Anne Arundel could see nearly $50 million for capital projects flow from the state, depending on how Gov. Larry Hogan’s capital budget is amended in the coming weeks.
His proposal includes more money for the new high school in Crofton, flood mitigation at Annapolis City Dock and an electrical infrastructure update for the prison complex in Jessup.
The total proposed spending in the county is a sharp decrease from Hogan’s current budget — more than $92 million. Some funds approved last year, such as $26.4 million for the health and science building at Anne Arundel Community College or $5 million for the renovation of Lawyer’s Mall, are for projects now completed.
While capital budget spending in the county dropped by about 47%, other counties saw greater decreases including Caroline County, set to receive about 80% less. In last year’s budget, Anne Arundel received the seventh most money of any jurisdiction in Maryland, in the proposed fiscal 2022 budget, the county ranks sixth.
Baltimore City and Prince George’s County received the most funding in the current budget, and the new proposal ranks them at the top again. Baltimore, Montgomery and Allegany Counties all have higher proposed allocations than Anne Arundel.
Hogan’s proposed budget cut funding for 14 of the state’s 24 jurisdictions compared to the current budget. Kent County, with a population of 19,000, is set to receive about 300% of what they received this year with about $12.3 million for projects.
Anne Arundel Executive Steuart Pittman said through a spokesperson that he is happy to see funding for school construction in Hogan’s budget, but worries the lack of money for legislative bond initiatives could hurt community partners in the county.
It’s not the first year that Hogan has opted not to include money for bond initiatives by delegates and senators in the initial submitted budget — the allocation usually occurs later in the process. Mike Ricci, spokesperson for the governor, said he expects legislators will add money for this before the budget passes.
Hearings begin in the Capital Budget subcommittee at 3 p.m. on Tuesday. and can be streamed live on the Maryland General Assembly website.
Crofton High School got the largest sum of any county project in the budget, $17 million. This goes toward the project’s total cost of about $136 million and adds to the $21.3 million the state has already contributed.
The school opened in the fall 2020 for students in grades nine and 10, though students are being educated online because of the coronavirus pandemic. Anne Arundel County Public Schools spokesperson Bob Mosier said instruction will expand to 11th graders in the next school year, and 12th grade the year after that. Money from the state is just lagging funding needed to pay off the project.
Maryland Policy & Politics
The budget also proposes $11 million for an HVAC, fire safety and electrical system overhaul project at North County High in Glen Burnie. Mosier said the project is already underway with county dollars as forward funding.
St. John’s College in Annapolis could receive a grant of $3.3 million for renovations to Mellon Hall through the Maryland Independent College and University Association.
Spokesperson Michael O’Connor said Mellon Hall is a mixed-use building that houses classrooms, offices, the Key Auditorium, Mitchell Gallery and mail center. Similar grants are proposed for Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore and Mount St. Mary’s University in Frederick County.
The budget also includes $1.4 million for flood mitigation at City Dock, a poster child for climate change over the past few years because of record-setting sunny day flooding.
The money would flow to Annapolis through the state’s Comprehensive Flood Management program which aims to reduce the risk of loss of life and property from flooding by funding local projects. The money can be used to install flood warning systems and construct flood control projects, among other uses.
The budget also proposes $336,000 in grant funding for the Pathways program at Anne Arundel Medical Center, which treats people who struggle with addiction, and $547,421 for Serenity Sistas addiction recovery center renovation.
- Jessup Correctional Region Electrical Infrastructure Upgrade, $3.68 million
- New Courts of Appeal Building in Annapolis, $2.84 million.
- Historic Annapolis Restoration, $1 million.
- Severn Intergenerational Center New Construction, $800,000
- People Encouraging People — Affordable Housing Units Acquisition and Renovation, $500,000
- Deale Beach - Shoreline Enhancements, $330,000
- Sandy Point State Park - Boat Ramp and Marina Parking Area Improvements, $250,000
- New Riviera Beach Library, $163,000
- National Cryptologic Museum Foundation - Cyber Center of Education and Innovation, $100,000
- Brewer Hill Cemetery - Storm Drain Repairs, $100,000