The Council Connection — transportation and parks budgets
Council President’s Message
The Council’s meeting this week was productive. We took up a number of substantial items, including changes to the County’s stormwater program and legislation that makes it easier for seniors who have lived in their homes for 40 years to get a property tax credit. You can view the Council’s full agenda here. More information about the senior property tax credit is here.
Now, I’d like to continue our exploration of this year’s budget, reviewing transportation and parks.
Budget Update: Transportation
Transportation funding was a high priority for the Council in this year’s budget. The Council funded the Department of Transportation’s budget at more than $217 million. This includes funding for items like road maintenance, leaf collection, Ride On and the parking lot districts. Despite the challenging fiscal climate, the Council was able to make the following important additions to the County’s transportation budget:
- New pilot bus service on Route 52 between Glenmont Metro Station and Rockville. This new service will use microbuses to broaden the service area.
- New bus service between several points in Clarksburg and the Germantown MARC station starting in January 2019
- $100,000 to restore signal timing optimization to help keep traffic moving
- Creation of a Vision Zero Coordinator position within the County Executive’s Office
- Addition of $2 million for residential resurfacing in FY20
- New funding to design and build pedestrian underpasses at the White Flint and Forest Glen Metro Stations
- $2.8 million in additional funding to accelerate bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure projects in the Wheaton, Veirs Mill, Takoma-Langley, Long Branch and Piney Branch Bicycle Pedestrian Priority Areas (BiPPA)
Budget Update: Parks
The Council funded $153.6 million for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). Included in this amount is more than $107 million to maintain the County’s park system, which includes 419 parks and more than 36,800 acres of land. The Council added $200,000 to create urban parks through placemaking and $343,995 to provide service for new and expanded parks across the County. Some of the high priorities have been trails, including natural surface trails, and athletic fields.
- Added $2 million for Parks to increase their stream protection efforts
- Increased funding by $750K to support the renovation of school ballfields
- $1.5 million in funding to support Vision Zero improvements Trail – Road intersections
- Kept the Hillandale Local Park renovation on schedule to be completed in FY22