August 11 Board of Public Works Meeting: Here’s What Counties Need to Know

The Board of Public Works (BPW) — a three-member panel including Governor Larry Hogan, Comptroller Peter Franchot, and State Treasurer Nancy Kopp — reviews projects, contracts, and expenditure plans for state agencies, many of which have an effect on county governments.

The BPW considered and approved the following requests and recommendations in its August 11, 2021 meeting.

Note: This is a list of county-specific items, not a comprehensive list of BPW actions.

Allegany County

  • A request from the Maryland Department of the Environment for new funding up to $18,847,464 ($1,673,200 loan + $1,557,733 grant + $15,616,531 from the Bay Restoration Fund) to Allegany County for the Braddock and Jennings Run Sewage Conveyance Improvements project. This project will replace two deteriorated sewage pumping stations with one regionalized pump station and rehabilitate the aging sewage force main to convey sewage from the Braddock and Jennings Run area to the City of Cumberland for treatment at the Cumberland Wastewater Treatment Plant. This Agenda Item is to install the new pumping station and a gravity line from the abandoned pumping station (Item 6 of the Secretary’s Agenda).
  • A request from the Maryland Department of the Environment for new grant funding up to $126,994 to the City of Cumberland for the Flood Control System and Concrete Repairs project. This project will repair the floodwalls and Dry Run Dam, which has deteriorated due to wall settlement and inadequate reinforcement coverage. In addition, this project will extend the useful life of the flood system infrastructure and help mitigate the effects of future flood events (Item 8 of the Secretary’s Agenda).
  • A request from the Department of Natural Resources to grant $110,000 of Program Open Space statewide funds for the acquisition in fee simple of 47.8 +/- acres (Holmes property) in Allegany County. This property is located along Ruby Road and will be managed by the Maryland Wildlife and Heritage Services to the Warrior Mountain Wildlife Management Area. This mostly forested property contains about 1,000 feet of a Nontidal Coldwater tributary to Trading Run. The acquisition will improve access and boundary line management, protect water quality in the Upper Potomac River Watershed, and expand public recreation opportunities for hunting and other wildlife-dependent activities (Item 2A of the Department of Natural Resources’ Real Property Agenda).

Anne Arundel County

  • A request to enter into a grant agreement for a $5,000,000 grant to the Board of Trustees of St. John’s College for the design and construction of renovation to Mellon Hall. There is no matching fund requirement for this grant (Item 1 of the Department of General Services’ Office of State Procurement Agenda).
  • A request to enter into a grant agreement for a $1,000,000 grant to the Board of Trustees of Historic Annapolis, Inc. for the acquisition, planning, design, construction, repair, renovation, reconstruction, site improvement, and capital equipping of facility and infrastructure improvements to the Brice House and other historic properties leased to Historic Annapolis, Inc. There is no matching fund requirement for this grant (Item 11 of the Department of General Services’ Office of State Procurement Agenda).
  • A request from the Department of General Services for approval to modify a master lease agreement with the Historic Annapolis Foundation, to add 21 State Circle (“The Shaw House”) to the Agreement (Item 36 of the Department of General Services’ Office of State Procurement Agenda).
  • A request from the Maryland Department of the Environment for new grant funding up to $3,000,000 to Anne Arundel County for the Renewable Energy at the Utility Operations Complex project. This project entails designing and constructing a solar photovoltaic array at the Anne Arundel County Bureau of Utility Operations Complex, located along Maxwell Frye Road at the intersection with East-West Boulevard in Millersville, Anne Arundel County. It is intended to provide an alternative source of electrical energy. The core functions of this Complex include the 24-hour/day staffing of the County’s Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System, which monitors the operation of all the County’s water and wastewater facilities, Emergency Dispatch, the Water Chemistry Laboratory, and the County Water Meter Shop.
  • The solar photovoltaic panels will be installed on existing rooftops and new parking lot canopies in certain areas. The system is anticipated to provide approximately 1.50 million kWh/year of electricity, thereby accounting for approximately 97% of the total annual electricity usage at the Complex.  Any excess electricity produced by the system will be applied to other County water or wastewater accounts (Item 5 of the Secretary’s Agenda)

Baltimore City

  • A request to enter into a grant agreement for a $125,000 grant to the Board of Director of the Pleasant Hope Community Development Corporation, Inc. for the acquisition, planning, design, construction, repair, renovation, reconstruction, site improvement, and capital equipping of the Young Adult Residential Fellowship Program. There is no matching fund requirement for this grant (Item 8 of the Department of General Services’ Office of State Procurement Agenda).
  • A request to enter into a grant agreement for a $300,000 grant to the Board of Directors of BraveHeart Veterans, LLC for the acquisition, planning, design, construction, repair, renovation, reconstruction, site improvement, and capital equipping of the BraveHeart Assisted Living facility. There is no matching fund requirement for this grant (Item 12 of the Department of General Services’ Office of State Procurement Agenda).
  • A request from the Maryland Stadium Authority for approval to award the full construction trade package for the Highlandtown Elementary/Middle School renovation/addition project (231 South Eaton Street). This project is a part of the Baltimore City Public Schools’ 21st Century Building Initiative (Item 13 of the Secretary’s Agenda).

Baltimore County

  • A request to enter into grant agreements for grants totaling $250,000 to the Board of Directors of the Community Assistance Network, Inc. for the acquisition, planning, design, construction, repair, renovation, reconstruction, site improvement, and capital equipping of the Community Assistance Network Food Pantry. There is no matching fund requirement for this grant (Item 3 of the Department of General Services’ Office of State Procurement Agenda).

Frederick County

  • A request to enter into a grant agreement for a $50,000 grant to the Board of Directors of the Mountain City Elks Lodge No. 382 for the acquisition, planning, design, construction, repair, renovation, reconstruction, site improvement, and capital equipping of the Mountain City Elks Lodge No. 382 facility. There is no matching fund requirement for this grant (Item 2 of the Department of General Services’ Office of State Procurement Agenda).
  • A request to enter into a grant agreement for a $13,000 grant to the Board of Directors of the Jefferson Ruritan Club, Inc. for the acquisition, planning, design, construction, repair, renovation, reconstruction, site improvement, and capital equipping of the Jefferson community tennis court, including improvements to the site’s grounds. There is no matching fund requirement for this grant (Item 10 of the Department of General Services’ Office of State Procurement Agenda).
  • A request to enter into a grant agreement for a $203,000 grant to the Burgess and Commissioners of the Town of Middletown for the acquisition, planning, design, construction, repair, renovation, reconstruction, site improvement, and capital equipping of pedestrian and vehicular improvements to the Downtown Core, including improvements to area sidewalks. There is no matching fund requirement for this grant (Item 13 of the Department of General Services’ Office of State Procurement Agenda).
  • A request to approve the lease agreement between SHA and MDTA to create a leasehold interest for Phase 1 South (the American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370 project). While SHA will own the lanes, MDTA is the only entity with toll setting authority in Maryland. This is a 60-year lease (or earlier if both parties choose) to allow the MDTA to set and charge tolls on these lanes (Item 10 of the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Agenda).
  • A request for approval of the Phase Public-Private Partnership (P3) Agreement and award for the predevelopment work for Phase 1 of the P3 Program, known as the “American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-70 Relief Plan.” The contract includes the predevelopment scope for Phase 1 of the P3 Program (Item 11 of the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Agenda).

Garrett County

  • A request from the Department of Natural Resources to grant $70,000 of Program Open Space statewide funds for the acquisition in fee simple of 27.5 +/- acres (Miller property) in Garrett County. This completely forested property is adjacent to Potomac State Forest and will be managed by the Maryland Forest Service. The property is situated upslope of the South Fork of Crabtree Creek. The acquisition will provide direct angler access within the Savage River Watershed’s Zero Creel Limit for Brook Trout special fishing area, help protect water quality, and improve access for management and recreational opportunities for hunting, bird watching, and hiking (Item 3A of the Department of Natural Resources’ Real Property Agenda).

Harford County

  • A request from the Department of Natural Resources to commit $75,000 from Program Open Space funding allocated to Harford County for new playground equipment that meets current accessibility and safety standards at Rockfield Park in Bel Air (Item 1A of the Department of Natural Resources’ Real Property Agenda).

Montgomery County

  • A request to enter into a grant agreement for a $600,000 grant to the Board of Directors of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School of Greater Washington, Inc. for the acquisition, planning, design, construction, repair, renovation, reconstruction, site improvement, and capital equipping of Capital Improvements to Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School’s Lower School. There is no matching fund requirement for this grant (Item 7 of the Department of General Services’ Office of State Procurement Agenda).
  • A request from the Maryland Department of Health to approve a $164,722 grant to Housing Unlimited, Inc. to assist with acquiring a property located at 16325 Decker Place, Derwood. The property will be used to provide housing for three individuals with psychiatric disabilities. The contract sale price of the property is $218,829 (Item 16 of the Department of General Services’ Office of State Procurement Agenda).
  • A request to enter into a grant agreement for a $450,000 grant to the Board of Directors of the Ivy Mount School, Inc. for the acquisition, planning, design, construction, repair, renovation, reconstruction, site improvement, and capital equipping of the HVAC-VAV boxes at the Ivy Mount School. There is no matching fund requirement for this grant (Item 4 of the Department of General Services’ Office of State Procurement Agenda).
  • A request to enter into a grant agreement for grants totaling $150,000 to the Board of Directors of the Ivy Mount School, Inc. for the acquisition, planning, design, construction, repair, renovation, reconstruction, site improvement, and capital equipping of roof replacement at the Ivy Mount School. There is no matching fund requirement for this grant (Item 5 of the Department of General Services’ Office of State Procurement Agenda).
  • A request to approve the lease agreement between SHA and MDTA to create a leasehold interest for Phase 1 South (the American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-370 project). While SHA will own the lanes, MDTA is the only entity with toll setting authority in Maryland. This is a 60-year lease (or earlier if both parties choose) to allow the MDTA to set and charge tolls on these lanes (Item 10 of the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Agenda).
  • A request for approval of the Phase Public-Private Partnership (P3) Agreement and award for the predevelopment work for Phase 1 of the P3 Program, known as the “American Legion Bridge I-270 to I-70 Relief Plan.” The contract includes the predevelopment scope for Phase 1 of the P3 Program (Item 11 of the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Agenda).

Prince George’s County

  • A request to certify matching funds and enter into a grant agreement for an $840,000 grant to MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital Center to assist in the design, construction, renovation, and equipping of the hospital’s inpatient behavioral health unit. The Grantee has submitted documentation of sufficient funds to meet the matching fund requirement for this project (Item 9 of the Department of General Services’ Office of State Procurement Agenda).
  • A request to enter into a grant agreement for a $250,000 grant to the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission for the acquisition, planning, design, construction, repair, renovation, reconstruction, site improvement, and capital equipping of a new dock at the Bladensburg Waterfront. There is no matching fund requirement for this grant (Item 6 of the Department of General Services’ Office of State Procurement Agenda).

Queen Anne’s County

  • A request to provide a $432,156.32 grant to Queen Anne’s County from Rural Legacy Funds to acquire a 94.66-acre conservation easement in the Lands End Rural Legacy Area (Beachy property). Acquisition of this easement will protect productive agricultural and forested lands. The property is within the Chester River watershed, with an approximately 100-foot forested buffer on Rosin’s Creek, a tributary of the Chester River. The easement will be held by the Department of Natural Resources and the Board of County Commissioners of Queen Anne’s County. In addition, the County is paying administrative and compliance costs. Easement value: $4,457.46/acre (Item 5A of the Department of Natural Resources’ Real Property Agenda).

St. Mary’s County

  • A request to encumber funds for a $434,813 grant to St. Mary’s College of Maryland for a construction project at Historic St. Mary’s City. This funding will complete the Maryland Heritage Interpretive Center construction documents, exhibit design documents, and provide bidding and construction administration services (Item 12 of the Secretary’s Agenda).
  • A request to enter into a grant agreement for a $500,000 grant to the Board of Directors of the Ridge Volunteer Fire Department, Inc. for the acquisition, planning, design, construction, repair, renovation, reconstruction, site improvement, and capital equipping of the Ridge Volunteer Fire Department. There is no matching fund requirement for this grant (Item 14 of the Department of General Services’ Office of State Procurement Agenda).

Somerset County

  • A request from the Maryland Environmental Service for approval to award a contract to furnish and install a new natural gas service distribution pipeline to the Eastern Correctional Institution in Somerset County. For ECI to be ready for natural gas consumption, it must convert necessary fuel equipment and install a new underground distribution pipeline. The fuel conversion will convert ECI’s 19 propane-fired HVAC equipment across 7 buildings. The distribution pipeline will consist of approximately 10,000 linear feet of high-density polyethylene gas piping ranging from 1” to 6” in diameter. The distribution pipeline will connect to Chesapeake Utilities’ natural gas utility pipeline (Item 9 of the Secretary’s Agenda).

Washington County

  • A request to provide a $426,773.50 grant to Washington County from Rural Legacy Funds to acquire a 127-acre conservation easement in the Mid-Maryland Rural Legacy Area (Baker property). Acquisition of this easement will protect productive agricultural and forest lands, and 1,400 linear feet of forested and grassed stream buffers along unnamed tributaries to Antietam Creek.  The County Commissioners of Washington County will hold the easement. Easement value: $3,916.90/acre (Item 6A of the Department of Natural Resources’ Real Property Agenda).
  • A request to provide a $1,393.34 grant to Washington County from Rural Legacy Funds to donate a 4.22-acre conservation easement in the Mid-Maryland Washington Rural Legacy Area (Save Historic Antietam Foundation, Inc. property). The donation of this easement will protect productive forestlands within the Sharman’s Branch portion of historic Antietam Creek. The County Commissioners of Washington County will hold the easement. Easement value: $1,745.79/acre (Item 7A of the Department of Natural Resources’ Real Property Agenda).

The BPW also approved the sale of $540.0 million of tax-exempt new money bonds, $75.0 million in taxable new money bonds, and $241.4 million in tax-exempt forward refunding bonds. The tax-exempt new money bonds will be sold in two bidding groups to enhance competition: Bidding Group 1 – $259.0 million; and Bidding Group 2 – $281.1 million. The tax-exempt forward refunding bonds are underwritten by Bank of America and are expected to generate around $40.0 million in debt service savings between now and 2030.

As previously reported on Conduit Street, Maryland is one of thirteen states to hold the coveted AAA rating, the highest possible rating, from all three major bond rating agencies. S&P Global Ratings has rated the bonds AAA since 1961, Moody’s Investors Service has assigned the bonds a rating of Aaa since 1973, and Fitch Ratings has rated the bonds AAA since 1993.

As is always the case with Maryland’s tax-exempt general obligation bonds, the State will use the proceeds to finance important capital projects and improvements, such as public schools, community colleges, university projects, and hospitals.

Visit the BPW website for more information.

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