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Montgomery Council to Address Plans for New Wheaton Library, Community Center Also on Tuesday, April 1: Resolution to Further Reduce Fuel/Energy Tax Rates, Proposed Extended Hours for Ride On ‘Kids Ride Free’ Program, Planning Board Report

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Montgomery County Council at approximately 10 a.m. on Tuesday, April 1, will hold a worksession on County Executive Isiah Leggett’s proposed plan to build a new Wheaton Library and Community Recreation Center. The plan is part of the Executive’s recommended Fiscal Years 2015-20 Capital Improvements Program.

The Council’s regular weekly session will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The Council’s morning and afternoon sessions will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast of the meeting also will be streamed at

 The Council meeting will be rebroadcast on Friday, April 4, at 9 p.m. and will be available before that time on demand.

Last week, the Council recommended for against placing an historic designation on the existing Wheaton Community Center (formerly known as the Youth Center). The current building has fallen into a state of disrepair and an historic designation would have led to trying to restore the building at significant cost—and with an end result that would have had limited future usefulness. The proposed new community center and library complex will allow for many more modern uses as part of the redevelopment of Wheaton. The proposed plan also would include the relocated Gilchrist Center.

The current Wheaton Library was opened in 1960 and renovated in 1985.

During the morning session, a resolution will be introduced to amend the County’s fuel/energy tax rates. The resolution would reduce by 10 percent in FY15 the 2010 increase to the fuel/energy tax rates. The original legislation carried a two-year sunset provision, but the County Executive has included the increase in his recommended budgets each of the past two years. In each of those years, the Council reduced the increase by 10 percent.

The tax applies to electricity, gas, steam, coal, fuel, oil or liquefied petroleum gas.

Councilmembers Roger Berliner and Phil Andrews are the sponsors of the resolution to reduce the increase in the energy tax. A public hearing on the resolution is scheduled for Tuesday, April 22, at 1:30 p.m.

Another resolution to be introduced during the morning session would address several transportation issues. One measure would extend the eligible hours for the “Kids Ride Free” program on County Ride On bus service to 8 p.m. (from the current 7 p.m.) on weeknights. No increases in parking rates are recommended for FY15.

At 1:30 p.m., the Council will receive its semi-annual report from the County Planning Board, detailing the board’s upcoming work plan.

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Release ID: 14-095
Media Contact: Neil Greenberger 240-777-7939, Delphine Harriston 240-777-7931