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Press Releases - County Council

Council to introduce funding to support the creation of Reopen Montgomery and assist arts and humanities on June 23

For Immediate Release: Monday, June 22, 2020

Council also will introduce funding to expand mobile crisis teams and hold public hearings and vote on special appropriations for Covid-19 emergency funding

The Council will meet virtually on Tuesday, June 23 at 9:30 a.m. Council staff reports and additional information on items scheduled for Council review can be viewed at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html.

The Council meeting schedule may change from time to time. The current Council 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 and on Facebook Live and can be watched on County Cable Montgomery on: Xfinity/RCN 6 HD 996/1056 and Fios 30.

Council Agenda Items

Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY20 Operating Budget, Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County Non-Departmental Account (NDA) - $3,250,000 for Arts Covid-19 Relief Fund

The Council will introduce a special appropriation of $3,250,000 to support creative professionals and arts and humanities organizations that have been financially impacted by the Covid-19 global pandemic. The special appropriation provides $250,000 in mini-grants of up to $3,000 to individual artists and $3 million in general operating support grants to organizations. Compared to surrounding jurisdictions, Montgomery County’s arts and humanities sector has experienced the highest loss in revenue due to canceled performances, exhibitions and events, since Maryland Governor Hogan’s Executive Order was issued to close performing and visual arts, concert and film venues as well as museums. This appropriation is sponsored by the Council and was initiated by Councilmembers Craig Rice and Evan Glass. A public hearing is tentatively scheduled for July 7.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Special appropriation to the County Government’s Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) Operating Budget, Department of Health and Human Services, DD Supplement Expansion - $592,202 for Mobile Crisis Response

The Council will introduce a special appropriation of $592,202 to the FY21 operating budget of the County’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to expand mobile crisis response services. DHHS operates the Crisis Center and staffs one Mobile Crisis Team, which is based in Rockville. The Mobile Crisis Team is a two-person team that responds to calls made directly to the Crisis Center and when the police request their assistance as a part of a police response. Currently, the Mobile Crisis Team can only respond to one call at any time. While work on scaling up this response model is underway, the need has been identified for additional licensed social workers in DHHS to lead additional Mobile Crisis Teams. This special appropriation would fund three social worker positions, so that the hiring process may begin to expand these response teams. The funding includes bi-lingual pay and it is critical that these positions include those who can serve residents for whom English is not their primary language. Councilmember Nancy Navarro and Council Vice President Tom Hucker each sent memos calling for the need to expand the Mobile Crisis Response Teams, which can be found in circle pages 4-8 in the staff report.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Special Appropriation to the Fiscal Year FY21 Operating Budget Montgomery County Government, Economic Development Fund, Support for COVID-19 Response – Reopen Montgomery, $14,000,000

The Council will introduce a special appropriation of $14 million to support the creation of Reopen Montgomery. This grant program will be administered by the Department of Finance through the Economic Development Fund and will provide reopening grants for County businesses that incur reopening expenses to comply with Maryland and County health regulations following the Covid-19 health crisis. The maximum grant award is $5,000 per eligible business. A public hearing is tentatively scheduled for July 7.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) and County Public Health Planning

At 11 a.m. the Council will sit as the Board of Health to receive an update on the County’s ongoing response to the Covid-19 pandemic and its recovery efforts. The County moved into Phase 2 of reopening and recovery on Friday, June 19 at 5 p.m. Those expected to attend the meeting include the following: Dr. Travis Gayles, county health officer and chief of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) Public Health Services; Dr. Earl Stoddard, director, Office of Emergency management and Homeland Security; and Dr. Raymond Crowel, director, DHHS, are among those expected to attend.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Economic Recovery Committees

The Council will receive updates on the County’s recovery efforts related to racial equity, public health, the economy, community advisory groups, the question and answer team, Phase 2 of County reopening, reconstituting County worksites and childcare issues. The leaders of the five mission area recovery teams (or their designee) will report on the efforts of each team (and their subgroups), including: Government Operations and Services; Economic Revitalization; Health and Human Services; Housing; and Education. Councilmembers who are members of the teams may provide comments as well. The following individuals are expected to participate in the meeting: Fariba Kassiri, deputy chief administrative officer; Jerome Fletcher, assistant chief administrative officer; Tina Benjamin, director, Special Projects, Office of the County Executive; Dr. Raymond Crowel, director, DHHS; Earl Stoddard, director, OEMHS; and Aseem Nigam, director, Department of Housing & Community Affairs.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Office of Legislative Oversight (OLO) Covid-19 Recovery Outlook Papers: Small Businesses and Rental Housing Evictions

The Council will receive and release reports from OLO on the County’s Covid-19 recovery outlook for small businesses and rental housing evictions. The Council asked OLO to develop a series of short papers that address Covid-19 economic recovery efforts in alignment with the Council’s Economic Development Platform.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Report of the Charter Review Commission

The Council will receive an update from George Margolies, chair of the Charter Review Commission Commission, on the 2020 Report of the Commission. Christopher Danley, member of the Commission, also will present a minority report of the Commission. The Commission studied Sections 102, 103, and 104 of the Charter with respect to the size and composition of the Council. The Commission recommends against making any changes to the size and composition of the Council of four at-large Councilmembers and five district Councilmembers.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Subdivision Regulation Amendment 20-01 (SRA) concerning Rules of Interpretation - Computing Time Periods

The Council will introduce SRA 20-01, which would extend the duration of all deadlines and validity periods established for previously approved, unexpired subdivisions by two years. The additional time runs from the period “applicable to the approval.” The period or date applicable to the approved application would include any extensions granted by the Planning Board. The extensions apply to unexpired approved applications. Unexpired applications include those applications for which the applicant has made a request for an extension to the Planning Board in a timely manner. Councilmember Hans Riemer is the lead sponsor.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Germantown Plan for the Town Sector Zone

The Council will review the Germantown Plan for the Town Sector Zone. The purpose of this master plan is to replace the existing Town Sector zoning with current zoning classifications for the Churchill Village community in Germantown. The master plan recommends appropriate zoning and ways of protecting the community’s open space and recreation areas, while maintaining the predominantly residential character of Churchill Village. The plan recommends new zones related to three goals developed during the community planning process: maintain the residential core, protect open space and recreation areas and support neighborhood-serving commercial uses. The Council is scheduled to vote on this plan on July 21.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Expedited Bill 25-19, Contracts and Procurement – Local Business Preference Program – Established

The Council is scheduled to vote on Expedited Bill 25-19, which would increase the number of local businesses awarded County contracts and establish a Local Business Preference Program for certain County contracts. The Council President is the lead sponsor, at the request of the County Executive. The goal of this legislation is to support local businesses.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Public hearings
The Council will hold the following public hearings at 1:30 p.m.:

Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY20 Operating Budget, Covid-19 Human Services and Community Assistance Non-Departmental Account (NDA), Support for COVID-19 Response - $10,500,000 for Montgomery County Food Security Fund and Amendment to FY20 Operating Budget Resolution 19-128, Section G, FY20 Designation of Entities for Non-Competitive Award Status: Greater Washington Community Foundation

The Council will hold a public hearing and is scheduled to vote on a special appropriation of $10.5 million to the Human Services and Community Assistance NDA for Montgomery County’s Food Security Fund. The full Council is sponsoring this special appropriation, which was initiated by Councilmember Will Jawando. The Covid-19 public health crisis has led to significantly reduced income for many residents, making it difficult for them to afford basic needs like food. The County Food Security Task Force’s Covid-19 Pandemic Food Security Response Strategy identifies strategies to increase food assistance, improve the food distribution methods, ensure that residents are aware of available resources and foster a permanently resilient and equitable food system in Montgomery County. Funding is needed to execute the food security response strategy. This appropriation will provide up to $500,000 to the Greater Washington Community Foundation to initiate and administer the Montgomery County Food Security Fund, which will accept private donations that will support implementation of the food security response strategy. This appropriation also provides $10 million to implement the strategy with the goal of raising $5 million in private donations. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY20 Operating Budget, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) - $575,706 for Positive Youth Development Program and Amendment to FY20 Operating Budget Resolution 19-128, Section G, FY20 Designation of Entities for Non-Competitive Award Status: Identity Inc.

The Council will hold a public hearing and is scheduled to vote on a special appropriation of $575,706 to DHHS’ FY20 operating budget to provide support services for families in crisis to prevent jeopardizing the safety of vulnerable youth and avoid risky behaviors during these unstructured, tense times. The full Council is sponsoring this special appropriation, which was initiated by Councilmembers Nancy Navarro and Gabe Albornoz. The special appropriation includes $183,846 for Identity Inc. to provide culturally responsive and trauma-informed services that support at-risk children and their families and $381,860 to support a family strengthening and intervention program in two targeted communities in the County. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Supplemental Appropriation to Montgomery College’s FY20 Operating Budget - $1,000,000 for CARES Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Funding

The Council will hold a public hearing and is scheduled to vote on a supplemental appropriation to the Montgomery College’s FY20 operating budget of one million dollars. This supplemental appropriation is for unplanned expenditures incurred due to the changes in the scope of the standard delivery of face-to-face instruction and working environments. These funds are reimbursable costs under the CARES Act. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Special Appropriation to the FY20 Operating Budget, Montgomery County Public Schools’ (MCPS) FY20 Operating Budget - $123,000 for the Verizon Innovative Learning Program Grant

The Council will hold a public hearing and is scheduled to vote on a special appropriation to Montgomery County Public Schools’ (MCPS) FY20 operating budget of $123,000 for the Verizon Innovative Learning Program grant. The source of funds is a Digital Promise grant. The Board of Education requested this appropriation on June 11, and the Council introduced this appropriation on June 16. MCPS has received notice from Digital Promise that it will receive $123,000 for the Verizon Innovative Learning Program in FY20, which will support efforts in creating innovative learning environments in middle schools. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Special Appropriation to MCPS’ FY20 Operating Budget - $125,000 for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act-Part B Grant

The Council will hold a public hearing and is scheduled to vote on a special appropriation Montgomery County Public Schools’ (MCPS) FY20 operating budget of $125,000 for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Part B grant. The source of funds is a Maryland State Department of Education grant. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Special Appropriation to MCPS’ FY20 Operating Budget - $202,805 for the Head Start State Supplemental Continuation Grant

The Council will hold a public hearing and is scheduled to vote on a special appropriation to MCPS’ FY20 operating budget of $202,805 for the Head Start State Supplemental Continuation Grant. MCPS has received notice from the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) that it will receive $202,805 for the Head Start State Supplemental Continuation grant in FY20, which will expand and improve existing services. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Special Appropriation to MCPS’ FY20 Capital Budget and Amendment to the FY19-24 Capital Improvements Program - $1,281,117 for the Technology Modernization Project

The Council will hold a public hearing and is scheduled to vote on a special appropriation to MCPS’ FY20 capital budget for the Technology Modernization project. The source of funds is Federal E-Rate reimbursement. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Special Appropriation to MCPS’ FY20 Operating Budget - $24,768,196 for CARES Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund

The Council will hold a public hearing and is scheduled to vote on a special appropriation to MCPS’ FY20 Operating Budget of $24,768,196 for the CARES Act Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) Fund. The Board of Education requested this appropriation on June 11. MCPS has received notice from the state that it will receive this federal CARES Act emergency relief funding in Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20).

Under the U.S. Department of Education awarded grants for the purpose of providing Local Educational Agencies (LEAs) with emergency relief funds to address the impact of Covid-19 on elementary and secondary schools across the nation. LEAs must provide equitable services to students and teachers in non-public schools from the ESSER Fund as required by provisions in the CARES Act. 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 the instruction of students in English for Speakers of Other Languages programs, 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 the internet and devices, for all staff and students who need it to effectively engage in remote learning experiences. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY20 Operating Budget, Department of Health and Human Services - $2,622,961 for Federal Older Americans CARES and Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Grants

The Council will hold a public hearing and is scheduled to vote on a special appropriation of $2,622,961 to DHHS’ FY20 operating budget. The County will receive $628,453 from the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and $1,994,508 from Title III of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act for services outlined in the Older Americans Act for nutrition services, supportive services, and family caregiver support service. DHHS plans to use the full amount for the senior nutrition program. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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Release ID: 20-269
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926 , Juan Jovel 240-777-7931