All development, improvement, and maintenance are governed by the Capital Improvements Program (CIP). The CIP is prepared every two years to cover a six-year cycle. The CIP includes new or renovation projects costing over $30,000 with a useful life greater than 15 years. It also includes smaller planned lifecycle asset replacement (PLAR) projects that increase the life of assets.
The most recent CIP for fiscal years 21-26 was approved by the Montgomery County Council (Resolution 19-466) on May 21, 2020. Shortly after the CIP was approved, on September 15, 2020, at the request of the County Executive and County Council, the Parks Department participated in a cost savings plan for fiscal year 21 that reduced the Parks CIP by $628,000 (Resolution 19-588).
The County’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) maintains information about prior CIPs on their website, where you can explore OMB’s interactive Open Budget publications. You can also access the current Parks CIP documents in the “Resources” section to the right.
Below you will find some general information about the CIP as well as what the Department is looking at moving forward.
If you are looking for Operating Budget Information, please visit our Budget Page.
Projects considered for inclusion in the CIP evolve from various sources, including but not limited to:
Variety of plans and studies, e.g. master plans, functional plans, needs plans (Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan [LPPRP] )
Approved facility plans
Citizen requests at public forums, letters, etc.
Planning Board directives
County Council directives
CIP requests submitted via an intra-departmental on-line CIP Request Form
Land acquisitions and developer park donations
There are two major types of capital development projects in the CIP: (1) Stand-Alone Projects and (2) Level-of-Effort Projects.
Projects which have completed and approved facility plans
Include large park renovations or construction of new parks
Budget and appropriation are required to be approved by County Council once created
More than likely have operating budget impact
Closeout once appropriation has been spent and the project is complete
Example: Development of Greenbriar Local Park
Smaller projects that do not require extensive planning and design. Projects are reviewed each fiscal year and re-prioritized as necessary
Include mostly infrastructure maintenance projects
Generally, less than $300,000
Supported by a consistent annual funding level
Less likely to have an operating budget impact
Stay active indefinitely
Example: Planned Lifecycle Asset Replacement of Playground Equipment
Other examples of Level-of-Effort projects include:
Ballfield Initiatives: ballfield lighting, and reconfiguration and upgrades of existing fields.
Minor New Construction: a variety of new park amenities, such as new picnic shelters, dog parks, stormwater management, and drainage upgrades, parking lot expansions, retaining walls, and sewer improvements.
PLAR (Planned Lifecycle Asset Replacement): improvements to various existing park amenities such as playgrounds and tennis courts.
Pollution Prevention and Repairs to Ponds and Lakes: continuing efforts to update and maintain our existing facilities to meet today’s environmental standards.
Restoration of Historic Structures: the repair, stabilization, and renovation of some of the important historical structures and sites that are located in the parkland.
Resurfacing Parking Lots and Paths: the lifecycle renovation of parking lots, entrance roads, and paved walkways.
Trails: Hard & Natural Surface: Design & Construction: design and construction of new trails and extensions or connectors to existing trails, trail amenities, signage, and renovations along existing trails.
The purpose of a facility plan is to produce a well-reasoned project cost estimate and takes the project through 30% design as required by County Council. Also known as “preliminary design,” a facility plan often includes a program of requirements (POR), engineering and environmental studies, feasibility studies, concept plans, and park management plans topographic surveys, traffic studies, conceptual site plans, schematic drawings, cost estimates, and most of all…public input.
The CIP also includes funding for the acquisition of land for purposes of park development and conservation of open space. The following is a list of the different types of acquisitions as they are captured in the CIP:
Acquisition: Local Parks: Acquisition of land to develop urban, local, and neighborhood parks
Acquisition: Non-Local Parks: Acquisition of land to develop regional, recreational, stream valley, conservation, and special parks
Bethesda Park Impact Payment: A capital project that receives funds from development for new facilities and new parks within the Bethesda Downtown Plan boundary
Legacy Open Space: Acquisition of land of countywide significance that may be of exceptional natural or cultural value
Legacy Urban Space: Acquisition of valuable open space in the county’s most densely populated areas with a methodology for more equitably linking parks to populations in urban areas
ALARF (Advance Land Acquisition Revolving Fund): Revolving acquisition fund used to acquire rights-of-way and other property needed for future public projects
Park and Planning General Obligation Bonds
County General Obligation Bonds
State Bond Bills, Grants, and Loans
Program Open Space
Contributions and Donations
Factors to Consider
CIP Projects are prioritized based on several factors, including:
Planning Board criteria, including safety and environmental factors
Infrastructure Condition Assessment Study priorities
Facility planning evaluation matrices
Priorities assigned by field staff
Priorities assigned by a CIP evaluation committee, consisting of senior management
New projects versus renovation projects
CIP capacity is limited by the following:
Available funding sources
Spending Affordability Guidelines (SAG)
Local Projects – SAG limits on Park and Planning Bonds
Non-Local Projects – All Montgomery County agencies compete for the same funding and SAG
Balancing a growing backlog of projects with new priorities and needs
County Executive’s Readiness Criteria
Implementation capability (limited resources, including staff)
Operating budget impact (OBI)
Once the preferred plan and cost estimate are approved by the Department, Planning Board or Montgomery County Council, as applicable, a detailed set of construction drawings and specifications are developed. The drawings and specifications outline all materials and processes necessary for construction. This phase includes:
All construction permits are applied for and obtained from the Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services (DPS) in Rockville.
Permits include, but are not limited to building permits, stormwater/sediment control permits, grading permits, electrical permits, etc.
The construction project is then publicly advertised and bid on by private contractors.
Some smaller projects are completed by M-NCPPC’s Facility Management Department.
It can take several years to complete a new park, park facility, or a major renovation. The length of time needed for preliminary design through construction varies by project. It depends on the project’s scale, the complexity, and also on available funding. If funding is not available at the time of the approval of the plan, the Montgomery County Council will set the schedule and the funding at a later date.
Once construction is complete, we can prepare the site for use by the public.
There are several opportunities for the public to participate in the CIP process:
Montgomery County Planning Board (MCPB) and Recreation Advisory Boards Joint CIP Public Forum (Spring of odd years)
Council CIP Public Hearings (February each year)
Public hearings for master plans and facility plans, and other MCPB hearings
Letters to MCPB, County Council, Park, and Planning staff
Current CIP: FY21-26
Work on the CIP has been ongoing since late 2018 through today. While the CIP is overhauled every two years, it is reviewed annually because the requests made in the first two fiscal years become the Capital Budget for FY21 and FY22 respectively. For instance, the FY21-26 CIP was first approved in May 2020 and the appropriation request associated with FY21 were also adopted as the FY21 Capital Budget. A year later, in May 2021, the County Council approved the FY22 version of the CIP and adopted the respective appropriation requests for FY22 as the FY22 Capital Budget. Below you will find all the details of both FY21 and FY22 versions of the CIP and Capital Budget.
FY21 version of the CIP and FY21 Capital Budget
Development and approval:
Staff submission of project ideas in the Department’s Enterprise Asset Management System
Meetings of the Department’s CIP Evaluation Committee (April-June 2019) – Department directors and division chiefs review new capital project submissions and discuss where they fit in the priorities of existing projects and the Planning Board’s CIP strategy.
County Council approval of the FY21 Capital Budget and FY21-26 Capital Improvements Program (CIP), Resolution 19-466, May 21, 2020. This includes revised Project Description Forms for several projects submitted by the Department on November 1, 2019.
FY21 Cost Savings Plan:
Shortly after the CIP was approved, on September 15, 2020, at the request of the County Executive and County Council, the Parks Department participated in a cost savings plan for fiscal year 21 that reduced the Parks CIP by $628,000 (Resolution 19-588).
FY22 version of the CIP (the “biennial year”) and FY22 Capital Budget
Department staff reviewed capital projects in the CIP for needed amendments to reflect necessary changes and to prepare the FY22 capital Budget (January-September 2020)
Transmittal letter to County Executive and County Council that included a list of projects that would be impacted by the requested reductions. This was reviewed by the Council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee (PHED) on March 4, 2021 (links below).
County Council review
Public Hearing, February 9, 2021, – Watch (starts at about 1:07:45)
Committee Review, PHED, March 4, 2021 – Staff report – Watch – the Committee recommended in favor of the Executive’s recommended CIP except for $3 million of reductions that would have reduced budgets for Ballfields by $500k per year in FY23-25 and delayed Phase 2 field renovations at Blair High School from FY23 to FY26 ($1.5M)
Full Council, May 10, 2021 – the full Council reviewed the PHED Committee Recommendations and appropriations for additional State funding (see next section below)
Addition of State Funding
The in the most recent session of the Maryland General Assembly the State of Maryland added additional funding in the form of grants and Program Open Space
Power Line Trail, $10,000,000 – for additional work on a 13-mile natural-surface and paved trail will connect
South Germantown Recreational Park to Cabin John Regional Park
Damascus Recreational Park, $225,000 – for athletic field lighting at field 3 or 4
South Germantown Recreational Park, $150,000 – for upgrades including the installation of a parking lot at the bike skills area with ADA enhancements
Willett Branch Greenway, $550,000 – to Acquire land for the planned Willett Branch Greenway in the Westbard Community
Randolph Hills Local Park, $150,000 – to replace the trail bridge and renovate the hard surface trail connector from Randolph Hills Local Park to the Rock Creek Trail
Wheaton Regional Park, $200,000 – to renovat e the hard surface trail from Narin Road to the dog park access road
Long Branch Local Park near Domer Avenue, $200,000 – to replace the existing trail bridge with a new signature bridge
Fox Chapel Neighborhood Park, $150,000 – playground replacement and ADA improvements
County Council staff report, starting page 25 of 88 pages, May 10, 2021
Final Council Adoption
County Council approval of the FY22 Capital Budget and FY21-26 Capital Improvements Program (CIP), Resolution 19-866, May 27, 2020. This includes revised Project Description Forms for several projects submitted by the Department on November 1, 2020.
A New CIP for FY23-28
While work has been wrapping up on the FY22 Capital Budget and amended FY21-26 CIP, the Department has already started working on the next CIP. Development of this CIP is following a pattern similar to the prior CIP described in the sections above. At this point the Department is reviewing project requests from the various divisions and regions in the Enterprise Asset Management System. On April 15, 2021, we engaged the Planning Board in Strategy Session #1 to discuss the CIP process and to solicit feedback on prioritizing criteria as we begin to shape recommendations for the new CIP (staff report, watch).