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Includes Northern High School, detention center, Mt. Harmony Road

By AMANDA SCOTT

Staff writer

The county is facing a possible $32.34 million capital improvement plan budget for the next fiscal year.

The Calvert County Board of County Commissioners reviewed the upcoming fiscal 2015 capital improvement plan budget for the first time this budget cycle Tuesday. The fiscal ’15 CIP budget currently totals $32,340,077 and includes projects such as building a new Northern High School, several improvements to the Calvert County Detention Center, Mt. Harmony Road safety improvements and an 800MHZ digital communication system upgrade and channel expansion.

“We see flat revenue and slow but steadily increasing expenses,” Director of Finance and Budget Tim Hayden told the commissioners. He said the proposed fiscal 2015 county budget staff presented to the commissioners last month included the proposed fiscal 2015 CIP budget they were presenting Tuesday.

The county’s projected revenue is $232,133,865, and expenses are $242,474,466, resulting in a $10,340,601 deficit in fiscal 2015. Calvert County Capital Projects Analyst Julie Paluda said the departments were to adjust future year estimates by 3 percent for general and school construction and 4.5 percent for road work.

The fiscal 2015 CIP budget presented to the commissioners Tuesday is about $2.6 million less than planned for fiscal 2015 in the adopted fiscal 2014 county budget. Several projects, including the Cove Point Skate Park, construction of a portion the Prince Frederick Loop Road, and improvements to the intersection at Skipjack Road and Route 231, have been deferred by their respective departments.

“That difference was the result of Julie and the department heads working together to try and scrub the budget,” Hayden said.

“And we’re appreciative of that,” Commissioner Susan Shaw (R) said.

The Calvert County Board of Education is proposing $6,616,747 for fiscal ’15 projects; $5 million of that is requested for designing and constructing a new Northern High School, and about $2 million of that is projected to come from state and federal funding.

Calvert Library has requested $40,000 for conducting a needs analysis for the southern and northern library districts. Paluda said to receive state funding for future library projects, a needs analysis is requested.

The transportation division of public works is requesting $6,533,000 for fiscal 2015 capital projects. Boyds Turn Road phase 2 improvements and road safety improvements for Mt. Harmony Road were added to the project list for fiscal 2015 and are projected to cost $1 million each.

Currently, the county is projected to fund $3,321,340 of the projected total CIP budget. A majority of the funding ($18,154,100) is proposed to be bond financing, while excise taxes, utility fees and other funding sources account for $6.88 million. State and federal funding is projected at $3,978,987.

The county commissioners requested work sessions with staff to discuss the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office $66,800 request for engineering of an evidence collections building in Broomes Island and the Prince Frederick Volunteer Fire Department’s $40,000 request for the planning and design of a new firehouse building, and to review the school construction projects.

Commissioner Gerald W. “Jerry” Clark (R) expressed concerns about the location of the sheriff’s office 50-by-60-foot metal building to be used for the recovery of evidence and to house the mobile command unit at the Island Creek facility in Broomes Island.

“I understand that building’s there and what we use it for, but we’re starting to get more and more comments from some of the citizens down there on different things. But I guess my question is, is that a good location to put that building there on that site?” Clark asked.

Maj. Dave McDowell, assistant sheriff, said, “I think it does speak to a bigger picture — that the sheriff’s office, the Calvert house, is just not meeting our needs.”

Clark said he would like to discuss the location of the building and suggested staff look at alternative locations and solutions.

ascott@somdnews.com



County departments’ capital project requests for fiscal 2015
County staff presented the departments’ capital project requests for the upcoming year to the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners earlier this week. The total projected cost of the fiscal 2015 CIP budget is $32,340,077. Here’s what each department is requesting:Board of Education: $6,616,747Public facilities: $989,380Town centers: $22,000Technology services: $977,600Recreation resources: $688,700Public Works: $13,686,300• Transportation: $6,533,000• Solid Waste: $556,000• Water: $1,966,600• Sewer: $4,630,700Public Safety: $9,359,350• Communications and apparatus: $8,874,350• Facilities: $485,000

Looking ahead
The Calvert County budget process is underway. Here’s a look at the tentative calendar:• Nov. 19: The commissioners will meet with the county’s legislative delegation to review legislative requests, such as bond financing.• Jan. 15: The six-year capital improvement project budget will be presented to the Calvert County Planning Commission.• Feb. 25: There will be a work session during the county commissioners’ meeting to discuss the six-year capital improvement project budget.• March: There will be work sessions during the commissioners’ meetings, as requested.• March 18: County staff recommended budget will be presented at a public hearing tentatively scheduled at 7 p.m. at Calvert Pines Senior Center in Prince Frederick.• April: There will be work sessions during the commissioners’ meetings, as needed, leading up to the commissioners’ budget.• April 16: Changes, if any, to the six-year capital improvement project budget will be presented to the Calvert County Planning Commission.• May 20: The commissioners’ budget will be presented at a public hearing tentatively scheduled at 7 p.m. at Calvert Pines Senior Center.• June 3: The commissioners adopt the fiscal 2015 budget.