Council to Review Operating Budget Requests

County Council Transit Center briefing for slider 450 x 280The Montgomery County Council will continue its review of County Executive Isiah Leggett’s recommended Fiscal Year 2015 operating budget on May 5. With less than two weeks to go before an expected agreement on the budget, the among the budget requests the Council will review on Monday include those of Montgomery College, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), the Police Department, the Recreation Department and Department of Libraries.

The Council is scheduled to reach a tentative agreement on the budget on May 15 and is scheduled to formally adopt the budget on May 22. The budget will go into effect on July 1.

The Council’s special budget session will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The Council’s morning session, which will begin at 9:30 a.m., and its afternoon session scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast also will be streamed at:

The morning session will begin with a status report on County revenues and expenditures from Council Administrator Steve Farber.

The morning session also will include a review of the budget request of Montgomery College. The County Executive recommended a 3.9 percent increase over the college’s approved FY14 budget.

The Council’s Education voted 3-0 to recommend adding to the reconciliation list potential funding for the Bioscience Education Center, the nursing program and the ACES program.

The morning session also will include review of the budget requests for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission and the Park and Planning Commission. The Council also will receive a report on senior and youth initiatives.

The WSSC had requested a 6.0 percent rate increase for FY15. The Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee recommended an increase of 5.5 percent. The Council will meet formally with the Prince George’s County Council on May 8 to jointly determine the rate increase.

In the afternoon session, the Council will review the proposed FY15-20 Capital Improvements Program funding for Montgomery County Public Schools.

The afternoon session also will include reviews of the budget requests for Recreation, Libraries and Police.

The Recreation budget has been recommended by the Executive for a 6.3 percent increase over the FY14 approved budget, but total expenditures are 4.9 percent below FY08 levels.

Funding for libraries is recommended by the Executive for a 6.7 percent increase over the FY14 approved budget, but the number of positions in the department is 18 percent below FY08 levels. The Council’s Health and Human Services Committee has recommended adding $760,000 to the reconciliation list to open the new Silver Spring Library and at least $249,000 to increase service by four hours per week at 11 libraries. The committee also has recommended that the Council consider adding up to $550,000 to increase library hours even further.

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