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Leggett Unveils Final Capital Construction Budget; Highlights 12 Years of Progress in Capital Priorities Despite Tough Fiscal Times

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Schools, Road Maintenance, Housing, Job Growth Lead Way

County Executive Ike Leggett today released his recommended FY19 Capital Budget and six-year FY19-24 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) – his final Capital Budget as County Executive.

His six-year CIP totals $4.521 billion. It includes $1.751 billion for the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), the highest level ever. Including this recommendation, MCPS capital funding under Leggett has grown by $577.8 million  – a 49.2 -percent increase - over the past 12 years.

The budget also includes $281.2 million for Montgomery College’s Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring campuses.

Capital budget support for business and job creation includes funding for Marriott’s new headquarters in Bethesda and development in White Flint, White Oak, and Wheaton. It includes a $33 million boost in support for affordable housing and a $36.6 million increase – a 28 percent - in road maintenance funding over the previous CIP.

Highlights of 12 Years

Leggett also took the opportunity to highlight the substantial progress made over his 12 years in opening and renovating new County facilities of all types, adding more than 21,000 classroom seats in public schools, opening a record number of new fire stations, and expanding Montgomery College – as well as expanded funding for such “back to basics” as road repaving and maintenance, clean energy buses, and snow removal apparatus.

“For the past 12 years, my team and I have – quite literally – been building the future for Montgomery County,” said Leggett. “My ‘Smart Growth Initiative’ has swapped and sold County land to open up job-creating investment in our biotech corridor and made possible thousands of units of transit-oriented housing near the Shady Grove Metro while delivering new County facilities that can serve the taxpayers for decades.

“During the past 12 years, we have invested to build six new schools, 44 additions, and renovate and expand 27 schools. That translates to 21,043 new ‘seats’ for our kids and grandkids. That’s almost a 50-percent increase in the MCPS capital budget over 12 years.

“Led by our Department of General Services, we have finished 50 major County government building projects – and that doesn’t even include schools, College, or parks facilities. That represents more projects completed in my 12 years during the Great Recession and tough economic times than the 37 completed during the 12 years before I was elected, during the economic ‘boom.’ In addition, we have built 42 more secondary projects. I also anticipate another half dozen projects to be finished before I leave in December and a number of others that we’ve started – such as the new Wheaton Library and Recreation Center and the new Wheaton County office building – will open following my departure from office.

“But we haven’t just been building new projects. We’ve also done the ‘back to basics’ work on maintaining and improving what we already have. I have increased funding for taking care of primary roads by $53.7 million – a remarkable 136 percent - and resurfacing of residential and rural roads by $197.9 million - an astounding 1,330 percent – both figures compared to the 12 years before I took office. 

Highlights from Leggett’s 12 years of capital spending include the following:

  • 50 Major County Government Projects Completed (More than the 37 in previous 12 “boom” years despite bad economy)
  • 42 Secondary County Projects Completed
  • The Smart Growth Initiative. An award-winning, comprehensive program initiated by County Executive Leggett.  The program was launched to move County agency industrial uses from valuable land located near the Shady Grove Metro Station and within the biotech corridor.  These moves made these properties available for more appropriate transit-oriented mixed-use development, and hi-tech job creation. It included relocating the Equipment Maintenance and Transit Operations Center, the Department of Liquor Control Warehouse Facility, the MCPS Food Distribution Center, MCPS and Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) Facilities Maintenance Depots management, and the existing Public Safety Training Academy. A new Public Safety headquarters (co-locating Police and Fire & Rescue together) was established and a new state-of-the-art Public Safety Training Academy was constructed.

Public Schools

  • Nearly 50 Percent (49.2 percent) Increase in Capital Resources for Our Public Schools During the Past 12 years.
  • 21,043 Public School Classroom Seats Added  
  • 6 New Schools – 4 Elementary (Arcola, William B. Gibbs Jr., Flora M. Singer, and Wilson Wims), 2 Middle (Hallie Wells & Silver Creek)
  • 44 School Additions
  • 27 School Renovations/Expansions, plus 12 Gym Renovations 
  • $472.4 Million Won in State Money for County School Construction (FY08-18) 

Higher Education

  • New Montgomery College Facilities include Rockville Science Center, Rockville Parking garage, Takoma Park Cultural Arts Center, and Germantown Bioscience Education Center. Project renovations include the Rockville Science West and Science East buildings. In progress are: the Rockville Student Services Center, the Germantown Science & Applied Studies Center, and the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Math & Science Building.
  • New Parking Garage for the Universities at Shady Grove to Leverage Significant State investment for New Biomedical Sciences/Engineering Education Building.

Libraries & Community Centers 

  • 10 New & Renovated Community & Recreation Centers. New Recreation facilities providing space for senior programs include Mid-County, White Oak, and Nancy H. Dacek North Potomac. Modernizations/renovations - Ross Boddy Neighborhood Recreation Center, Plum Gar Neighborhood Recreation Center, Scotland Neighborhood Recreation Center, Good Hope Neighborhood Recreation Center, Wisconsin Place Community Recreation Center, Western County Outdoor Pool, and the Potomac Adaptive Sports Court.  
  • 2 New Libraries (Silver Spring & Germantown) 
  • 8 Refreshed and Renovated Libraries (Olney, Gaithersburg, Twinbrook, Kensington Park, Davis, Little Falls, Aspen Hill, and Quince Orchard). The Bethesda and White Oak refreshes will open in the spring. Twelve branches can be refreshed with County funding of $14.5 million compared with $13-$23 million costs for the two most recently renovated libraries. Under the Refresh program, branches are closed only 4-6 months compared with 2-3 years for full renovations.

Affordable Housing

  • More than $1 Billion Invested in Affordable Housing 
  • Over 63,000 Affordable Housing Units Preserved or Created 
  • 16 New Senior Housing Projects, eight completed, two underway, and six committed.  In all, these projects create or preserve nearly 1,900 total senior rental units.  

Public Safety 

  • Ten New & Renovated Fire & Rescue Stations (Kingsview, Travilah, West Germantown, East Germantown, Wheaton, Burtonsville, Cabin John Park, Milestone, Glenmont, and Takoma Park. Clarksburg, Kensington/Aspen Hill & White Flint in the works). Only one new station built in previous 12 years. 
  • Won a 5-year Fight to Implement the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Transportation Insurance Reimbursement Program. Since implementation: $82.2 million in EMS revenue has been generated from insurance carriers for equipment and apparatus maintenance and replacement, fuel, facility improvements, program enhancements, and support for Local Fire Rescue Departments.
  • 3 New County Police District Stations, with a fourth on the way.
  • Deployed Police Body Cameras to enhance public trust, increase accountability, and improve evidentiary capture of police events.  Montgomery County is one of the first large jurisdictions to equip the entire patrol force with this equipment. 
  • Opened a New Animal Services and Adoption Center to replace previous dilapidated facility. Nearly 2,000 pets are adopted from the center each year.

Transit

  • Four New Transit Centers (Silver Spring, Montgomery Mall, White Oak, and Takoma/Langley). The Silver Spring Transit Center handles 10 million trips annually.
  • In Coordination with the Purple Line Construction, improvements slated for the south entrance for the Bethesda Metrorail Station; Capital Crescent Trail, and the Silver Spring Green Trail. The Purple Line will provide faster and more reliable service for the region’s east-west travel, improve connectivity and access to existing and planned activity centers, increase service for transit-dependent residents, reduce traffic congestion, and spur economic development along the corridor.
  • 629 New Buses Bought, 123 using clean energy.
  • Initial Funding for the Establishment of a Bus Rapid Transit System, beginning with the Route 29 corridor in East County.
  • 7 New or Expanded Bus Routes
  • 3,083 County Bus Stop Improvements -- to improve comfort, safety, and accessibility.

Roads

  • 136 Percent Increase – or $53.7 million - in Money Spent Fixing Primary Roads as compared to the 12 years prior to Leggett assuming office.
  • 1338 Percent Increase -  or 197.9 million - in Money Spent Fixing Residential Roads as compared to the 12 years prior to Leggett assuming office. 
  • 344 New Snowplows Bought 
  • A New State-of-the Art, County-wide Computer Traffic Signalization System 
  • 36 Miles of New Sidewalks (190,080 feet) 
  • $6.6 Million in County Funding for Projects Related to the Base Realignment and Closure Commission Relocation of Walter Reed Army Hospital to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda to upgrade major intersections to improve vehicle and pedestrian mobility, to enhance access to the Medical Center Metro station, and to build new and renovated bicycle paths and sidewalks. This supplements $109.4 million won in State and federal funding.
  • 66 New Traffic-Calming and Pedestrian-Safety Projects
  • 73 Bikeshare Stations located throughout the County, with 571 bicycles.

Growing Business & Creating Jobs

  • Funding to Spur Economic Development and Grow 100,000 Quality Jobs in the County Through Public-Private Partnerships to develop White Oak, White Flint, and Wheaton, as well as areas impacted by the Smart Growth Initiative -- the projected biggest single growth in jobs in County history - more jobs than were added over the last 20 years combined. 
  • White Oak Science Gateway Master Plan envisions housing, retail, and a hub for medical and life-sciences research adjacent to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration headquarters.  The proposed 280-acre development will expand the County and State tax base and transform formerly industrial property to a mixed-use employment hub for the eastern part of the County.
  • White Flint Redevelopment – Funding for roadway improvements, additional bike lanes, a new fire station, and completion of a new Conference Center parking garage.  The public investment is transforming White Flint into a transit-oriented destination and has sparked a great deal of private residential and commercial development. 
Wheaton Redevelopment – A public-private partnership to provide a new office complex for the M-NCPPC headquarters and other County offices, related parking, and a town square to revitalize and re-energize Wheaton through transit-oriented development.   Creation of the Silver Spring Fillmore, a live music and entertainment Created Ultra Montgomery to Develop Ultra-Fast Fiber and WiFi Networks to connect business, academic, and federal institutions along major corridors.

County Facilities

  • Silver Spring Civic Building has become the focal point in the community since its opening with Veterans Plaza in 2010, hosting more than 6,500 community meetings and events. 
  • 4.3 Million Service Requests handled by the County 311 Call Center
  • New Dennis Avenue Health Center 
  • New Progress Place complex for providing services for the homeless and affordable housing 
  • 16 major solar projects generating 11 million kilowatt hours of electricity each year (enough to power nearly 1,100 single-family homes) and save $15 million in utility costs during the next 20 years.  
  • Hundreds of millions of dollars invested in stormwater management and in Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission infrastructure maintenance and improvements. 
  • Connected 255 County sites to FiberNet during the past 12 years.

Parks

  • Acquired 2,800 acres of new parkland during the last 12 years 
  • Added 49 miles of natural surface trails and more than five miles of hard surface trails
  • New Parks and Parks facilities funded include:  
  • New Parks
    • Woodstock Equestrian Park, the County’s first equestrian park with 870 acres
    • Urban parks such as Germantown Town Center, Kemp Mill, and Western Grove Urban Park
    • Woodlawn Barn Visitors Center
    • Greenbriar Local Park
    • Darnestown Heritage Park
    • Elmhirst Parkway Neighborhood Park
    • Warner Circle Special Park
  • New Facilities: 
    • Matthew Henson Trail – 4.2 miles of new hard surface trail
    • Black Hill Trail Extension – 1.2 miles of new hard surface trail
    • Rock Creek Trail Pedestrian Bridge (over Veirs Mill Road) 
    • King Dairy Barn “Mooseum” (at South Germantown Recreational Park)
    • Synthetic Turf Ballfields for Blair Local Park, Martin Luther King Recreational Park, and Fairland Recreational Park

In terms of the FY19 capital budget and six-year capital program, Leggett is continuing his focus on school needs, transportation, economic development, affordable housing, and Montgomery College – all within his overall perspective of prudently spending County tax monies.

“I have said ‘yes’ to investments in many critically-needed projects in my last capital budget and six-year program,” said Leggett. “But I have had to say ‘no’ to other projects to stay within the resources we have available. I want to reduce the debt service payments that take away valuable resources in our Operating Budget.”

The FY19-24 budget recommends more than $2 billion for education, including $1.751 billion for the MCPS, the highest funding level ever provided, as well as $281.2 million for Montgomery College.

In keeping with Leggett’s strong focus on job creation and business growth, the budget provides critical support for such initiatives as the Marriott headquarters relocation (leveraging $22 million in State incentives, $500 million in public-private investment, and 3,500 jobs), White Oak Science Gateway, Wheaton revitalization, White Flint redevelopment, and Bus Rapid Transit, designed to connect with job centers, beginning with the US Route 29 highway.

Among the highlights:

  • $1.751 billion for the Montgomery County Public Schools. The budget assumes $355.2 million in State aid.
  • $281.2 million for Montgomery College.  The budget assumes $68.7 million in State aid. This includes $21.3 million to renovate College libraries on the Rockville, Takoma Park/Silver Spring, and Germantown campuses and to begin construction of the Germantown Student Services Center.  It will complete construction of the new Rockville Student Services Center, the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Math and Science Center, and the Germantown Science and Applied Studies Renovation.
  • $166.1 million in funding for the maintenance and resurfacing of residential, rural, and primary arterial roads, a $36.6 million – or 28 percent – increase.
  • $33 million for affordable housing, bringing the County Executive’s total investment in this area to more than one billion dollars during the past 12 years.
  • $421.2 million for Marriott, White Oak, Wheaton and White Flint redevelopment, designed to grow business and jobs and leverage significant private investment.
  • $49.4 million for the first stage of the Bus Rapid Transit system along Route 29 in the East County and planning money for the Route 355 corridor. The project leverages $10 million in federal funds.

To see the recommended FY19 Capital Budget and amended FY19-24 Capital Improvements Program, click this link: montgomerycountymd.gov/capitalbudget

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Release ID: 18-439
Media Contact: Patrick Lacefield 240-777-6528