Act Now, Save Later: Maintenance at Our Community Colleges

MACo Associate Director Barbara Zektick testified in support of Senate Bill 595, “Community Colleges – Facilities Renewal Grant Program – Established”, before the Senate Appropriations Committee on February 28, 2018.

The bill establishes a grant program that would provide for needed improvements, repairs, and maintenance at community colleges. Counties currently are a part of a state-local cost formula that allows both parties to contribute to the funding responsibility. This investment could promote long-term cost savings through preventative action on smaller maintenance projects.

From MACo Testimony:

The grant program envisioned in this legislation will provide helpful assistance in tackling maintenance projects that will improve the learning environments of community college students and may extend the life of community college facilities, a joint investment of counties and the State of Maryland.

The facility renewal program will fund for small renovations those projects with total estimated costs of less than $1 million. Under this legislation, each year beginning in fiscal 2019, the Governor must appropriate 5% of the annual appropriation for the Community College Construction Grant Program to the new facility renewal program.

The funds would be distributed evenly to community college applicants, with no college generally receiving more than $500,000 grant funding in one fiscal year, and with community colleges alternating years in which they receive grants. In this way, the program assures that all community colleges statewide are provided with some assistance for needed renovations and improvements.”

For more on this and other legislation, follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2018 legislative session here.