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FY12 Budget: District 1 CIP Projects June 2, 2011

The Council considers our Capital Improvements Program (CIP) biannually.  And while this is a CIP "off-year", no news is good news, as they say, for District 1 schools. All of our District 1 school CIP projects remain funded and on schedule.  To take a look at where your school's project stands, click here.   


I am pleased that these projects remain on schedule - these are the classroom additions, renovations, and modernizations that so many of our schools so desperately need to help ensure our students have the learning environment they deserve.  In the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Cluster, a "solutions project" at the middle school level was approved to be added so that the cluster is not subject to a building moratorium under the public school adequacy test.  A more specific PDF (project description form) for this project is expected to be completed for the FY13-18 CIP once MCPS concludes its feasibility study for the new middle school.  


The future North Bethesda Recreation Center is also in the "good news" category.  The County Executive, as an off-year CIP amendment, had proposed completely closing out the project.  I found this to be unacceptable for a community that has already waited too long for a project called for in their 1992 Master Plan.  For that reason, I wrote to my colleagues on the PHED Committee and asked that they reject the County Executive's proposal, and instead ask him to include funding in future years so that the project essentially remains alive.  I am pleased that the Council approved an amended PDF for the project that does just that - and I remain confident that, even though it has been a long wait, the residents of North Bethesda will eventually have an alternative to driving to Potomac or Chevy Chase. 

Update on North Bethesda Recreation Center April 15, 2011
Last month, I wrote that while the County Executive's Recommended CIP Amendments contained good news for District 1 schools, there was some disappointing news for a few other projects important to our community.  The item I found most surprising was the County Executive's recommendation to completely close out the North Bethesda Recreation Center project. 


I know that the residents of North Bethesda have waited a very long time for this project to get underway.  That is why I wrote my colleagues on the PHED Committee and asked that as they took up the Department of Recreation's CIP Amendments, they consider alternatives to closing out this project entirely.  I was pleased that they instructed Executive staff to come back to the Council with a modified PDF (Project Description Form) for the project that reflected planning and design funding in future years.  The Council was presented that modified PDF during a worksession on the CIP Amendments last month; we will take a final vote on the CIP alongside the Operating Budget in May.  At that time, I am confident the Council will approve a plan for the project that will provide the residents of North Bethesda an alternative to driving to Potomac or Chevy Chase.

County Executive's Recommended CIP March 8, 2011

Last month, the County Executive submitted his recommended Capital Improvements Program (CIP) Budget Amendments.  This is an "off year" in the biannual CIP schedule, but the Council is in the course of considering these amendments now and will take a final vote on them, along with the Operating Budget, in May.


The amendments reflect good news for District 1 schools: all of the CIP projects remain on schedule.  For a complete list of school CIP projects in District 1, including information on where your elementary or middle school's capital project stands, click here.  Other good news includes new funding for much needed projects related to the White Flint Sector Plan, so that implementation of this important development remains on course.  One such project is a traffic study, the results of which will better enable the Department of Transportation to understand the plan's traffic implications and mitigate impacts to existing neighborhoods.


Unfortunately, there are also some disappointments in the Recommended CIP Amendments.  The planning and design funding for the Davis and Potomac Library projects have been delayed one year due to fiscal constraints. 


The item that I found particularly alarming was the Executive's recommendation to completely close out the North Bethesda Recreation Center project.  I know that residents in North Bethesda have been waiting a long time - too long - for a recreation center near their homes.  I sent a memo to my colleagues on the PHED Committee urging them to reject the County Executive's recommendation to close out the project, and am pleased that following that PHED Committee worksession, Executive staff agreed to formulate a revised plan that would present an alternative option to having to drive to Chevy Chase or Potomac for the residents of North Bethesda.

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