Ball Introduces $ 304.6 Million Capital Improvement Program for FY22

HOWARD COUNTY, MD – Howard County Manager Calvin Ball presented County Council with a $ 304.6 million capital improvement program for fiscal 2022, with $ 72.5 million coming from general obligations.

The county has experienced a slowing rate of income growth and a steady increase in its debt burden in recent years. The county also faces continued uncertainty over the economic impact of the pandemic for the foreseeable future, Ball said. The proposed clearance of $ 72.5 million of GO bonds is the lowest amount in 19 years, $ 25 million below the decade average, Ball noted.

Of that total, $ 52.3 million or 72 percent goes to support educational institutions. The Spending Affordability Advisory Committee recommended reducing the newly authorized GO bonds to a maximum of $ 50 million. The proposed CIP budget reflects a historically low level of GO bonds in FY2022, reducing the average projected GO over the next six years to around $ 70 million to align more closely with affordability.

“Despite the fiscal challenges we face, the proposed budget supports the strategic priorities of the community,” Ball said in a statement. “These include investing in the construction of new and expanded school buildings, the Ellicott City flood mitigation plan, facilities for our elderly residents, transportation and infrastructure, and a project plan. Realistic multi-year fixed assets. This budget takes a pragmatic approach while ensuring that Howard County remains the best place to live, learn, work, play and grow. “

Education remains the top budget priority, Ball said. The proposed fiscal year 2022 capital budget for the Howard County public school system is $ 79.7 million, including $ 52 million in county funding and verified state aid from $ 27.7 million to date. While advocacy efforts to secure additional state aid are underway, the proposed budget fully funds the county’s requested share for the education council’s three main priorities, which include the new High School No.13, the replacement of Talbott Springs Elementary School and renovation / addition of Hammond High School. .

The proposed budget also includes funding for the expansion of the East Columbia 50+ Center, a long-awaited project that can be completed by fiscal 2023. In addition, the capital budget advances the remediation project and Harriet Tubman restoration, including construction of the new Harriet Tubman Cultural Center.

Other initiatives supported include Ellicott City’s Safe and Sound Plan with major flood mitigation efforts in Ellicott City and Valley Mede, construction of the Maryland Avenue Culvert expansion and design and the final construction of the extended north tunnel in fiscal year 2022.

This year’s proposed budget of $ 89.8 million includes a federal loan in addition to funding from state and local sources. The $ 75 million federal Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loan will allow the county to move quickly on construction of the Maryland Avenue Culvert extension, Ball said, as well as the final design and construction of the tunnel. north extended in fiscal year 2022 at a lower annual rate. interest payment than traditional GO financing.

In addition, flood mitigation facilities on the New Cut branch (NC-3) and the Hudson branch (H-4) will move to the design phase, with the H-4 project removing 34 units from the development pipeline while providing 11 acres for upstream flood mitigation. The proposed budget includes funds for sidewalk and streetscape upgrades and building renovations on Lower Main Street.

The capital budget also invests in existing infrastructure, increasing spending on road resurfacing to deal with a growing backlog of aging infrastructure in the county and avoid more costly repairs / reconstructions in the future. The proposed budget includes PAYGO funding of $ 10 million for road resurfacing needs, the highest investment since fiscal 2015 in response to a growing backlog that reached $ 61.4 million in 2020 due to aging infrastructure across the county. The budget proposed by Ball also addresses various other needs in transportation, infrastructure, watersheds, recreation and parks, and public safety projects.

Highlights of the CIP budget for fiscal year 2022 include:

Education

  • $ 27.7 million in county funding for No.13 High School.
  • $ 15.1 million in county funding for the renovation and addition of Hammond High School to increase capacity.
  • $ 9.1 million in county funding for systemic renovations and roofing projects.
  • $ 3.2 million for other school capital needs, such as technology and portable classrooms.
  • $ 15.8 million, in local matching, for the new math and athletics complex at Howard Community College.
  • $ 500,000 for the planning of the new library branch in downtown Columbia.
  • The pre-allocation for the replacement of Talbott Springs Elementary School met all local funding needs for this project.

Community services

  • $ 5.5 million in county funding and $ 1 million in state funding for the design and construction of the East Columbia 50+ Center.
  • $ 1.3 million in county funding and $ 750,000 in state assistance to build the Harriet Tubman Cultural Center.

Ellicott City safe and sound

  • $ 6 million in county funding, combined with $ 8.9 million state grants and a $ 75 million WIFIA loan to support the Maryland Avenue Culvert expansion, the North Tunnel extension and flood mitigation installations on the New Cut and Hudson branches.

Transport and infrastructure

  • $ 10 million in PAYGO funds for road resurfacing
  • $ 3.8 million in systemic improvements to county facilities
  • $ 5 million in county and pedestrian and bicycle improvement grant

Public security

  • $ 1.7 million for the construction of a new North Columbia fire station.
  • $ 1.1 million for public safety improvements, including the new computer-aided dispatch system.
  • $ 1.6 million to help improve the safety of the existing range.
  • $ 2 million to renovate the detention center, including upgrading the sprinkler and fire alarm systems.

Business and economic development

  • Prior ownership of the county, with state funding and private investment, will enable the final phase of renovating and equipping the Maryland Innovation Center.

Leisure and parks

  • $ 8.3 million, primarily in designated resources, for infrastructure renovations at existing facilities and park improvement projects.
  • $ 1.3 million in open space funding from a state program to support the completion of the No. 1 field improvements in Troy Park and the replacement of aging park infrastructure at multiple sites.

Howard County Council to Hold Virtual Public Hearing on CIP Budget April 20 at 6:30 p.m.

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