ANNAPOLIS — The governor’s proposed budget would grant more dollars to Frederick County, but it again leaves out funding for the proposed downtown Frederick hotel and conference center.

Total aid to the county, including retirement payments, would increase 2.7 percent from $299,846,000 to $307,946,000 if the Legislature adopts Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) fiscal 2019 budget.

The budget, introduced Wednesday, again did not include capital funding for the proposed downtown Frederick hotel and conference center.

For the past three fiscal years, lawmakers have added money for the project to the budget, and Frederick’s Democratic representatives anticipate doing so again.

Sen. Ron Young (D-District 3) said he will continue to work to get the $15 million bond added during this General Assembly session. While both chambers work simultaneously on budget issues, the budget approval process starts in the Maryland Senate this year, before shifting to the House of Delegates.

“They’ve already pledged to me here that it would be in,” Young said Wednesday, gesturing to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr.’s seat in the front of the chamber. “We’ll get it in. The sooner it’s in, the better. It makes it easier.”

Sen. Michael Hough (R-District 4) said he was pleased that the capital funding was not included in the governor’s budget, though he was not surprised.

“[The governor is] respecting the will of the delegation. We’ve asked not to put money in that. And why would they? They’re nowhere near on this thing. They’re still changing the plans. It’s not like they’re moving dirt or anything,” Hough said.

Local legislators’ views

Delegate Karen Lewis Young (D-District 3A) criticized the budget for not addressing the impact of sweeping changes to federal tax law and the possibility that the federal government may not reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

Hogan has said he would introduce legislation to mitigate the impact of federal tax reform on Marylanders.

Lewis Young, and the Maryland Behavioral Health Coalition, said they were disappointed that pay increases for behavioral health providers, which legislators previously approved, were lower than expected. Last year’s HOPE Act, which aimed to address the heroin and opioid epidemic, called for a 3.5 percent pay raise for providers. The budget presented Wednesday, however, set aside about $1.32 million for 14 behavioral health providers, an increase of just over 2 percent.

Lewis Young also lamented a proposed shift of some state costs for local Department of Assessments and Taxation offices. Under the governor’s spending plan, counties would be expected to pay 90 percent of some expenses compared with the current 50 percent share.

Delegate David E. Vogt III (R-District 4) said he was pleased with the budget, particularly an expansion of programs for people with autism, increased K-12 education funding and economic development initiatives.

He added that holding tuition growth at Maryland’s public colleges and universities to 2 percent was a highlight.

Money on the move

The county’s share of highway user revenue again increased in Hogan’s proposed operating budget. Frederick County would see an increase in funding from $2.1 million to $2.2 million. The highway user revenue funds would be split, with $1.37 million going to the county and $830,395 going to municipalities.

Highway user revenue funding had sharply declined over the past decade, but it has recently increased. In 2007, Frederick County received around $13.8 million.

Hogan’s $4.6 billion capital budget also included money for several transportation projects that will affect the county.

The governor set aside $22 million for a traffic relief plan for Interstate 270 and Interstate 495 along with $28.8 million for congestion mitigation projects along I-270.

The capital budget would also fund work on the Md. 85 interchange at I-270 at $19.7 million.

Delegate Carol Krimm (D-District 3A) said the I-270 funding was important, but it was also imperative to support transit options for the county.

Overall transportation aid to the county would increase 16 percent to $6.015 million, if the budget passed as drafted.

Cash for the classroom

Hogan’s budget proposal increased K-12 education aid to Frederick County, including employee retirement costs, by 2.4 percent over last fiscal year to a total of nearly $280 million.

The capital budget includes $4 million in the coming fiscal year toward the $48.51 million Butterfly Ridge Elementary School project and $8.51 million toward the $41.85 million Sugarloaf Elementary School project.

The capital budget would also set aside about $9.84 million over the next three fiscal years to renovate the Maryland School for the Deaf’s Veditz building. The school aims to renovate both levels of the space to house the Career Technology Education program and add classrooms.

It also budgets $16.32 million over the next five years toward a proposed $22.88 million project to construct several new facilities at the school, including a new high school boys’ residence and student center, high school girls’ residence, middle school residence, satellite health center, and central offices.

Frederick Community College would be slated to receive $6 million to renovate and add onto its Building E.

The new $3.78 million Myersville Library, planned to be built near Harp Place Park, will get $750,000 in state support.

Other capital budget line items

Other proposed budgeted items specific to Frederick County included:

  • $985,000 for a wastewater collection system in Lewistown.
  • $960,000 for a wastewater treatment plant in Lewistown.
  • $65,000 to resurface roads in Cunningham Falls State Park.
  • $83,000 to improve Burkittsville Memorial Park.
  • $84,000 to improve Stonegate Park basketball court.
  • $250,000 to New Spire Arts.

Staff writer Danielle E. Gaines contributed to this report.

Follow Kelsi Loos on Twitter: @KelsiLoos.

(28) comments

petersamuel

Governor Hogan’s right: not a dollar more for the stupid and shameful Boondoggle hotel! Last estimate was that they wanted taxpayers to put up a total $31m — $16m of state, $15m of city and county money. Eight years after Mayor McClement promised the hotel would open in 2014 with $12m of upfront taxpayer money they still can’t produce a site plan that provides for truck deliveries or trash collection. They haven't worked out how the basement parking will be accessed. The people running this thing couldn’t organize a hotdog stand at the Fairgrounds. All they know is they want tens of millions of our money. Hotels are a business that should be left to business people, who could have got a hotel built by now if it hadn’t been for the endless politicking for taxpayer money. Politicians like Ron Young should give up their shameful panhandling in Annapolis. interesting that he says he has a deal with Senate Leader Mike Miller. He knows the project would never withstand scrutiny in the house appropriations and senate finance committees so he does backroom deals. That’s this boondoggle project through and through — initiated in the backroom meetings of Mayor McClement’s Hotel Advisory Committee led by Mark Gaver, a shyster who is facing trial on federal charges for $50 million of bank fraud and money laundering.

gary4books

[beam]

Jane and Ed

There is no reason to waste public funds subsidizing a big box hotel for a millionaire, while many people in Frederick are living hand to mouth working for poverty level wages in his other local Marriott's.

Now that a privately financed boutique hotel is going into downtown at the Visitation Academy, there is absolutely no reason to waste our tax dollars on a bad gamble.

But Ron Young and the proponents who go along with this outmoded vision, refuse to be reasonable or responsible with regard to this squirrelly deal.

So far 8 years in the planning stages, a rigged procurement, no evidence of any feasibility, bogus projections of economic impact based on data collected in 2008! (10 years ago! )Plans for demolition of a unique historic site known to have significant archaeological material relating to African American history and early Industrial history, and they just keep going to Annapolis with their entitled fists begging for MILLIONS from State taxpayers.

What would we be able to do for the residents of Frederick County with this 30Million bucks our elected local Democrats are planning on gifting to Plamondon?

Job training center for workers? Feed and clothe the cold and hungry? Start an African-American History Museum? Get kids out of trailers and into real school buildings? Priorities!!

This big box Marriott is Corporate welfare and should not be subsidized by us!

Jane and Ed

Some of us who oppose publicly funding this hotel deal went to Annapolis half a dozen times 2 years ago when they put it before the House Appropriations committee and the Senate Finance committee. The hotel funding bills NEVER MADE IT OUT OF COMMITTEE! The legislature did not approve putting it into the State budget!
Rather than abide by the decision of the legislature, Young and the proponents went to slip it into the Capital Budget through the back door with Mike Miller.

We sat in one of those meetings for 8 HOURS one day, just to have literally 1 minute to speak, against this funding. We would do it again!
But last year, we couldn't have even that ONE MINUTE because there were no Frederick Delegation bills put openly before Legislative committees. Ron Young with the help of Greenwill Lobbyists (paid for in large part out of County and City funds), went around the Legislature, went to the BACK DOOR and they slipped it into the Capital Budget.
They sidestepped PUBLIC PROCESS. The State never released the funding.

Now Ron Young is bragging about his backroom deal excluding the legislature and the public!
Why would Young brag about doing backroom stuff like this? So much for Open and transparent government!

gary4books

[smile]

jakinnaird

So much for Governor Hogan's pledge to restore HUR funding to 80% of what our counties and municipalities should be receiving.

elymus43

Now maybe Ron and Karen Young, Caroll Krimm, Mayor and BOA for use their money for the hotel/convention center???? Great job Gov. Hogan.

KellyAlzan

Its not a deal killer. They will do just as they did last year and sneak the money into a bundled bill with other stuff

bicep42

Here's a novel idea, find a developer who can finance his or her own projects without taxpayer assistance!

jerseygrl42

This is great news; why should the citizen taxpayers foot the bill for $31 Million to enrich Plamondon and Randall families, if the hotel isn't built there will be no need for the city to buy the property ( with taxpayer money ) nor will there be a need for another parking garage or Conf. center , again with taxpayer $$$.....The Gov has more common sense than most of the locals who just love spending other peoples MONEY!

KellyAlzan

not anything to rejoice over. same thing happened last year. They will just slip the money in with another bill.

jerseygrl42

hope you are wrong

gary4books

[smile]

Frayou

Democratic controlled state house will see it gets included. Somehow. (Not that I approve) I get so tired of hearing how this hotel & Conference center is needed for downtown revitalization efforts. Especially considering all that has been done & money’s spent to date downtown. When is downtown merchants going to be allowed to support itself like the rest of the Frederick communities. Let cut to the chase. There are major property owners and developers who have money invested downtown and all they are concerned about is proping up their property values to increase profits at expense of John Doe taxpayers. And the politians & City leaders just want to increase tax base so the can spend more downtown.

KellyAlzan

Wasn’t recently there mention that private investors from multiple countries are interested in funding widening of I-270?? Here’s a suggestion to the plamandoon Brothers - call them

Titanman123

Once again Ron Young’s third wife is complaining...you know most private sector workers have been receiving yearly raises. Stop complaining!

Titanman123

*havent

KellyAlzan

Say NO to the Hotel from HELL

KellyAlzan

Thank you governor hogan! So far, this dem is intending to vote for you.

As for the Young’s, I’ll do all I can to steer people away from you.

And hey rtb - you keep saying not state moment is gunna be used for this scandal. Ok, then how come the governor rejected it?????

rbtdt5

You got me Kelly, maybe state funds won't be used. Now it will just cost the city and county more. Even if this Hotel is not built, the infrastructure will still be needed. I can assure you Baltimore or Montgomery County won't turn away state funds. I hope the hotel is built, but maybe this building will just sit empty for the next 15-20 years as you seem to want.

KellyAlzan

Nice attempt to put words in my mouth.

Build the Hotel From Hell all they want. Just do it without public dollars. Plenty of private investors across this land. Plenty.

rbtdt5

The public money wasn't paying for the hotel. Not sure what you don't understand about that. The public money will still need to be spent, even without a hotel.

KellyAlzan

Public money is spent every day. That’s not the issue.

Titanman123

Why does Jan get a free pass to support the hotel?

KellyAlzan

Because jan didn’t demand to the FNP to +not use her name+

shiftless88

I don't know why you think she gets a free pass. I have expressed my displeasure about this to her but on the whole I would still vote for her.

gary4books

[thumbup]

bicep42

She doesn't 😬

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