County Council Approves $4.99 Billion FY15 Operating Budget
The Montgomery County Council today unanimously approved a $4.99 billion total County operating budget for Fiscal Year 2015. The budget, which reflects a 3.8 percent increase over the approved budget for FY 2014, allowed the Council to “accomplish much given the resources available,” said Council President Craig Rice.
The Council also unanimously approved the Fiscal Years 2015-20 six-year Capital Improvements Program. The budget will go into effect on July 1.
The FY15 aggregate operating budget was approved 9-0. Voting to approve the budget were Council President Rice, Vice President George Leventhal and Councilmembers Phil Andrews, Roger Berliner, Cherri Branson, Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen, George Leventhal and Hans Riemer.
The total County budget, including debt service, grants and enterprise funds, will be $4.99 billion, an increase of 3.8 percent from the FY14 approved budget. The overall tax-supported portion of the budget will be $4.35 billion, including debt service, an increase of 3.8 percent from the FY14 budget.
The budget also maintains property tax revenue at the Charter limit (last year’s amount plus an inflation-tied increase). It includes a $692 property tax credit for owner-occupants of principal residences. The weighted property tax rate will decrease to 99.6 cents per $100 of assessed value (from $1.01).
Since March 17, when County Executive Isiah Leggett presented his recommended budget, the Council worked to complete the final blueprint.
The Council’s budget protects core services and “safety net” programs. The Council continued its strong support of the Montgomery Cares program by adding $960,200 to increase reimbursement for Montgomery Cares services. The Council provided funds to enhance behavioral health service in the Montgomery Cares program, and included an additional $225,000 for adult outpatient mental health services and $250,000 to establish a mobile crisis response team for children and adults. The Council also approved $46,206 in grants to the Montgomery Cares clinic.
The budget funds an increase in the County’s match for the Working Families Income Supplement from 85 percent in FY14 to 90 percent in FY15, as required under a new law enacted by the Council in 2013.
“I am proud of our work and the collaborative spirit that went into this year’s budget, and that we were able to accomplish much given the resources available,” said Council President Rice. “I am very pleased that the Council, in working together with Montgomery County Public Schools, the Board of Education and the County Executive, was able to fully fund the educational programs of the school budget this year. It is the result of our shared commitment to education and to our children and this budget includes initiatives directed at addressing the achievement gap.
“Another major accomplishment this year was the increased funding for Montgomery College, which allows for additional staffing and programming, especially in the STEM and biomedical fields. There are a great number of successes in this budget, including restoration of materials and hours in our libraries, staffing of police and the Fire and Rescue Service and providing for our most vulnerable with critical safety net services.”
The Council approved a total budget of $2.28 billion, including $2.14 billion in tax-supported funds, to fully fund the educational budget request of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). The funding represents an increase of $51.4 million (2.6 percent increase from FY14) in the total budget. This meets the Maintenance of Effort requirement of the State of Maryland. The school budget represents 55 percent of all agency spending.
The County also will be adding 10 School Resource Officers, eight more than were included in the Executive’s original recommended budget. Council committees had recommended adding eight additional SROs, which when added to those already in the program would give the County one at every high school. The Executive sent a budget adjustment in April that agreed with the recommendation of the Council committees and provided funding for eight additional SROs.
The Council approved a total budget of $297.0 million for Montgomery College, including $244.5 million in tax-supported funds. This is an increase of $16 million (7.3 percent) from the FY14 approved budget. The funding provides 99.9 percent of the College’s tax-supported request and includes $3.5 million for the Germantown Bioscience Education Center.
Funding for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission will increase by $7.8 million over the FY14 approved budget to $140.3 million, a 5.9 percent increase. Although this does not fully fund the agency request, it is $1.2 million more than recommended by the County Executive, enabling significant increases in park maintenance and planning studies.
The Council approved the Executive’s recommended funding for the second year of each collective bargaining agreement with an organization that represents County employees. As in past years, salary and benefit costs for active and retired employees of all agencies account for four-fifths of the FY15 operating budget.
The Executive’s agreements with County unions include both general wage adjustments (COLAs) and service increments (step increases). For employees eligible for both (and for full or partial make-up step increases for public safety employees, the increases in FY15 are 6.75 percent for members of UFCW Local 1994/Montgomery County Government Employees Organization, 7.35 percent for Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 35, and 9.75 percent for International Association of Fire Fighters Local 1664.
A key compensation issue in the recommended budget is pre-funding for retiree health benefits (OPEB – Other Post-Employment Benefits). All four agencies (also including Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission) plan to implement the Medicare Part D Employer Group Waiver Program (EGWP) for prescription drug coverage for Medicare-eligible retirees/survivors effective Jan. 1, 2015. Because of this change and other factors, the recommended FY15 tax supported allocation for OPEB pre-funding, $100.6 million, is $81.8 million (44.8 percent) less than projected in the approved FY14-19 Fiscal Plan last June.
To aid both residents and businesses, the Council took another significant step in rolling back the energy tax increase approved as an emergency measure three years ago. In each of the previous two years, the Council reduced the increase by 10 percent. This year, the Council reduced the increase by another 7 percent.
The budget provides County reserves of $379.1 million, which represents 8.4 percent of adjusted governmental revenues.
The Council approved $2.47 million for 82 Council community grants to nonprofit organizations to support a variety of programs and services, including food, eviction prevention, utility assistance and other safety net services, as well as grants for positive youth development and after-school programs. This amount is in addition to the $5.6 million in community grants recommended by the County Executive.
The complete list of Council Grants can be found here.
The Council continued its commitment to restore recent reductions to the County Libraries budget. The approved budget of $37.2 million is a 6.7 percent increase from the approved FY14 level and includes full funding for the new Silver Spring Library that will open in fall. It also increases hours at 11 libraries. The Council added $550,000 to the Executive’s recommendation to further increase library hours.
The approved budget strongly supports the County’s public safety commitment. The budget for the Department of Police is $274 million, an increase of $13 million (5.0 percent) from the FY14 approved budget. The budget includes funding for 31 additional officers and two forensic scientists. Of the 31 additional sworn positions, 10 are new School Resource Officers.
The budget for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service is $225.2 million, an increase of $6.6 million (3.0 percent) from the FY14 approved budget. The budget funds two full recruit classes.
The Council re-emphasized its support of school-based after-school programs by approving the addition of one middle school site for the Excel Beyond the Bell program and adding a sports academy at Watkins Mill High School. A new Linkages to Learning site at South Lakes Elementary School also was added.
In its continued effort to expand adult literacy and outreach services, the Council included in the budget $230,000 for the Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy.
The County’s Capital Improvements Program (CIP) is the focus of major review every two years. The Council approved $4.45 billion of spending in the FY 2015-20 CIP.
Councilmember statements on the approved budget:
Council Vice President George Leventhal: “I am gratified that we were able to substantially increase funding for the Montgomery Cares network of health clinics for critical needs such as behavioral health and specialty care, and that we were able to provide increased housing and services for our most vulnerable residents.”
Councilmember Phil Andrews: “I am very pleased that the Council unanimously voted for the third straight year to reduce the huge 2010 increase in the energy tax, a proposal I made in March in order to improve the County’s economic competitiveness and keep the promise made by the County Council and County Executive in 2010. Reducing the energy tax has been difficult because the County Executive has used revenues from it to fund large salary increases for County employees. To its credit, the Council got it done anyway.
“It was crucial that the County Council provide support for Montgomery County Public Schools without exceeding the Maintenance of Effort (MOE) level required by the State. Had the Council approved County Executive Leggett’s proposal to exceed the MOE level by $26 million, it would have locked taxpayers into paying $26 million more annually indefinitely, a total of $260 million over the next decade. I am pleased that the Council unanimously voted to fund the entire MCPS budget request without going above MOE and without handcuffing taxpayers and future County Councils. That’s why I am pleased to vote for this MCPS budget.
“I am also pleased that the Council approved my proposals to increase funding for infrastructure repairs by $10 million, to add a total of 10 additional School Resource (police) Officers (SROs) to improve school safety, and to add funds for expansion of library hours. I hope that the Department of Libraries will choose to use those funds to open all libraries on Sundays, the day of the week when the most people are not working and can use libraries. All of our County liquor stores are open on Sundays, and it shouldn’t be harder to check out a book than to check out the County’s wine selection.
“However, I am very concerned that the Council approved pay raises for County employees of 6.75 percent to 9.75 percent for a second consecutive year – excessive raises that County Executive Leggett agreed to with our County unions. County employees work hard, do an excellent job delivering important services, and deserve a pay raise, but the raises need to be reasonable and sustainable, not excessive and unsustainable. Theses raises will cost $73 million in FY 2015 and $85 million in FY 2016. Since pay and benefits comprise 70 percent of the County Government’s budget and drive tax rates, and since the level of pay raises approved will make it difficult to keep taxes at reasonable levels, I voted against the County Government budget.
In many ways, the overall budget contains many services and programs that will benefit the residents and businesses of the County. I am glad I was able to help shape many important parts of this budget that would not have been included without the Council’s input. That is why I voted to approve the overall operating budget.”
Councilmember Roger Berliner: “This is a budget that focuses on the basics—taking care of our schools, taking care of our roads, putting more officers on the beat and reducing taxes. We are attending to the fundamentals of local government while still taking care of our most vulnerable.”
Councilmember Cherri Branson: “A budget is a policy and priority document that transforms rhetoric into commitment. I supported this year’s Council budget because I believe that it moves this County forward in fulfilling our commitments to our most vulnerable residents while assuring prudent fiscal policy.
“As a member of the Education Committee, I am grateful that this $4.99 billion budget fully funds the education programs for Montgomery County Public Schools and provides the necessary resources to assure that Montgomery College obtains the funding support that it deserves. I also enthusiastically supported our non-profit community that works tirelessly to make sure that Montgomery County is a great place to call home for all of our residents.”
Councilmember Marc Elrich: “I am very happy with the totality of the approved budget. We have continued to restore cuts to County services that had been made during the recession, and I’m particularly pleased with improvements to libraries and recreation services and improvements to Parks maintenance.
“We were also able to address the needs of Montgomery College, which continues to provide excellent services even as it meets more demand, and the agreement with the school system provides the resources to meet its needs. The school budget received far more attention than in the past and this will be followed up with a much broader discussion about children and what are the factors that contribute to their success in school.
“I regret that we were unable to fund some important things on our reconciliation list and instead chose to reduce the energy tax by 7 percent instead of 5 percent. That 2 percent difference amounts to whopping $3 per homeowner a year reduction, and I felt the money would have been better spent fixing roads, sidewalks, broken traffic signals and signs, along with some other improvements to social services.
“All in all, this is a fiscally responsible budget that continues our work to restore services that fell victim to the recession.”
Councilmember Nancy Floreen: “Not only did we fully fund our educational assets, we made economic development and job creation a high priority. We fully funded the Montgomery Business Development Corporation so that it can continue to provide us with an invaluable business perspective on expanding our economy. We also added new positions in the Department of Economic Development that will allow the department to enhance its programs.
“With these decisions, we are investing in our long-term growth. Only through job creation will our residents, and our county as a whole, be able to achieve the future we envision. Also with an eye to helping families and businesses thrive, we decreased the proposed energy tax. While I wish we could eliminate the energy tax increase from FY11 entirely, I’m glad we at least were able to reduce it by seven percent. Times remain tough for many of our residents and businesses, so any relief we can provide will help.”
Councilmember Nancy Navarro: “The Council’s FY15 budget fully funds the school system’s request, continues to restore the cuts undertaken during the Great Recession and reflects our progressive priorities. It expands safety net services, provides for increased community organizing and other enhancements to improve quality of life in borderline neighborhoods, and increases recreation and connectivity for vulnerable youth and seniors.”
Councilmember Hans Riemer: “I am very pleased that the Council was able to fund so many new initiatives in the MCPS budget, particularly those that target our most challenged schools, and meet the request of Montgomery College, our great workforce accelerator.
“I am grateful to my colleagues for supporting a number of my personal initiatives, including a new capital budget program for bicycle and pedestrian improvements, the acquisition of five new Ride On buses and moving the County government to 100 percent clean energy starting in July. We funded the start of a new countywide tree planting initiative that I have worked with the County Executive to design. Finally, continuing my work to strengthen our local EITC, we are expanding support for programs that help low income residents file taxes. All of these improvements are being made in a budget that fully meets our commitments to increased rainy day reserves and also reduces our residents’ tax burden with a property tax rate reduction and an energy tax reduction.”
Key Council Actions Regarding FY 2015 Montgomery County Operating Budget and the FY 2015-20 Capital Improvements Program:
Montgomery County Public Schools
- Approved a total budget of $2.28 billion, including $2.14 billion in tax-supported funds, to fully fund the educational budget request of Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS). The funding represents an increase of $51.4 million (2.6 percent increase from FY14) in the total budget. This meets the Maintenance of Effort requirements.
- The approved budget funds 100 percent of the Board of Education’s educational and programmatic budget request.
- The approved budget represents 55 percent of all County agency spending.
- Approved budget includes a total of $37.8 million in County funds as the local contribution to State retirement for teachers, as required by the General Assembly in 2012.
- Provides funding for 336.2 full-time positions over the approved level for FY 14, for a total of 21,579.9 full-time positions.
- Includes 1.5 percent general wage agreement increase (COLAs) for eligible employees, taking effect in November 2014. Eligible employees will receive step increases.
- Funded a total of $26.8 million for MCPS Technology Modernization in FY15, which meets the full amount of the Board of Education’s requested increase through a combination of new County dollars and Federal E-rate Reimbursement.
- Approved a total budget of $297.0 million, including $244.5 million in tax-supported funds.This is an increase of $16 million (7.3 percent) from the FY14 approved budget.
- Approved budget funds 99.9 percent of the College’s tax-supported request.
- Provided $3.5 million for the Germantown Bioscience Education Center.
- Added $2.0 million for the Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES) high school program aimed at those who are under-represented in higher education; for additional resources to address the increase in financial aid applications; to add advising resources to enhance intervention with students to provide pathways to success and completion and to provide Welcome Centers which offer one-stop shops for students seeking assistance with application, enrollment and advising.
- Added $1.3 million for new full-time faculty members across the three campuses for sciences, math and engineering and to increase the size of the nursing program.
Fire and Rescue Service
- Total approved budget is $225.2 million, an increase of $6.6 million over the FY14 approved budget.
- Funded two full recruit classes.
- Funded a total of $56 million for a six-year Apparatus Replacement Plan.
- The FY14 budget is $274 million, an increase of $13 million (5.0 percent) from the FY14 approved budget.
- Includes funding for 31 additional officers (including 10 School Resource Officers) and two forensic scientists.
- Adds a Wheaton patrol unit and a Germantown Central Business District unit.
Health and Human Services
- Approved a total budget of $277.7 million, a 6.2 percent increase from the FY14 approved budget.
- $469,487 for 1 percent inflationary adjustment to contracts with non-profit organizations.
- $260,000 for Montgomery Cares electronic health records clinic systems.
- $256,000 for Montgomery Cares behavioral health, patient survey, pharmacy assessment, pharmacy and special care
- $164,700 for Montgomery Cares training for Medicaid participation, pharmacy and specialty care.
- $279,000 for Montgomery Cares behavioral health expansion and population health data study.
- $10,171 for 1 percent inflation adjustment to residential treatment providers.
- $250,000 for Mobile Crisis Team for Children and Adolescents.
- $165,000 for shared psychiatric services with outpatient clinics.
- $25,000 for African American Health Program data analyst.
- $25,000 for African American Health Program health workers.
- $25,000 for African American Health Program mental health programming.
- $75,000 for Asian American Health Initiative staff for mental health program.
- $25,000 for Asian American Health Initiative to recruit and train health promoters for mental health education.
- $100,000 for Welcome Back Centers for foreign trained professionals.
- $20,000 to increase Care for Kids.
- $225,000 to enhance Adult Outpatient Behavioral Health.
- $288,136 to increase the supplement for providers of services to the developmentally disabled.
- $64,065 to provide adult day care to 11 seniors.
- $100,000 for energy assistance to needy families.
- $36,790 for IMPACT Silver Spring program at Connecticut Ave. Estates and Bel Pre.
- $35,000 for IMPACT Silver Spring programs in East County.
- $60,880 for Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to help 1,500 households with tax preparation.
- $35,000 for Family Services’ Neighborhood Opportunity Network.
- $96,000 for Capital Area Food Bank Family Market (three sites).
- $48,180 to increase adult foster care rates
- $41,500 to increase homeless outreach for Bethesda Cares (combine with $28,500 from community grants for total of $70,000).
- $82,113 for staff for Interagency Commission on Homelessness.
- $65,496 for Program Specialist II position to provide coordination and support to High School Wellness Center and the Positive Youth Development program.
- $249,165 to reduce wait list for pre-kindergarten services at Centro Nia.
- $80,000 to support a full-time coordinator at Centro Nia.
- $240,822 to provide full staffing for Linkages to Learning programs at New Hampshire Estates, Harmony Hills, Highland, Wheaton Woods and Weller Road Elementary Schools.
Arts and Humanities
- Provided $4.3 million for the Arts and Humanities Council to assist Montgomery County arts and humanities organizations.
- Increased support to large arts organizations by 14.5 percent and to small and mid-size organizations by 25 percent.
- Added $90,000 to be used to fund grants for artists in the Wheaton Arts and Entertainment district.
Cable Communications Plan and Cable TV
- $100,000 added for Gandhi Brigade and enhancement of other youth media organizations.
- $349,000 to support Takoma Park’s PEG operations.
- $75,000 to support the White Flint Advisory Committee (streetscaping guidelines, maintenance and promotional activities).
Consolidated Retiree Health Benefits Trust (MCPS)
- $1.2 million for MCPS funding plan.
Correction and Rehabilitation
- Approved total budget of $71.1 million, a 6.8 percent increase from FY14.
- $89,207 for a psychiatric community health nurse.
- $53,526 for a correctional records coordinator.
- $128,908 for two correctional officers for perimeter security.
- $64,454 for one correctional officer for pre-trial.
- $30,700 for full funding for the Identity contract.
Council Community Grants
- Approved $2.47 million, $871,832 above the $1.6 million allocation in the Executive’s recommend budget, for 82 Council grants to nonprofit organizations to support a variety of programs and services, including food, eviction prevention, utility assistance and other safety net services to help low income families facing severe economic hardships.
- The funding also supports proposals from community nonprofit organizations to provide after-school programs for County youth, programs to help disabled residents attain employment, and programs to improve quality of life for our County’s seniors.
- Provided $1,287,368 to assist with capital improvements proposed by the following nonprofit community organizations: The ARC of Montgomery County, Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy, Catholic Charities, Easter Seals, Family Services, Graceful Growing Together, Jewish Community Center, Jewish Council for the Aging, Jewish Federation, Jewish Social Service Agency, Muslim Community Center, Potomac Community Resources and Warrior Canine Connection.
- County funds will leverage private and State funding for projects including an intergenerational center; security for a men’s shelter; additional space and/or renovations for various nonprofit centers; a community center in Bethesda; a new facility for at-risk seniors in Silver Spring; housing for individuals with disabilities and renovations for the canine center that provides services to veterans and service members who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress or traumatic brain injury.
- $71,372 for Community Ministries of Rockville Kaseman Clinic for a registered nurse and medical assistant.
- $96,914 for Mary’s Center for Maternal Health and Child Care for a family service worker, health educator and for health promotion.
- $38,250 for MedStar Montgomery for an Emergency Department Navigation Program.
- $30,000 for Mercy Health Clinic for a pharmacy program.
- $49,670 for Mobile Medical Clinic (Mobile Med) for its breast health and specialty care program.
- $50,000 for Proyecto Salud for breast, colorectal and cervical cancer programs.
- $100,000 for Muslim Medical Center dental clinic start-up.
- $25,000 for Muslim Medical Center Medical Clinic quality assurance program.
- $217,895 to increase funding available for acquiring agricultural land preservation easements.
- $89,581 to fund an additional Business Development Specialist to support economic development efforts related to agriculture.
- $100,000 to enhance Montgomery County’s innovation ecosystem by funding challenge grants, prizes and awards for firms in cyber security, software development and information technology.
- $95,000 to fund a Program Manager responsible for administration of complex partnerships, sponsorships and contracts with the Department of Economic Development’s service delivery partners.
- $77,500 increase to the budget to support workforce development efforts by providing students/trainees with child care and transportation stipends, tuition assistance, and career navigation support.
- $40,000 to increase funding for Montgomery Business Development Corporation’s rapidly expanding marketing efforts.
Energy and Environment
- Reduced the revenue from the FY11 increase to County fuel/energy tax by 7 percent ($8.03 million)—the third consecutive year the Council has voted to reduce the increase in the tax.
- Voted along with Prince George’s County Council to increase water and sewer charges for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission by 5.5 percent. The increase focuses on financing water and sewer reconstruction programs. The increase would mean an approximate increase of $4.10 per month for customers using 210 gallons of water per day.
- WSSC FY15 operating budget is $707.2 million, which is $8.4 million (1.2 percent) more than the FY14 approved operating budget.
- Provides $26 million for the large diameter Pre-stressed Concrete Cylinder Pipe (PCCP) program to provide inspections of the PCCP and monitoring to detect weaknesses. This includes funding to establish a program to inspect, repair and replace large valves.
- Funds replacement of 60 miles of small diameter water mains.
- $207,816 for implementation of Bill 6-14 that creates an Office of Sustainability in the Department of Environmental Protection.
- Added $320,000 above the Executive’s recommended funding to the Water Quality Protection Fund to provide for increased water quality work in agricultural areas of the County through the Soil Conservation District.
- Added $138,210 to the Water Quality Protection Fund for tree-related work to implement Bill 6-14.
- Added $153,393 to the Water Quality Protection Fund for additional tree maintenance work in parks.
- Maintained Water Quality Protection Charge base rates at the same level as FY14.
- Maintained overall Solid Waste Service charges at the same level as FY14.
- $60,000 for additional staff for minority contract compliance for Office of Business Relations and Compliance.
Housing and Community Affairs
- $120,000 for the Montgomery Housing Partnership (includes $20,000 to expand work to Connecticut Avenue Estates).
- Montgomery Housing Initiative
– $46,800 for the Rental Assistance Program (20 subsidies).
– $437,120 for the 100,000 Homes Campaign (15 subsidies and services).
– $272,000 for the Rapid Re-Housing for Families program (20 subsidies and services).
- $40,000 for Cross Agency Health Data Study.
- Approved $37.2 million for Montgomery County Public Libraries, an increase of 6.7 percent over the approved FY14 budget.
- Added funding to increase library hours at 11 branches (Davis, Marilyn Praisner, Aspen Hill, Chevy Chase, Damascus, Kensington Park, Little Falls, Long Branch, Potomac, Twinbrook and White Oak).
- $550,000 to provide additional service library hours.
- $500,000 to increase purchase of library materials.
- $82,807 for staff increases to support library collections
Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission
- Funding will increase by $7.8 million over the FY14 approved budget to $140.3 million, a 5.9 percent increase. Although this does not fully fund the agency request, it is $1.2 million more than recommended by the County Executive.
- Approved work program and funding to allow the Planning Department to complete work on the Sandy Spring and Aspen Hill Minor Master Plan Amendments and Bethesda Central Business District and Greater Lyttonsville Master Plans and begin work on the Westbard, Montgomery Village and White Flint II Master Plans.
- Restored funding cut by the Executive to support the TPAR 16 traffic analysis for subdivision staging, study of co-location of public facilities and Community Outreach for Gaithersburg/East Village Master Plan.
- Restored funding cut by the Executive to allow enhanced park maintenance and security.
- Adding funding for enhanced deer management and snow removal on the capital crescent trail.
Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy (MCAEL)
- $100,000 to increase funding for capacity building grants.
- $30,000 for infrastructure support to increase outreach and community engagement.
- $100,000 for additional capacity building grants and MCAEL infrastructure support.
- Approved $29.8 million for the Montgomery County Recreation Department, an increase of $1.2 million (6.2 percent) from the FY14 level.
- $86,814 for a manager for Senior Services.
- $80,000 for staff for multi-lingual programming at the Holiday Park Senior Center.
- $112,299 to expand the new Watkins Mill Sports Academy to a full year.
- $137,352 to expand Excel Beyond the Bell at Forest Oak and Neelsville middle schools by two additional days per week.
- $72,000 for operating support for Piney Branch Elementary swimming pool.
- $40,000 for a facility assessment study of the Piney Branch swimming pool.
- $10,000 for administrative and maintenance costs at the Piney Branch pool.
- $5,000 to study future use of the New Hampshire Avenue Recreation Center.
- $97,000 for ITPCC Google Web Search pilot project.
- $125,000 for Inter-Agency Technology Fund for ITPCC.
- $434,000 for tree maintenance and stump removal.
- $50,000 for crosswalk maintenance.
- $25,000 for streetlight maintenance.
- $144,000 for sign repair/replacement.
- $75,000 for signal maintenance.
- $400,000 for road resurfacing.
- $40,000 for sidewalk repair.
- $480,000 for study for Adaptive Signal Control System.
- $1,108,650 to not make transfer from Silver Spring Parking Lot District (SSPLD) to general fund to retain funds in SSPLD.
- $279,846 to expand service on 15 Ride On bus routes, starting January 2015.
- Equalized regular cash and SmarTrip fares at $1.75, and for seniors at 85 cents per trip.
- Increased the Route 70 (Germantown-to-Bethesda) Express fare to $4.00.
- Increased transfer charges commensurately.
- Extended the eligible hours for Kids Ride Free to 8 p.m. (from 7 p.m.) weeknights.
- No changes to parking fees, fines or charging hours.
- No changes to the residential permit parking fee or transportation management district fees.
Working Families Income Supplement
- Approved $18,342,200 for the Working Families Income Supplement, an increase of $684,000 over FY14.
- Funding represents a 90 percent match of the state earned income credit, in accordance with the phase-in schedule outlined in Expedited Bill 8-13 (approved unanimously in October 2013).
FY 2015-20 Capital Improvements Program
The County’s Capital Improvements Program (CIP) is the focus of major review every two years.
- Approved $4.45 billion of spending in the FY 2015-20 CIP.
- WSSC FY15-20 CIP: Fully funded the WSSC CIP request ($1.2 billion).
- MCPS CIP: Despite not getting $230.7 million in State aid assumed in the Executive’s Recommended CIP, the Council was able to:
– Keep all of the Board of Education’s requested projects within the FY15-20 CIP (but opening dates for many individual school projects and modernizations were pushed back one year from the Board of Education’s requested schedule)
– Fully funded MCPS’ FY15 requested increase ($21 million) in its HVAC (mechanical systems) replacement and funded most ($33.5 million) of MCPS’ requested six-year increase ($37.5 million) for this project.
– Fully funded all other systemic projects as requested including energy conservation: MCPS, indoor air quality improvements, Planned Lifecycle Asset Replacement (PLAR), restroom renovations and roof replacements for MCPS facilities.