Dollars & Sense: Capital Consensus at #MACoCon

At MACo’s Winter Conference, an expert panel shared best practices for identifying infrastructure needs, capital budget priorities, and reliable funding mechanisms.

Budgeting to maintain a county’s infrastructure can be a complicated process. Local elected officials must understand infrastructure needs and maintenance schedules, develop priority projects, and generate sustainable funding mechanisms. A close partnership with county administrators and agency heads is essential − from the beginning stages of assessing the capital needs and requests to managing projects after budget adoption.

At MACo’s Winter Conference, an expert panel shared best practices for planning and financing capital projects to meet public infrastructure and facility needs.

Panel speakers included:

  • Robbie Sandlass, Treasurer, Harford County
  • Stanley Earley, Director of Management and Budget, Prince George’s County
  • Martha Sparks, Finance Director, Talbot County

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Robbie Sandlass opened the session by providing an overview of Maryland’s economic environment and discussed the impact of pressures like inflation, supply chain/labor issues, and high borrowing costs on capital projects.

Stanley Earley detailed Prince George’s County’s process for assessing and recommending capital budgets. Mr. Early shared best practices and discussed the pros and cons of capital budget processes and procedures.

Martha Sparks emphasized the importance of a rigorous and coordinated intergovernmental, interagency, and interdisciplinary effort is critical for a successful Capital Improvement Program. Sparks also shared tips for open communication and transparency in the capital budget process.

The session was on January 4, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay Hotel in Cambridge, MD.

More about MACo’s Winter Conference:

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