

 

Police

  • Approved FY18 budget of $275.0 million is a 3.7 percent increase from the FY17 approved budget.
  • Increases staffing to 1,940 employees including 1,291 sworn positions.
  • Includes six new patrol officers for 2D (Bethesda); five new patrol officers for 6D (Gaithersburg/Montgomery Village); two new patrol officers for Community Engagement; one new Forensic Scientist and associated supplies to expedite DNA testing; one new part-time crossing guard for new middle school in Bethesda/Chevy Chase; three new police aides for School Bus Camera program; 36 new civilian call takers in the Emergency Communication Center (27 shift from Fire and Rescue); one new Term Captain position in the ECC; one new Quality Assurance position for the Body Worn Camera program; and one pooled position (3.25 full-time employees) for the Cadet Program.
  • Two recruit classes were added, one starting in July with 32 candidates and the other will start January with 36 candidates.
  • Added $363,585 to restore Overnight Station Services to Sectors 2D and 6D.
  • Added $262,725 for five new patrol officers in Sectors 4D and 5D.
  • Added $33,586 for a sergeant in Sector 6D.

Health and Human Services

  • FY18 budget for the Department of Health and Human Services is $312.8 million, an increase of 4.7 percent from the FY17 approved budget.
  • $1.76 million to provide a 2 percent increase to eligible contracts with non-profit services providers.  This funding restores the 1 percent reduction to contracts and omission of a 1 percent increase mistakenly included in the County Executive’s recommended budget and provides an additional 1 percent increase to non-profit contracts.
  • $30,000 added for the Senior Connection program that provides ride services for seniors.
  • $5,140 for public information on selecting caregivers.
  • $185.286 to expand the Senior Cold Meal Program to five days per week, and four additional weeks per year.
  • $34,409 for part-time staff for Senior Nutrition Program.
  • $225,910 for Safe Space Program in Wheaton and Montgomery Village.
  • $50,000 to be combined with $50,000 recommended by the Executive for the Collaboration Council’s Disproportionate Minority Contract Reduction Coordinator.
  • $100,719 for Care for Kids to meet program demand.
  • $78,983 for Care for Kids Behavioral Health.
  • $76,893 for Montgomery Cares 1,000 visits to meet demand.
  • $147,560 for Montgomery Cares increase of reimbursement rate by $2 (to $73).
  • $70,395 for Montgomery Cares On-site Quality Assurance Review.
  • $161,906 for dental clinic director, dentist services, and oversight.
  • $76,588 for Healthcare for the Homeless nurse case manager.
  • $76,700 to increase capacity for the mobile dental program for the homeless
  • $80,000 for Food Security Plan ongoing implementation.
  • $150,000 for weekend food for elementary school students.
  • $78,783 for Department of Health and Human Services contract monitoring unit (senior financial specialist).
  • $2 million to increase WPA subsidies for children birth to 5 years old.
  • $79,616 for full-time administrative specialist for support administering $2 million in additional WPA subsidy.
  • $50,000 for Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless security for men’s shelter.
  • $132,288 for supervised visitation center (two guards, three observers—28 hours, metal detectors, security cameras, transportation).
  • $342,000 for Pre-K services for 40 3-to-5 year-olds (delivered by Centro Nia).
  • $2,186,180 to support expansion of 10 MCPS Head Start classrooms to full school day programs.
  • $50,000 for Childcare Resource and Referral Center higher education scholarships for providers to build quality workforce to expand Pre-K services.

 

Arts and Humanities Council

  • FY18 approved budget of $5.4 million includes an increase of $100,000 increase over FY17 for grants.
  • Increase for grants to be divided between grants and programs for small size

organizations/individuals and advancement grants.

  • $100,000 to enhance funding for large organization operating support grants, grant and programs support to mid-size organizations, advancement grants, administration and Wheaton cultural project grants.
  • Provided $150,000 for operating support for the National Philharmonic.

 

Board of Elections

  • FY18 approved budget of $8.04 million is a 2.4 percent increase from the FY17 approved budget.
  • Includes $28,380 for an 11th early voting center for the 2018 election.
  • $100,000 for scanners for polling places.
  • $72,000 for off-site election judge training.

 

Circuit Court

  • Approved FY18 budget of $14.8 million is a 3.0 percent increase from the FY17 approved budget.
  • Includes $209,972 for two administrative assistants and associated operating expenses related to the hire of two new judges.
  • Includes $29,952 to continue the Mental Health Court.
  • Includes $100,000 to prepare for the Maryland Electronic Courts (MDEC) case

management system, development of which begins the second quarter of calendar 2017.

FY16Actual

 

 

Community Engagement

·         FYI8 approved budget of $3.8 million is an increase of 3.3 percent from the FY17 approved budget.

·         Includes increase of two part-time positions and half of a full-time position.

·         Funds $40,000 to the Community Partnerships program to establish

the Montgomery Senior Volunteer Network. The Volunteer Center aims to establish a program to identify County residents who are at least 55 years old, possess a specific skill-set or interest and are willing to contribute a significant amount of time and effort to a non-profit or government agency.

  • $25,000 for regional service centers matching funds for community events.

 

Community Grants

  • FY18 budget includes $3.2 million for 138 Council grants to nonprofit organizations for a variety of programs that support youth development, housing, health, hunger prevention, services for seniors and the disabled, and community and economic development.

 

Conference and Visitors Bureau

  • Approved FY18 budget of $1.5 million, an increase of 6.3 percent from the FY17 approved budget.
  • Increase is from additional projected revenue from the County’s Room Rental and Transient Tax ("Hotel/Motel Tax"), which is an excise tax imposed on room rental rates.

 

Consumer Protection

  • FY18 approved budget of $2.4 million is an increase of 12.1 percent from the FY17 approved budget.
  • $104,706 for a Manager III position.
  • $49,314 to fund part-time administrative specialist.

Y16Actual

Correction and Rehabilitation

  • FY18 approved budget of $66.7 million is a decrease of 0.09 percent from the FY17 approved budget.
  • Budget assumes savings of $56,250 by implementing Telestaff workforce scheduling software package used by many public safety organizations.
  • Budget assumes savings of $112,500 by implementing automated record-keeping platform Electronic Health Records that will allow more efficiently manage medical records, medical services and communications with hospitals and other community medical service providers.

 

County Attorney

  • Approved FY18 budget of $6.3 million, an increase of 6.18 percent from the FY17 approved budget.
  • Includes funding to create a unit to handle information requests for electronically stored information. The increase in requests for electronically stored information has created a major challenge for the County to meet its obligations to respond to discovery demands in litigation cases, as well as for Maryland Public Information Act requests.

 

 

County Executive

  • $50,000 for Innovation into Action Challenge.
  • $240,000 to create Business Solutions Group.

 

Device Client Management

  • $100,000 for Homework Gap computer expansion.

 

Emergency Management and Homeland Security

  • Approved FY18 funding of $2.1 million is an increase of 4.4 percent from the FYI 7 approved budget.

 

Energy and Environment

  • Approved FY18 budget for the Department of Environmental Protection and Solid Waste is $96.5 million, an increase of 4.7 percent increase from the FY17 approved budget.
  • Voted along with Prince George’s County Council to increase water and sewer volumetric charges for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission by 3.5 percent. No changes were made in the Account Maintenance Fee or the Infrastructure Investment Fee.  The rate increase will add approximately $1.46 per month – or $4.38 per quarter -- to the average customer’s bill.
  • Funds 55 miles of WSSC water main reconstruction and associated house connection renewals.
  • Reflects no increases in overall solid waste charges for single-family, multi-family and non-residential property owners.
  • Reflects a $4.00 increase in the standard refuse tipping fee (from $56 to $60 per ton for weights exceeding 500 pounds). Loads weighing less than 500 pounds are still free.
  • Reflects a $4.00 increase in the tipping fee for open top containers (from $66 to $70 per ton).
  • $125,000 for pesticide outreach and education (Bill 52-14).

 

Finance

  • Approved FY18 budget of $81.4 million is an increase of $3.6 million (4.7 percent) above the FY17 budget.
  • Includes an increase of $3.3 million (5.1 percent) for the Self-Insurance Fund.

 

General Services and Fleet Management

  • Approved FY18 budget of $38.7 million for the Department of General Services is an increase of 3.9 percent from the FYI 7 approved budget.
  • Approved FY18 budget of $80.1 million for Fleet Management Services is an increase of 0.1 percent the FYI7 approved budget.
  • Includes funds to replace 201 vehicles (46 percent are Public Safety, 7 percent are administrative, 47 percent are heavy equipment).
  • $150,000 for enhanced deferred maintenance and cleaning of libraries.
  • $100,000 for enhanced deferred maintenance and cleaning of recreation facilities.
  • $15,000 for AFI Silver Theatre.

 

 

 

Historical Society

  • $110,000 included for the Montgomery County Historical Society, a $32,750 increase from FY17--the first increase since FY14.

 

Housing Initiative Fund (HIF) and Housing First

·         Approved $59.1 million in capital and operating budget resources to be available for program uses in the Housing Initiative Fund (HIF). 

·         Allocated funding within the HIF to ensure funding for the permanent supportive housing needed for the Inside (not Outside) initiative to house the County’s chronically homeless.

·         Allocated $1.02 million in the HIF to fund non-profit organizations through the Neighborhoods to Call Home program.  FY18 funding includes $300,000 to Re-Building Together and $200,000 to A Wider Circle.

  • Allocated up to $1 million from the HIF for closing cost and down payment programs to recognize the new Montgomery Homeownership Program that provides up to $40,000 in down payment assistance for households using the Maryland Mortgage Program.
  • In addition to HIF funding, the budget authorizes up to $16.2 million in payment in lieu of taxes agreements to support affordable housing.

 

Housing and Community Affairs

  • Approved $7.5 million in General Fund operations for the Department of Housing and Community Affairs, more than a 22 percent increase from the FY17 approved budget.
  • $1.3 million of the new funding will be used for Code Enforcement Inspectors and staff associated with the enhanced code enforcement required in Bill 19-15 that requires a two-year intensive inspection program for multi-family rental housing.

·         Added $30,000 for IT support and general operating expenses for the Common Ownership Community program and activities of the Commission on Common Ownership Communities.

·         Added $210,000 to enhance tenant advocacy and outreach services focused on assisting tenants in resolving complaints.

 

Human Resources

  • FY18 budget of $251.9 million is a decrease of $2.1 million (0.83 percent) from the FY17 approved budget.
  • Adds $101,385 for additional support for EEO compliance and diversity management team.
  • Includes $57,000 to implements candidate assessment system.
  • Includes $38,000 to enhance the Police Stress Management program.

 

Human Rights

  • FY18 approved budget of $1.2 million is an increase of $88,427 (7.7 percent) above the FY17 approved budget.
  • Includes increase of $100,000 to develop an electronic system for compliance with the provisions of Bill 24-15 regarding minimum wages businesses pay to tipped employees.

 

 

Libraries

  • FY18 approved budget of $42.7 million for Montgomery County Public Libraries is an increase of $1.07 million (2.6 percent) over the approved FY17 budget.
  • Includes an increase of 8.7 full-time employees.
  • Includes $232,672 to add the Deaf Culture Digital Library.
  • $394,100 to expand hours at three branches (Kensington Park, Little Falls and Twinbrook).

 

Liquor Control

  • Approved FY18 budget of $65.2 million represents an increase of 3.2 percent from the FY17 approved budget.
  • Earnings transfer to the General Fund is estimated to be $22.7 million, with $19.0 million of that total unrestricted.
  • Reflects debt service payments of $11.0 million.
  • Funding will support continued progress on DLC Improvement Action Plan.
  • Significant enhancements planned for FY18 related to wholesale pricing and markups, warehouse scanning system, updating existing retail stores, improved marketing strategies and classifying more special order items as stock to improve availability.
  • Includes funding to purchase of four new delivery trucks (in addition to the 12 new trucks purchased in FY17).

 

Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

  • FY18 budget approved budget is $167 million, excluding the capital projects fund.
  • Total tax-supported operating budget expenditures, including park debt service, is $133.0 million, an increase of $6.2 million compared to the adopted FY17 tax-supported budget.
  • The approved tax-supported budget for the administration fund, which includes the Planning Department, is $31.2 million.
  • The Council’s restorations to the administration fund budget included adding $70,113 to restore funding for a partnership with the University of Maryland Center for Smart Growth and $300,000 for partial restoration of transfer to Development Review Special Fund.
  • The approved tax-supported budget for the Parks system, which includes 418 parks, is $94.8 million, a $1.3 million increase over the County Executive’s recommendation.
  • The Council’s restorations to reductions that would have been required to meet the Executive funding recommendations include:
  • $125,000 for activating urban parks.
  • $625,463 for improving ballfields.
  • $212,269 to enhance/expand the trail system.
  • $109,541 for operating budget impacts for new and expanded parks.
  • $236,699 for inflationary increases to sustain current level of service at parks/facilities.
  • $81,329 for a Program Access Outreach Specialist to assist with ADA compliance by providing inclusionary services for patrons of park facilities and programs.
  • Also provided a $117,628 from transfer from the Water Quality Protection Fund for the Weed Warrior Program and for a resource analyst.
  • Approved $100,000 transfer from the Cable Fund for a “WiFi in the Parks” pilot program.

 

MC311

·         Approved FY18 budget of $3.8 million for the MC311 centralized customer service center, an increase of 0.5 percent from the FY17 approved budget.

·         $108,140 for two customer service representatives II (at least one bilingual).

 

Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy (MCAEL)

  • FY18 budget of $1.66 million includes an increase of $200,000 over the FY17 level.
  • $50,000 to support additional Adult ESOL programs in schools with Linkages to Learning programs.
  • $50,000 for support for Adult ESOL in workplace programs.

 

Montgomery County Economic Development Corp. / Economic Development

  • Approved $5.0 million appropriation for FY18, an increase of 19.9 percent from FY17, for County’s independent organization that replaced the County’s Department of Economic Development.
  • Includes $750,000 for marketing.
  • Approved $3.3 million for Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO) grants.
  • Most of the MEDCO expenditures support debt service and facility-related payments for the facilities that were previously part of the County's Business Innovation Network (BIN). The BIN network consists of three physical locations: the Silver Spring Innovation Center (SSIC) on Georgia Avenue.  the Rockville Innovation Center (RIC) in Rockville Town Square and the Germantown Innovation Center (GIC) on the campus of Montgomery College.
  • $125,000 to enhance BioHealth Innovation services as part of MECO grant.
  • Approved $4.1 million for County’s Economic Development Fund.

Permitting Services

  • FY18 budget of $38.9 million is an increase of 3.0 percent over the FY17 approved budget. The Department of Permitting Services is treated as enterprise fund and does not require funding from taxes.
  • No changes in permitting fees are proposed for FY18.

 

Public Election Fund

  • Provided $5.095 million for the Public Election Fund for the 2018 election cycle.
  • Including the amount already reserved in the fund brings total amount in the fund to $11 million available for distribution to eligible candidates for eligible expenditures.

Public Information

  • $10,000 to augment outreach and translation services for senior community.

 

Recreation

·         Approved a total budget of $37.8 million for the Department of Recreation, an increase of $3.5 million (10.1 percent) over the FY17 approved budget.

  • Includes net increase of six full-time and three part-time positions—the sixth straight year the number of positions have increased (although the total number of positions remain fewer than pre-recession levels).
  • To increase senior management strength, added $200,075 for one Manager II position and one Manager III position.
  • Added $298,092 for an additional Dream Academy Program to allow a program at JoAnn Leleck at Broad Acres and Harmony Hills elementary schools. Funding will also support the staffing needed for program oversight and expansion.
  • Added $52,742 for an additional day of programming each week at the new Dream Academy site (Leleck at Broad Acres) for half-year.
  • Added $52,742 for an additional day of programming each week at the second highest need Dream Academy program (Harmony Hills) for half-year.
  • Added $97,898 for an additional day of programming each week at the existing

Dream Academy program at South Lake Elementary School for full year.

  • $50,000 to expand Youth Coding, including staff to administer program.

 

Sheriff’s Office

  • Approved budget of $24.2 million for FY18 is a 5.3 percent increase over the FY17 approved budget.
  • Includes funding for two recruit classes in FY18, which will produce a total of 20 graduates.

 

State’s Attorney

  • $16,618 to convert assistant truancy prevention coordinator position from contract to permanent.

 

Technology Services

  • Approved FY18 budget of $43.2 million represents an increase of 3.9 percent over the FY17 approved budget.

 

Transit Services

  • $31.5 million included for Fiscal Years18-20 for study, design and right-of-way purchase for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), including $6.0 million for the U.S. Route 29 line.  The details of station locations and other elements of this BRT line will be identified during FY18.
  • $1 million to initiate a new, limited-stop Ride On Extra route on Route 355 between Lakeforest Mall and the Medical Center Metro Station, starting in October.
  • Nearly $700,000 to operate a new Ride On express route from Clarksburg to the Shady Grove Metro Station.
  • $200,000 to extend Ride On to serve the Clarksburg Premium Outlets.
  • $33,000 to increase the Saturday hours of Seniors Ride Free on Ride On and Metrobus to 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., starting Sept. 2.
  • Raised Ride On fares by 25 cents, effective June 25, to match the fare increase on Metrobus approved by the WMATA Board of Directors.
  • $732,748 for new Ride On service on U.S. 29 starting Jan. 2018 from Burtonsville Park and Ride On via Briggs Chaney Park and Ride, Stewart Lane and Lockwood Drive to the Silver Spring Transit Center.  The service will run every 15 minutes during weekday rush hours.  It will have limited stops, similar to MetroExtra service.  Revenue offset is $115,350.

 

Transportation

  • Increased the budget for residential street resurfacing in FY17 from $3.9 million initially to more than $16.2 million, and for FY18 from $3.1 million initially to nearly $12 million.
  • Did not expand charging parking hours until 10 p.m. weeknights in Silver Spring (as had been recommended by the County Executive).
  • Did not expand charging parking hours to Saturdays in lots and garages in Bethesda (as had been recommended by the Executive.)  Instead, the parking fee will increase by 25 cents per hour, a proposal from the Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce.
  • $496,889 to restore tree planting to FY17 level.
  • $25,000 for distinctive brown street name signs to better identify Rustic and Exceptional Rustic Roads.
  • Accelerated the design for a bikeway along Bowie Mill Road by one year.
  • $646,600 to install 12 new bikeshare stations.

 

Urban Districts

·         $15,000 added to the Silver Spring Urban District for marketing the businesses in Fenton Village.

 

Vision Zero

·         $100,000 for program.

 

WorkSource Montgomery

  • Approved budget of $1.7 million for organization that tries to match the talents and skills of workers with employers’ needs.
  • About 55.4 percent of the organization’s expenditures are for the County's job centers from federal grant funding. County contributions will account for 37.5 percent of WSM's FYI8 revenues.

 

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Release ID: 17-174
Media Contact: Neil Greenberger 240-777-7939