THE CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS PROGRAM AND CAPITAL BUDGET
In November 1996, Montgomery County voters endorsed the amendment of the County Charter to provide for a biennial, or once-every-two years, Capital Improvements Program. Charter section 302 now reads (underlined text was added in November 1996):
"The County Executive shall submit to the Council, not later than January 15 of each even-numbered year, a comprehensive six-year program for capital improvements. The County Executive shall submit to the Council, not later than March 15 of each year, comprehensive six-year program for public services and fiscal policy. The six-year programs shall require a vote of at least five Councilmembers for approval or modification. Final Council approval of the six-year programs shall occur at or about the date of budget approval.
"The public services program shall include a statement of program objectives and recommend levels of public service by the County government, and shall provide an estimate of costs, a statement of revenue sources, and an estimate of the impact of the program on County revenues and the capital budget.
"The capital improvements program shall include a statement of the objectives of capital programs and the relationship of capital programs to the County?s long-range development plans; shall recommend capital projects and a construction schedule; and shall provide an estimate of costs, a statement of anticipated revenue sources, and an estimate of the impact of the program on County revenues and the operating budget. The capital improvements program shall, to the extent authorized by law, include all capital projects and programs of all agencies for which the county sets tax rates or approves budgets or programs. The Council may amend an approved capital improvements program at any time by an affirmative vote of six Councilmembers.
"The fiscal program shall show projections of revenues and expenditures for all functions, recommend revenue and expenditure policies for the program period and analyze the impact of tax and expenditure patterns on public programs and the economy of the county.
"The County Executive shall provide such other information relating to these programs as may be prescribed by law.
"All capital improvement projects which are estimated to cost in excess of an amount to be established by law or which the County Council determines to possess unusual characteristics or to be of sufficient public importance shall be individually authorized by law; provided however, that any project declared by the County Council to be of an emergency nature necessary for the protection of the public health or safety shall not be subject to this requirement if the project is approved by the affirmative vote of six Councilmembers. Any project mandated by law to serve two or more jurisdictions shall, likewise, not be subject to this requirement. The County Council shall prescribe by law the methods and procedures for implementation of this provision."
The Capital Budget provides the spending authority County agencies need to implement projects. The amendment to the Charter which created the Biennial CIP does not affect the requirement for the Council to approve an annual Capital Budget.
The Capital Budget for each agency has been constructed to include appropriation or spending authority for all projects which require it for FY 1998, and, in some cases, beyond. Ongoing projects which are not recommended for amendment will appear only on these lists, and only to the extent that they require appropriation or spending authority for currently approved FY 1998 capital investment expenditures. New projects, and ongoing projects which are recommended for amendment, will appear on this list to the extent that they require appropriation or spending authority for FY 1998 expenditures.