Frederick County Commissioner Finds School Board Construction Plan Unrealistic

The Frederick County school  board approved a 10-year construction plan that includes $305.3 million in funding requests, as reported in the Gazette.   But, as the Board approved the plan, they admitted that their funding requests would not likely be met.  They pointed out the differences between the system’s requested projects and those commissioners have approved for funding.

The decision to include such information follows criticism from Commissioners’ President Blaine Young (R) that the school system’s master plan was “unrealistic” and “overly aggressive.”

In a letter he submitted as public comment for the school system’s master plan hearing on Sept. 12, Young said that in the current weak economy, the county cannot fund the timeline of construction and renovation projects as outlined in the plan.

Although the county has been aggressive in moving up some school construction projects, such as the replacement of North Frederick and Lincoln elementaries, officials still are waiting on the state to reimburse them for $23 million that the commissioners have forward funded to support school construction, Young said.

And with the county being pressed to provide money for teacher pensions, it will be more difficult to find funding for school construction in the general fund, Young said. School construction money comes from the general fund in the commissioners’ operating budget, impact fees and new school mitigation fees for developers.

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