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Elrich Announces Capital Budget: Nearly $1.8 Billion for Montgomery County Public Schools

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, January 16, 2019

County Executive Marc Elrich released his recommended FY20 Capital Budget and Amendments to the FY19-24 Capital Improvements Program (CIP). The budget recommends $1.775 billion in Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) funding to build 625 new classrooms in 26 new additions, three new schools, and one reopened school – despite funding challenges. The total Amended FY19-24 CIP is $4.3 billion

“As County Executive, my top priority is maintaining and expanding funding to address the capacity and infrastructure needs of the public schools,” said Elrich. “But, during the first few weeks of my tenure as County Executive, I was faced with a reduction of almost $122 million in CIP revenues. In particular, Schools Impact Taxes were projected to decrease by $120.7 million. With little time to prepare the January biennial CIP, I was faced with a budget where any increase would require other reductions – and then I’d need to make even further reductions to balance the CIP. I directed our team to develop a budget that maintained funding for all previously approved MCPS projects that the Board of Education requested.  Then we went to work to preserve key capital projects within available funding.”

With fewer dollars available, it was necessary to find cost savings, to defer some projects, and to look for other funding sources to meet the County’s capital needs.  One project with significant savings is the Montrose Parkway East project.  Elrich determined that, as previously approved, the project was too large, too costly, and did not present a viable solution; and he eliminated funding for constructing the old project and included planning funding to develop alternative solutions to the local safety and traffic problems.

 “I regret that we did not have enough funds to support the Board’s increased funding requests,” Elrich added.  “We must generate additional funding to support more classrooms, security enhancements, and investments in infrastructure. I will work with the Council, the Board of Education, our state legislative delegation, the Governor, and advocates to pursue all options for funding our schools.” 

Among the amendment highlights:

  • Includes $1.775 billion in MCPS funding. State Aid is assumed to continue at $355.7 million;
  • Includes $279.6 million for Montgomery College. This includes increased funding for the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Math & Science Center, a new Collegewide Central Plant and Distribution Systems project, and to renovate the Rockville campus soccer field. Non-County funding sources made it possible for the College budget to increase by $2.3 million, or 0.8 percent. Total State Aid for the College is $65.0 million;
  • Includes $231.1 million for the Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). Non-County resources made a $11.2 million, or 5.1 percent, M-NCPPC increase possible.  A new Bethesda Park Impact Payments project ($10 million) will help acquire needed parkland in the urbanized Bethesda sector plan; 
  • Maintains $47.5 million in funding for Bus Rapid Transit initiatives;
  • Includes $72.0 million for the South County Recreation and Aquatic Center – a partnership with the Housing Opportunities Commission;
  • Addresses critical infrastructure needs related to bridge renovations, highway maintenance, LED streetlights, and the Council Office Building Garage; and
  • Adds a study to develop options for making County services more accessible to the Poolesville community.

To see the recommended FY20 Capital Budget and the $4.3 billion amended FY19-24 Capital Improvements Program, click here.

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Media Contact: 

Release ID: 19-024
Media Contact: Ohene Gyapong 240-777-6507