September 15 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 affect county governments. The BPW considered and approved the following requests and recommendations at its meeting on September 15, 2021: Note: This is a list of county-specific items, not a comprehensive list of BPW actions. Related Coverage: BPW Breakthrough: Panel Seeks, Receives…

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BPW Breakthrough: Panel Seeks, Receives Cost Split to Help Counties

At this week's meeting of the Board of Public Works, Secretary of Budget and Management David Brinkley pledged that a project to replace state-mandated electronic pollbooks and ancillary equipment would follow the same 50/50 state/county funding split as other comparable equipment since 2001. The assertion came at the behest of Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot and State Treasurer Nancy Kopp, both of whom raised concerns over a State Board of Elections plan to invoice county governments…

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Prince George’s Community College to Forgive $2.87M in Student Debt

This week, Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) announced that it will forgive more than $2.87 million in outstanding student debt from the 2020-2021 academic year for students enrolled during the COVID-19 pandemic. The debt relief, funded through the CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, will assist approximately 3,893 credit and continuing education students. “Funding provided by the CARES Act makes it possible for thousands of our students, who otherwise may not have been able,…

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Baltimore County Announces New Public Safety Hiring Initiatives

In the latest effort to attract and retain qualified applicants for critical public safety positions, Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski this week announced employment bonus incentives for new hires in the Baltimore County Police Department and the Baltimore County Department of Corrections. “We are committed to doing everything we can to recruit the best-qualified candidates into these vital roles to keep our communities safe,” County Executive Olszewski said. “This common-sense strategy strengthens our ongoing work…

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MACo: Fund New Pollbooks 50/50 State/County

MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally this week sent a letter to the Board of Public Works urging that a pending funding request for new electronic pollbooks follow the same 50/50 state/county funding split as other comparable equipment since 2001. In 2006, Maryland passed legislation requiring all polling places to be equipped with electronic pollbooks to verify the names and addresses of eligible voters. Chapter 61 of 2006 required the Governor to include in future years’…

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Frederick Completes Historic Bond Sale

Frederick County this week sold $154.5 million in new tax-exempt bonds at a historically low interest rate, a direct reflection of the County’s recent AAA credit rating from all three major financial rating agencies. The tax-exempt bonds sold at an interest rate of 1.57 percent -- the lowest rate in County history. In addition, the County refinanced $30.9 million of 2013 and 2016A taxable bonds at an interest rate of 1.82 percent, which will save…

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Howard Fire Dept Earns American Heart Association’s EMS Excellence Award

Last week, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball announced that the Department of Fire and Rescue Services (HCDFRS) earned the American Heart Association’s “Mission: Lifeline EMS Silver Plus Award” for 2020 for its response measures during cardiac emergencies. HCDFRS was the first in Maryland to receive a Mission: Lifeline® EMS award in 2017 and was awarded the “Mission: Lifeline® EMS Gold Plus Award” each year from 2017 to 2019. "Our Fire and Rescue employees are the…

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Baltimore City to Announce ARPA Investments, Urges Nonprofits to Apply for Funds

Today, Baltimore City Mayor Brandon Scott announced that nonprofits on October 1 can begin applying for money from the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Programs, which is managing the City's historic $640 million investment through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). As previously reported on Conduit Street, ARPA provides $65.1 billion in direct, flexible aid to every county in America, along with other critical investments in local communities. The City will announce the first round of ARPA…

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Fitch Rates MDOT’s $628M Consolidated Transportation Bonds AA+, Outlook Stable

Fitch Ratings has assigned an AA+ rating to the following Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) consolidated transportation bonds: $295 million series 2021A $138 million refunding series 2021B $52 million refunding series 2022A (forward delivery) $143 million refunding series 2022B (forward delivery) The bonds will be offered by competitive sale later this month. Additionally, Fitch affirmed the following ratings: Outstanding MDOT consolidated transportation bonds at AA+ Outstanding MDOT county transportation bonds issued on behalf of Baltimore…

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