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Prince George's and Montgomery County Lawmakers Adopt Bi-County Budgets

WI Staff | 6/4/2009, 7:36 a.m.

Meeting in an annual joint session on Thurs., May 7, the Prince George€s and Montgomery County Councils unanimously adopted the Fiscal Year 2010 operating and capital bi-county budgets for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC); Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC); and Washington Suburban Transit Commission (WSTC). The FY 2010 budgets take effect July 1.

The lawmakers, meeting at WSSC in Laurel, approved a $558.2 million Fiscal Year 2010 operating budget for the water and sewer utility. The new spending plan includes a water and sewer rate increase of nine-percent, adding approximately $4.47 per month to the average residential bill. The adopted WSSC budget is consistent with the limits put forth by the Bi-County Spending Affordability Committee, established to control costs and rates. Spending affordability guidelines detail the framework for the development of WSSC operating and capital budgets.

Prince George€s County Council Chair Marilynn Bland (D €" Dist. 9), said the Councils had a productive session, working cooperatively to reach the best agreement, especially given the budget deficits both counties are facing.

€While the newly adopted WSSC budget includes a modest increase, the largest portion of the operating budget is directed toward paying debt service for bonds sold to support badly needed sewer and water capital projects and for debt associated with house connections.€

In other action, lawmakers from both counties approved the FY 2010 appropriations for the bi-county portions of the M-NCPPC and the WSTC budgets. No merits or COLAs were approved for Commission staff in FY 2010 and only current year claims were funded with excess contributions deferred until their long-range revenue structure recovers. Appropriations in the amount of $70,536 were approved for the Prince George€s County portion of the WSTC budget.