The local component of Program Open Space (POS) will receive an additional $15.1 million in general obligation bonds for FY 2016 following final budget actions approved by the General Assembly. This brings the total authorization in the capital budget to $30.1 million, more than double the $14.5 million authorization included in the Governor’s proposed capital budget.
The additional $15.6 million authorization is intended to backfill the $8.1 million in unencumbered fund balance used to assist with balancing the FY 2015 budget and the remaining $7.45 million is being allocated to bring the funding level up to 75% of the replacement funding for FY 2016 as specified during the 2014 session. Other land purchase and easement acquisition capital programs have also been adjusted to be funded at this 75% benchmark.
During budget discussions, the House adopted the increased funding level of $15.1 million. However, the Senate only agreed to fund the $8.1 million. The House position prevailed as this difference was resolved by a House and Senate Conference Committee.
The GO bond replacement for FY 16 and future GO bond replacements have been eliminated in the proposed FY 16 capital budget.