Feb 072012

Last month the County Executive recommended a capital budget (CIP) for the county covering fiscal years 2013 through 2018.   Together with the county’s operating budget, it could fund the government of a small European country like Serbia or Estonia.

For a full analysis of the budget as far as bikes are concerned, see “The Montgomery County bike budget in gory detail”.

That information came from county documents, mainly the Transportation section of the CIP.  On that page you’ll find most bike projects under the heading Pedestrian Facilities/Bikeways.  You can also read the county executive’s prose synopsis of ped/bike spending.   For a few more bike-related projects (some trails), see also the M-NCPPC section which lists projects managed by M-NCPPC (the Park and Planning Department).  That’s it.

MoBike gave testimony before the County Council on the capital budget tonight (Feb. 7).  WABA also testified.

Budget 101:

The county maintains two budgets: the capital budget (for creating and building things) and the operating budget (for running and maintaining things).  The capital budget, called the Capital Improvements Program (CIP), is drawn up every two years and covers a six year period.  Currently the county is working on the CIP for fiscal years 2013 (which starts July 1 2012) through 2018.  Two years ago they passed the FY11-FY16 CIP.  The first two fiscal years of each CIP (FY13 and FY14 in this case) matter a lot.  Anything past that is a rough guess (or wishful thinking).

The County Executive’s recommended FY13-18 CIP contains some things that are good and some things that aren’t so good for bicyclists.  Now the County Council will conduct public hearings, analyze and discuss the budget, meet with relevant agencies and make its own changes.   The Council will approve the CIP after making whatever changes it feels are appropriate.  The County Executive can veto items in the budget but the Council can override a veto with 6 (out of 9) votes.

On March 15th the County Executive will propose his recommended FY13 operating budget (here is last year’s).  It covers one year only.  The Council holds hearings on that too, makes changes it deems necessary and approves it.

The county has its own guide to the budget process here.

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