Friday, January 28, 2011
On January 14, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett announced his recommended Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 Capital Budget and proposed amendments to the FY 11-16 Capital Improvements Program (CIP). Recognizing the serious budget constraints facing the County, the recommendations delay some planned projects while focusing only on funding critical capital needs. Some shifts in funds for earlier years in the CIP were made possible by developing more realistic implementation plans for existing projects.
Leggett’s fiscal plan reduces tax-supported current revenue funded projects in FY12. He recommends reductions in the levels of borrowing in FY11 and FY12. Ongoing shortfalls in forecasted revenues for FY11 through FY16 will not support the rising debt service costs. Leggett will continue to scrutinize CIP projects for further opportunities to reduce General Obligation bond borrowing.
In his message to the County Council, Leggett stated he will review all new (pre- construction) facility projects and plans to ensure they are feasible in light of the County’s tight fiscal constraints. He also urged Council members to resist increasing Spending Affordability Guidelines in order to maintain responsible debt capacity levels and ensure continuation of Montgomery County ’s AAA credit rating.
Under a 1996 County Charter amendment, a new CIP is developed in even-numbered calendar years. In alternate years, like 2011, the Executive may recommend amendments to the existing six-year CIP.
Highlights of Leggett’s transportation CIP recommendations are listed below:
Roads and Bridges
To preserve roadways and minimize more costly future repairs, the CIP includes $4 million in additional funding for resurfacing of residential/rural roads as an FY11 supplemental appropriation. Leggett also recommends design and construction of the Platt Ridge Drive Extension project to provide relief for residential neighborhoods adjacent to the Naval Medical Center Base Relocation and Consolidation project. To address safety concerns, funds are provided for facility planning for the Spring Street Bridge and the Brink Road Bridge .
Construction of the Silver Spring Transit Center (SSTC) is one of Leggett’s top priorities because of the enhancements it will bring to transit and transit-oriented development. Budget recommendations provide additional funding for completion of the SSTC. The CIP delays a limited number of bus purchases due to a significant reduction in State and Federal funding. Because of environmental concerns, Leggett recommends delaying the North County Maintenance Depot to assess the feasibility of relocating the project to an alternative site.
Leggett has transmitted his CIP recommendations to the County Council for their approval. The entire CIP is available online.
POSTED AT: 9:00:00 AM