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Press Releases - County Council

Council to vote on the Working Families Income Supplement Bill and the Ashton Village Center Sector Plan at virtual meeting on June 15

For Immediate Release: Monday, June 14, 2021

Also on June 15: Introduction of supplemental appropriations for costs incurred for emergency COVID-19 response and a vote is expected on a resolution in support of the Open Streets program

The Council will meet on Tuesday, June 15 at 9 a.m. and present multiple proclamations. The first recognizes Chesapeake Bay Awareness Week and will be presented by Councilmember Rice and County Executive Elrich. The second celebrates 75 years of the Kiwanis Club of Bethesda and will be presented by Councilmember Friedson. The third proclamation honors Dr. DeRionne Pollard, President of Montgomery College and will be presented by the Education and Culture (E&C) Committee, which includes E&C Chair Rice, Councilmember Navarro and Councilmember Jawando. The fourth proclamation commemorates Juneteenth and will be presented by Councilmember Jawando. The fifth proclamation will be presented at approximately 11:25 a.m. by Council Vice President Albornoz to raise awareness for Lyme and tick-borne diseases.

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

Update: Sitting as the Board of Health, the Council will receive an update on the County’s ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its recovery and vaccination efforts. 

Those expected to provide information include Dr. Travis Gayles, 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. Join the conversation with #COVID-19

Supplemental Appropriations to the County Government’s FY21 Operating Budget for COVID-19 Response

Introductions: The Council is expected to introduce five supplemental appropriations to the County Government’s FY21 Operating Budget for costs incurred for emergency COVID-19 response and services that were not included in the originally approved FY21 Operating Budget.

The recommended FY21 supplemental appropriations include funding for the Department of General Services (DGS), Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Office of Public Information (PIO), Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (OEMHS) and Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS). It is expected that much of these costs will be reimbursed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); however, each department requires additional appropriation authority to align with actual expenditures in FY21.

The lead sponsor is Council President Hucker at the request of the County Executive.

Resolution to authorize filing an Application for FY22 Annual Transportation Grant

Introduction: The Council is expected to introduce a resolution authorizing filing an application for the FY22 Annual Transportation Grant. On an annual basis, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) submits the Annual Transportation Plan grant application to the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) to fund Section 5307 Capital and Operating Assistance, Section 5309 (Federal) Capital Assistance, Section 5311 Operating Assistance (rural routes 76 and 90), Statewide Special Transportation Assistance Program (Call-n-Ride Program) and Large Urban Operating Assistance Program.

Resolution to Grant a Franchise to New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC to Use Public Right-of-Way

Introduction: The Council is expected to introduce a resolution to grant a franchise agreement to New Cingular Wireless PSC, LLC (Cingular), whose manager is AT&T Mobility Corporation, to construct and maintain telecommunications facilities in the public right-of-way.

The proposed franchise agreement is for a 15-year term and the franchise requires New Cingular Wireless to pay the safe harbor annual right-of-way fee permitted by the FCC of $270 per facility. It also reserves the County’s authority to adjust the fee at any time based on a study of the County’s actual costs, or if applicable law permit, to charge a fee that is not cost-based.

The lead sponsor is Council President Hucker at the request of the County Executive

Resolution to endorse a Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority and Fund Loan to conduct a feasibility study for a Pandemic Prevention Center

Introduction: The Council is expected to introduce a resolution to endorse the Maryland Economic Development Assistance Authority and Fund (MEDAAF) loan. The MEDAAF grant will fund part of the feasibility study that Connected DMV is conducting to launch a global Pandemic Prevention Center. Councilmember Riemer spearheaded this effort at the Council with the support of all Councilmembers.

The Pandemic Prevention Center will identify and launch strategic projects needed to advance pandemic avoidance and preparedness, while providing the necessary collaboration and coordination for updated public health policy, research and discovery, applied technology, trials, manufacturing and distribution for strategic solutions.

Supplemental Appropriation to the County Government’s FY21 Capital Budget and Amendment to the FY21-26 Capital Improvements Program - $81,622 for Facility Planning: Storm Drains

Introduction: The Council is expected to introduce a $81,622 FY21 supplemental and FY21-26 CIP amendment for the facility planning storm drains project at the River Falls neighborhood storm drain system. The study will be funded with federal aid via a grant received from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The study will identify potential solutions to address current flood hazards as well as future hazards exacerbated by the impacts of climate change. Potential solutions will include green infrastructure practices that would promote infiltration, reduce runoff and provide water quality benefits. This work may potentially be used as a model for the County of how to address flood hazards while also achieving water quality and climate resilience benefits.

Resolution to approve the Tax Supported Fiscal Plan Summary for the FY22-27 Public Services Program

Introduction: The Council is expected to introduce a resolution to approve the Tax Supported Fiscal Plan Summary for the FY22-27 Public Services Program. This summary reflects current information on projected revenues and non-agency expenditures for the six-year period, which must be updated as conditions change.

The summary also reflects the policy on County reserves as described in Resolution No. 19-753, which was adopted on March 2, 2021, and the amendments to the Revenue Stabilization Fund law in Bill 36-10, which was approved by the Council on June 29, 2010.

The FY22-FY27 Tax Supported Fiscal Plan Summary, like all version of the fiscal plan, reflects current fiscal projections and policy assumptions when the Council adopted the FY22 Operating Budget and the Amended FY21-26 Capital Improvements Program (CIP). Future versions of the Fiscal Plan Summary will change as economic and fiscal conditions are better understood. The Dec. 2021 update will reflect changes to the FY22-FY27 revenue estimates.

The Council’s Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GO) Committee, which is led by GO Chair Navarro and includes Councilmembers Friedson and Katz, collaborates with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Department of Finance to develop and refine County fiscal projections to adopt a fiscal plan that is structurally balanced and that limits expenditures and other uses of resources to annually available revenues.

Introduction - Supplemental Appropriation to the County Government’s FY21 Operating Budget, Department of Finance, Economic Development Fund - $500,000 for the Fox Television Stations, LLC

Introduction: As requested by the County Executive, the Council is expected to introduce a supplemental appropriation to the FY21 Operating Budget of the Department of Finance in the amount of $500,000 for the Economic Development Fund.

This appropriation is needed to provide a financial incentive in the form of a conditional grant to Fox Television Stations, LLC, to facilitate its relocation from the District of Columbia to 7272 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda. The relocation will bring 178 jobs to Montgomery County and a capital investment of $32.5 million.

Special Appropriation to Montgomery County Public Schools’ (MCPS) FY21 Capital Budget and Amendment to the FY21-26 Capital Improvements Program - $1,815,267 for the Technology Modernization Project

Introduction: The Council is expected to introduce a $1,815,267 special appropriation for Montgomery County Public Schools’ (MCPS) FY21 Capital Budget and Amendment to the FY21-26 Capital Improvements Program for the technology modernization project.

The staff report will be available by Monday, June 14.

Special Appropriation to Montgomery College’s FY21 Operating Budget - $2,325,789 for the Federal, State, and Private Contract Fund

Introduction: The Council is expected to introduce a $2,325,789 special appropriation to Montgomery College’s FY21 Operating Budget for the federal, state and private contract fund.

The staff report will be available by Tuesday, June 15.

Introduction/Action – Resolution to amend Resolution 19-881 Tax Levy Resolution – Fiscal Year 2022, Correction to the Village of Drummond’s Personal Property Tax Rate

Introduction and vote expected: The Council is expected to introduce a resolution to amend Resolution 19-881 Tax Levy Resolution, which is a correction to the Village of Drummond’s personal property tax rate. This amendment corrects Resolution No. 19-881 to include the correct personal property tax rate.

The Council includes the property tax rates for certain municipalities in its tax levy resolution each fiscal year. The real property tax for the Village of Drummond for the 2021 fiscal year is unchanged and remains 0.048 per $100 assessment. The personal property tax remains 0.12 per $100.

Resolution to support continuation of the Open Streets Program

Vote expected: The Council will vote on a resolution in support of continuing the Open Streets program that was implemented during the COVID-19 pandemic to allow for safe and socially distanced outdoor dining, walking, biking and recreation. The full Council is sponsoring this resolution.

Councilmember Friedson drafted the resolution, which points to the Bethesda Streetery, Montgomery Parks Open Parkways, Newell Street Temporary Neighborhood Park Expansion in Silver Spring and the National Park Service's closure of Beach Drive to vehicle traffic as successful examples of how the County, outside agencies and organizations have repurposed streets for public use.

Resolution to Approve Montgomery County Planning Board Regulation No. 3-21 on Forest Conservation - Trees

Introduction: The Council will introduce a resolution to approve Montgomery County Planning Board Regulation No. 3-21 on forest conservation. The regulations submitted by the Planning Board would implement Bill 36-20 which the Council previously enacted to comply with changes to Maryland law that took effect in 2019.

The regulations adopt administrative requirements related to the review and processing of Natural Resource Inventories and Forest Stand Delineations, as well as exemptions from submitting a Forest Conservation Plan and Forest Conservation Plans that are acted upon by the Planning Board or the planning director. The Council previously reviewed the substance of these regulations when Bill 36-20 was enacted.

Resolution recognizing Bill 51-20, Landlord-Tenant Relations - Window Guards as “Ezechiel’s Law”

Vote expected: The Council is expected to vote on a resolution that would formally recognize Bill 51-20, Landlord-Tenant Relations – Window Guards, as “Ezechiel’s Law” in memory of Ezechiel Nguemezi. Spearheaded by Council President Hucker, the bill was enacted by the full Council in response to several incidents of young children suffering serious injuries and dying from window falls in Montgomery County. Ezechiel’s Law will go into effect January 1, 2022.

In October of 2020, two-year-old Ezechiel Nguemezi died after falling out of a window at his family’s Takoma Park apartment, leaving a young mother and an entire community in grief. The legislation requires the installation and maintenance of window guards in certain rental housing, notifications to tenants, adds lease requirements in certain circumstances and provides for the enforcement of window guard requirements.

Supplemental Appropriation to the County Government’s FY21 Operating Budget, Department of Transportation - $554,821 and $138,705

Introduction: The Council is expected to introduce a $693,526 Supplemental Appropriation to the FY21 Operating Budget of MCDOT. The Montgomery County Division of Transit Services has been awarded, through the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, a $554,821 Federal Transit Administration Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities Program Grant. The grant will be matched with $138,705 from the Transportation Services Improvement Fund.

The Enhanced Mobility grant provides funds to expand the Division of Transit Services' travel training program. This increase is needed to expand transit travel training for seniors and individuals with disabilities. The grant will fund the purchase of a travel training bus and targeted outreach to seniors and individuals with disabilities to encourage participation in travel training activities.

The travel training program aligns with the County's goal of becoming an age-friendly community that is accessible to all and will directly benefit seniors and individuals with disabilities and lead to the increased use of public transportation.

Bill 20-21, Swimming Pools - Lifeguard Requirement - Amendments

Public hearing and vote expected: At 1:30 p.m. the Council will hold a public hearing for Bill 20-21 on lifeguard requirements at swimming pools.  Lead sponsors Councilmembers Katz and Rice introduced the bill which would define the term health club, exempt certain swimming pools at certain facilities from the requirement to have a lifeguard on duty when the pool is open for use, require posting of certain signage, require certain facilities with a swimming pool to have an emergency alert system and require an employee to regularly inspect swimming pool area. The Council is expected to vote on Expedited Bill 21-21 at the end of the Council meeting.

Expedited Bill 21-21, Fire and Rescue Services - Length of Service Awards Program for Volunteers - Amendments

Public hearing and vote expected: The Council will hold a public hearing on Bill 21-21 which would increase the amount of the length of service benefits to certain local fire and rescue department volunteers and provide points for activities cancelled due to COVID-19 in the length of service benefits to certain local fire and rescue department volunteers.

The lead sponsor is Council President Hucker, at the request of the County Executive. The Council is expected to vote on Expedited Bill 21-21 at the end of the Council meeting.

Additional public hearings: The Council is expected to hold a public hearing and vote on the following special and supplemental appropriations:

Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 21-02, Independent Living Facility for Seniors or Persons with Disabilities - Residential Zone Standards

Introduction: Lead sponsors Councilmembers Friedson and Katz are expected to introduce ZTA 21-02, which would allow multiple building types for independent living facilities for seniors or persons with disabilities and amend the green area and setback requirements for independent living facilities for seniors or persons with disabilities. Council President Hucker is a cosponsor of the ZTA.

Zoning Text Amendment 21-03, Charitable, Philanthropic Institution - Kitchens    

Introduction: Lead sponsor Councilmember Friedson is expected to introduce Zoning Text Amendment (ZTA) 21-03, Charitable, Philanthropic Institution – Kitchens, which would allow charitable and philanthropic institutions to have kitchens under certain circumstances. Councilmember Navarro is a cosponsor of the ZTA.

The ZTA is needed because certain charitable and philanthropic institutions may provide shelter for people who are supporting a family member at a medical institution in an existing detached house or townhouse. This ZTA would allow those institutions to prepare food on the premises. The food may be distributed for off-site consumption if it’s provided without payment.

Ashton Village Center Sector Plan Resolution

Vote expected: The Council is expected to vote on the Ashton Village Center Sector Plan which is designed to transform Ashton into a viable and vibrant rural village center.

The plan area includes 127 acres around the intersection of MD 108, known as Olney Sandy Spring Road, and New Hampshire Ave. (MD 650). The plan envisions the Ashton Village Center as a compact, low-rise, walkable and bikeable rural village with a mix of land uses.

The plan provides zoning and design recommendations intended to allow the density and uses expected for a rural village, while ensuring that new development complements Ashton’s existing commercial center and rural character.

Since two state highways (MD 108 and MD 650) form a crossroads at the core of the Ashton Village Center, this plan also provides transportation recommendations related to vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle mobility in the plan area.

Those expected to provide information include: Planning Board Chair Casey Anderson; Gwen Wright, director, Planning Department; Robert Kronenberg, deputy director, Planning Department; Patrick Butler, Upcounty division chief, Planning Department; and Jamey Pratt, senior planner, Up-County Planning, Planning Department.

Presentation by the Planning Board - Overview of Thrive Montgomery 2050

Presentation: The Council is expected to receive a briefing on the Planning Board’s Thrive Montgomery 2050 Draft Plan, which is a framework to guide planning for land use, housing, the economy, equity, transportation, parks and open space, the environment, historic resources, urban design and arts and culture over the next three decades.

The recommendations will provide guidance for future master plans, county and state capital improvement processes and other public and private initiatives that influence land use and planning in the county. The Council will hold public hearings on the draft plan on June 17 and June 29.

Those expected to provide information at the presentation include Casey Anderson, chair of the Montgomery County Planning Board, Gwen Wright, director, Montgomery County Planning Department and additional planning staff.

Expedited Bill 22-21 - Itinerant food service facilities - Operating time

Introduction: Lead sponsor Councilmember Katz is expected to introduce Expedited Bill 22-21 which would amend the Montgomery County Code to conform with Maryland law by allowing itinerant food service facilities to operate for up to 30 days.

Currently, the County Code defines an Itinerant Food Service Facility as one that operates for a temporary period at a fixed location, not exceeding 14 days. State law allows a period of not more than 30 consecutive days.

Expedited Bill 23-21, Special Capital Improvements Project - Full Upgrade of Existing Recycling Center Complex

Introduction: The Council is expected to introduce Bill 14-21, which would allow for a full upgrade of the existing recycling center complex. This project will update the existing Material Recycling Center (MRF) with state-of-the-art equipment to increase commingled processing capacity to 200 - 240 tons per day (TPD).

This bill is sponsored by Council President Hucker, at the request of the County Executive.

Expedited Bill 14-21, Finance - Working Families Income Supplement - Amendments    

Vote expectedThe Council is expected to vote on Expedited Bill 14-21, which would expand eligibility for the Working Families Income Supplement (WIFS) tax credit. Under current law, to claim WIFS, a resident must be eligible and qualify for both the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

In March, the Maryland General Assembly enacted Senate Bill 218 - Child Tax Credit and Expansion of the Earned Income Credit (EIC). The emergency bill expanded eligibility requirements of the state and local EITC, allowing additional taxpayers to claim the tax credits without the federal requirement to have a social security number.

Bill 14-21 would allow a resident who qualifies for either the federal or state Earned Income Credit (EIC) to be eligible for the County's WIFS tax credit. This bill will expand the eligibility for residents who have Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers and qualify for the state EIC.

Montgomery County is the only county in Maryland that offers a local income tax credit for its residents with a 100 percent match of the state EIC for the applicable tax year.

The lead sponsors are Council Vice President Albornoz and Councilmembers Navarro and Katz. Council President Hucker and Councilmembers Friedson, Rice, Glass, Riemer and Jawando are cosponsors.

The Council meeting schedule may change from time to time. The current Council and Committee agendas, 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 virtual Council and Committee meetings 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, Fios 30, and on the CCM live stream.

Release ID: 21-252
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926 , Benjamin Sky Brandt 240-777-7884