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Press Releases - County Council

Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee and Education and Culture Committee hold virtual meetings on June 22

For Immediate Release: Friday, June 19, 2020

The following Committees will meet virtually on Monday, June 22. Council staff reports and additional information on items scheduled for Committee review can be viewed at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html.

The Committee meeting schedule may change from time to time. The current Committee agendas can be viewed at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html.

On the guidance of Health Officer and Chief of Public Health Services Dr. Travis Gayles, there is currently no public access to the Council Office Building. The virtual Council meeting will be streamed live on the Council’s web page via YouTube (MoCoCouncilMD) and on Facebook Live (MontgomeryCountyMdCouncil) and can be watched on County Cable Montgomery on channels 30 (Fios), 1056 (RCN) and 996 (Xfinity).

Meeting: Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee
Time: 9 a.m.
PHED Committee: Councilmembers Hans Riemer (Chair), Andrew Friedson (Lead for Parks) and Will Jawando
Topics:
Maryland Tech Council - Business Continuity Task Force
The PHED Committee will receive a briefing from the Maryland Technology Council (MTC) about its Business Continuity Task Force. In addition, the committee will review a $250,000 special appropriation the Council introduced on June 9, 2020 to support this initiative in the County. The funding supports staff salary, outreach, and administrative costs for the program in the County. MTC estimates that approximately 65 to 80 County businesses will receive support based on the $250,000 funding level. The Business Continuity Task Force will provide technical experience for small and mid-size technology and life sciences businesses in the County to aid in navigating the economic landscape that has been shaped by the global pandemic. The support will include assistance to retain and rehire staff, maintain revenue streams and access capital. Those expected to provide information at the meeting include Martin Rosendale, CEO, Maryland Technology Council and Tina Benjamin, special projects manager, Office of the County Executive.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Housing Opportunities Commission Housing Production Fund

The PHED Committee will receive an update from the Housing Opportunities Commission on the Housing Production Fund. PHED Committee Chair Riemer has been working with HOC to develop a proposal for a this fund, which would receive $3.4 million in County funding annually ($2.8 million in year one) to support HOC’s debt service on a bond issuance of $50 million. These funds would be used by HOC for construction-period bridge financing for new, mixed-income housing developments. Once the project is complete and re-financed, the funds would revolve to give HOC capacity to continue with other new projects. This would not be County debt and would not be a commitment in the County’s debt service budget.

The following individuals are expected to participate in the meeting: Roy Priest, chair, HOC; Linda Croom, resident commissioner, HOC; Stacy Spann, executive director, HOC; Kayrine Brown, chief investment and real estate officer, HOC; Zachary Marks, director of development real estate, HOC; Shane Pollin, vice president of development, Duffie Companies; McLean Quinn, president, EYA; and Bob Youngentob, CEO, EYA.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Department of Housing and Community Affairs: Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund

The Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) will provide the committee with an update on the department's current plans for the Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund. The Executive’s Recommended Capital Improvements Program (CIP) included $10 million in expenditures in fiscal years 2021 and 2022 to leverage non-county government funding to create an Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund for the preservation and development of affordable housing. The PHED Committee reviewed this proposal with DHCA at its February 13, 2020 meeting. The PHED Committee expected to return to further review this proposal in its Committee worksession on the Housing Initiative Fund. However, because of the COVID-19 emergency, the Council had to adopt a budget process that did not have Committee sessions, and so there was not an opportunity for further discussions on the expected structure and guidelines for this fund.

Additionally, the Council’s final actions on the CIP reduced the amount of funding to $8 million in fiscal year 2021 and $6 million in fiscal year 2022 because of the need to reduce the use of current revenue throughout the CIP. Because the Committee and Council did not have time to better understand this proposal, the Council did not appropriate the fiscal year 2021 funding. A supplemental appropriation will be needed to give DHCA the authority to spend the funding; however, the source of funding is assumed in the expenditure schedule.

The following individuals are expected to participate in the meeting: Aseem Nigam, director, DHCA; Frank Demarais, deputy director, DHCA; and Pofen Salem, Office of Management and Budget.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Meeting: Education and Culture (E&C) Committee
Time: 1:30 p.m.
E&C Committee: Councilmembers Craig Rice (Chair), Will Jawando (Lead for Libraries) and Nancy Navarro
Topics: 
Special Appropriation - $24,768,196 for CARES Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund

The E&C Committee will review a $24,768,196 special appropriation the for CARES Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER). The Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing and vote on this special appropriation on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. MCPS will use ESSER funds to extend access to interventions, special education services, assistive technology tools, and increased technology options for students with disabilities during distance learning. In addition, these funds will be used to purchase supplemental instructional materials and assessments to support students who are receiving English for Speakers of Other Languages instruction, and to support efforts to increase the number of students attaining proficiency in academic English, reading/language arts, and mathematics. Finally, MCPS will use these funds to ensure equity of access, including providing internet and devices, for all staff and students who need it to effectively engage in remote learning experiences. The following individuals will participate in the meeting: Dr. Jack Smith, superintendent of schools; Dr. Monifa McKnight, deputy superintendent of schools; and Dan Marella, chief financial officer, MCPS.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

MCPS Recovery of Education Plan

The E&C Committee will conclude its meeting with a review of the MCPS Recovery of Education Plan, which the Board of Education received on June 11, 2020. Additionally, since the future of education in Maryland will be shaped substantially by the eventual outcome of the Kirwan Commission recommendations, Council staff will update the Committee on the status and contents of the Kirwan legislation at the state level. MCPS has also been asked to discuss whether they are seeing any new or emerging career pathways that have come into prominence due to the pandemic.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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Release ID: 20-268
Media Contact: Nicholas Triolo 240-777-7832