Montgomery County is drawing up a savings plan in response to a budget shortfall of nearly $120 million, and it should be no surprise that this means a cut to capital improvement projects in the Department of Parks and Recreation. And that means trails.
In January, the County Executive released a recommended FY19 Capital Budget and six-year FY19-24 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) that would require a 10.9% reduction in Parks CIP funding. This results in quite a few cuts, and a few of these impact trails.
The Mathew Henson-Wheaton Trail Collector has been delayed at a savings of $170,000. I'm not 100% sure, but I think that's a reference to the proposed trail along the Northwest Branch from Wheaton Regional park to the Matthew Henson Trail.
To save $530,000 several projects are delayed, including bridge replacements along the Sligo Creek Trail.
$30,000 is cut by reducing the time and ability of staff to design, map, construct and build natural trail projects.
It appears that some other projects will be spared. Some of the standalone projects will continue to receive funding if they are far along or see high use. The North Branch Trail, a project that will pave and move a natural surface trail from Lake Bernard Frank to Muncaster Mill Road, is the highest such priority standalone project.
The Little Bennett Regional Park Trail Connector is listed as the #7 standalone project priority.
This project develops a facility plan for a hard-surface trail approximately one mile in length and located on the east side of Frederick Road, MD Route 355 in Clarksburg, Maryland. The trail is planned to connect the existing asphalt trail from Snowden Farm Parkway near Little Bennett Regional Park Maintenance Yard to the south entry of the proposed Day Use Area
Meanwhile the Magruder Branch Trail Extension is #10 on the priority list
This project extends the existing Magruder Branch Trail located in the Magruder Branch Stream Valley Park from its current terminus at Valley Park Drive northward to the Damascus Town Center. The existing trail is 3.1 miles in length, and this project extends the trail an additional 0.75 mile.