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[photo, Goldstein Treasury Building, 80 Calvert St., Annapolis, Maryland] Maryland's first Board of Public Works, a nine-member body, was created in 1825 and abolished three years later (Chapter 166, Acts of 1825; Chapter 64, Acts of 1828). By the Constitution of 1851, four Commissioners of Public Works were to be popularly elected to represent four regional districts of the State (Const. 1851, Art. VII, secs. 1-3). The present three-member Board of Public Works composed of the Governor, the Comptroller of Maryland, and the State Treasurer was established by the Constitution of 1864 (Const. 1864, Art. VII, secs. 1-3). The Constitution of 1867 continued provisions for the Board (Const., Art. XII, secs. 1-3).

The Board of Public Works exercises the powers and duties prescribed in the Constitution or delegated to it by the General Assembly. Expenditures of all sums appropriated through State loans authorized by the General Assembly must be approved by the Board. The Board also approves the expenditures of all General Funds and other funds appropriated for capital improvements, except those allotted for State roads, bridges, and highways.

Goldstein Treasury Building, 80 Calvert St., Annapolis, Maryland, September 2002. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

At any time between sessions of the General Assembly, the Board may borrow upon the credit of the State sums not to exceed $50,000 to meet temporary deficits in the Treasury. In addition, the Board may borrow upon the credit of the State total amounts not exceeding $1,000,000 in anticipation of the collection of taxes or other revenues, including proceeds from the sale of bonds. All such loans bear interest at a rate determined by the Board, and must mature and be repaid at or before the end of the fiscal year in which the money is borrowed (Const., Art. III, sec. 34).

Every new lease or renewal for land, buildings, or office space before such contracts are executed by any department, board, commission, officer, or institution of the State is subject to the approval of the Board of Public Works. The sale, lease, or transfer of any real property belonging to any State agency or institution must be approved and the conveyance signed by the Board and the highest official of the agency or institution. Where no agency or institution claims the property, the Board executes the conveyance. After review by the Secretary of Budget and Management, the Board also may designate the location of any State agency.

For the administration of the State Public School Construction Program, the Board of Public Works is required to adopt rules, regulations, and procedures. It also approves the allocations paid to each county and Baltimore City (Code Education Article, sec. 5-301).

The Constitution requires the Board to meet in Annapolis on the first Wednesday of January, April, July, and October, and more often when necessary. Usually, meetings are held every two weeks.


[photo, Garden near Goldstein Treasury Building (view from Rowe Blvd.), Annapolis, Maryland] Goldstein Treasury Building, Room 117
80 Calvert St., Annapolis, MD 21401

The Executive Secretary of the Board of Public Works administers certain functions in connection with matters brought before the Board. For Board meetings, the office prepares one of several agendas considered by the Board and schedules the appearance of persons wishing to testify. The office notifies all affected parties of actions taken by the Board and prepares, distributes, and maintains the minutes of each meeting. A library of tape recordings and transcripts of each meeting also is maintained. The Board's operating budget, which contains grant programs to private agencies, institutions, colleges, and universities, is prepared and administered by this office.

Garden near Goldstein Treasury Building (view from Rowe Blvd.), Annapolis, Maryland, August 2000. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.

Appointed by the Board of Public Works, the Procurement Advisor advises the Board on procurement matters, and serves as staff to the Procurement Advisory Council. The Procurement Advisor also develops and implements procurement regulations, and analyzes procurement problems and issues.

Goldstein Treasury Building, Room 209
80 Calvert St., Annapolis, MD 21401

Anyone wishing to dredge or fill in State tidal wetlands must first secure a license from the Board of Public Works (Chapter 241, Acts of 1970). The Wetlands Administration receives applications for licenses and conducts required public hearings. The Wetlands Administrator recommends to the Board of Public Works whether a license should be issued and if so, under what terms and conditions. Licenses approved by the Board are issued by the Wetlands Administration.

Appointed by the Board of Public Works, the Wetlands Administrator coordinates the program with other State, local and federal agencies, and with environmental groups and the general public (Code Environment Article, sec. 16-202).

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 Maryland Manual On-Line, 2009

July 1, 2009   
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