County Executive Marc Elrich presented his Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) Capital Budget and his six-year Capital Improvements Program today during a conference. Elrich highlighted his recommended capital investments over the next six years in areas such as mass transit, public education, climate change, affordable housing and economic development.
Here are some of the key points from the event:
- The proposed budget for the Capital Improvements Program is an increase of 17.2% from the last approved budget FY2021-26.
- $1.8 billion for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) capital projects over six years, the largest budget ever given to schools pending approval.
- A budget of $327.1 million for Montgomery College to fund a fourth college campus.
- $408.4 million for Bus Rapid Transit projects created to reduce transportation carbon emissions. This would include the transition to a Ride On Bus Fleet with 100% zero emissions.
- Affordable housing projects totaling $146.3 million including an Affordable Living Quarters project to provide permanent, affordable housing to very low-income households.
- $1.29 billion for projects to address climate change and reduce the county’s emissions of greenhouse gasses.
- $433.0 million for the county’s Vision Zero initiative to reduce the number of traffic-related deaths.
- Investments from the budget allocated to infrastructure improvements or redevelopments like the White Oak and White Flint to create more job opportunities.
Following the event, Montgomery County Council President Gabe Albornoz released a statement about Elrich’s proposed budget.
“The County Executive’s recommended capital budget provides a good starting point for the Council’s work on this year’s short-term and long-term investments for Montgomery County,” Albornoz said. “We will work judiciously to balance strategic capital investment across the county and the need for projects such as schools, fire and police stations, roads, libraries, recreation centers and facility improvements, while also scrutinizing the financial pressures facing our taxpayers.”
Public hearings for the budget will be held on Feb. 8 at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. as well as on Feb. 9 at 1:30 p.m. County residents can sign up to testify over Zoom or submit a written, audio or video testimony. The meetings will be aired on the County Cable Montgomery channel as well as live-streamed on Facebook, Youtube and the council website.
The FY23 Operating Budget is scheduled to be transmitted to the council in March. The council is then expected to approve the county’s capital budget and operating budget at the end of May.