Wicomico Bond Bill To Fund Capital Projects

SALISBURY – Officials in Wicomico County voted this week to introduce a $23 million bond bill.

On Tuesday, the Wicomico County Council voted unanimously to introduce a legislative bill allowing the county to borrow $23,378,386 for nine capital projects.

“We have a calendar created such that we would go to the bond market prior to the general election,” Finance Director Pam Oland told council members this week. “The intention would be to have a second reading in July … and we would come to the council the second meeting in October for you to accept the award.”

Oland noted that the timeline for Wicomico’s bond process was moved up to allow the same council to vote on its acceptance.

“We are moving up the process so it doesn’t interact with the election,” she explained this week.

The 2022 bond bill includes $2.6 million for projects at the Old Courthouse in Salisbury – $350,000 for window replacements, $500,000 for exterior masonry repairs and $1.75 million for electrical system upgrades – as well as $1,033,386 for a new Applied Technology Building at Wor-Wic Community College.

The bond bill also includes $1.2 million for the Coulbourn Mill Pond dam project, $10.1 million for a renovation and addition at Mardela Middle and High School and $250,000 in bond contingency.

The bill also features $8.1 million in bonded airport projects, including $5.98 million for a runway extension project, $1.5 million for a car rental car wash and $715,000 for a natural gas line extension.

With no further discussion, the council voted 7-0 to introduce the 2022 bond bill.

This week’s introduction follows a $51 million bond bill approved by county leaders last year to fund eight capital projects, including the replacement of Beaver Run Elementary School and $19.6 million for the construction of a new public safety buildings.

As the county did not go to the bond market in 2020 – the result of conflicts between the legislative and executive branches of government and disagreements over certifying department heads – officials noted the 2021 bond bill was larger than most, but that the county wanted to take advantage of a favorable economic climate.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.