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Montgomery County Council and Committee Meetings on May 11, 2022

MARYLAND, October 5 - FY23 Operating Budget – Mass Transit Fund and transportation fees, charges and fares 

Review and straw vote expected: The Council will review the FY23 Operating Budget for the DOT Mass Transit Fund. The recommended FY23 budget is more than $167.7 million, which is a 12.3 percent increase from the FY22 approved budget. The Council will review the Transportation and Environment (T&E) Committee’s recommendations, including a recommendation to approve Councilmember Hans Riemer’s proposal to re-allocate the Executive’s proposed Transportation Services Improvement Fund (TSIF) spending to incentivize putting more wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) in service and on the street longer, among other recommendations. 

Regarding transit fares, T&E Chair Tom Hucker and Vice President Glass recommend extending free Ride On service through FY23 but not subsidizing WMATA to reduce the $2 Metrobus fare, thus adding $9.8 million to the Reconciliation List in twelve $818,750 tranches. Councilmember Riemer recommends introducing a $1.50 Ride On fare in July 2022 and subsidizing WMATA to reduce the Metrobus fare to $1.50, a net savings of more than one million dollars.  

FY23 Operating Budget: General Fund and Leaf Vacuuming Fund 

Review and straw vote expected: The Council will review the FY23 Operating Budget for DOT’s General Fund and Leaf Vacuuming Fund. The Recommended FY23 Operating Budget for the General Fund is more than $49.1 million, which is a seven percent increase from the FY22 approved budget. The recommended FY23 budget for the Leaf Vacuuming Fund is more than $6.9 million, which is a 3.4 percent increase from the FY22 approved budget. The T&E Committee unanimously supports the Executive’s recommendations with two exceptions. Chair Hucker and Vice President Glass support the Executive’s recommendation to increase the tree planting and maintenance budget by $810,000. Councilmember Riemer recommends increasing this budget by $540,000 (two-thirds of the Executive’s proposed increase) and placing the $270,000 balance on the Reconciliation List. Councilmember Will Jawando proposed adding $116,000 to the Reconciliation List to raise the funding level for school walkshed assessments so that—if this level were maintained in subsequent years—the assessments would be completed in four years rather than eight. Committee members support this recommendation. 

FY23-28 CIP: Transportation 

Review and straw vote expected: The Council will review the FY23-38 CIP for DOT. On April 18, the Executive transmitted revisions to his Recommended FY23-28 CIP, largely based on state aid for local capital improvements approved by the Maryland General Assembly in its 2022 session. The T&E Committee met on May 2 to address these recommendations and address follow-up items discussed in earlier committee CIP meetings. Details on each of the capital projects can be found in the Council staff report, including but not limited to highway maintenance projects, the Bethesda and White Flint Metro Station entrances, bridge projects and pedestrian facilities and bikeways.   

FY23 Operating Budget: Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) 

Review and straw vote expected: The Council will review the FY23 Operating Budget for MCPD. The recommended FY23 budget for the department is more than $295.6 million, which is a 4.5 percent increase from the FY22 approved budget. The Council will review committee recommendations, including recommendations to add sufficient funding to increase the department’s cadet program from 12 to 25 cadets. The committee recommended approval of the rest of the budget as submitted by the Executive.

FY23 Operating Budget: Office of Human Rights (OHR) 

Review and straw vote expected: The Council will review the FY23 Operating Budget for OHR. The recommended FY23 budget is more than $1.6 million, which is a 7.7 percent decrease from the FY22 approved budget. The Council will review committee recommendations, including a recommendation to add $56,000 to the Reconciliation List to support the outreach activities of the Montgomery County Commission on Remembrance and Reconciliation (MCCRR). The committee recommended approval of the rest of the budget as submitted by the Executive. 

FY23 Operating Budget – Office of Grants Management 

Review: The joint GO/HHS Committee will review the FY23 Operating Budget for the Office of Grants Management. The Office of Grants Management is a new County non-principal office that will launch on July 1, 2022. The recommended FY23 budget includes funding three FTEs and office operating expenses totaling $341,309 comprising of a Director of the Office of Grants Management ($152,117), Grants Seeking Program Manager II ($89,596), Grants Distribution Program Manager II ($89,596), and office operating expenses ($10,000). The staff report will be available by Wednesday, May 11.