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Press Releases - County Council

County Council Meets on May 10 at 9 a.m. to Review the FY23 Operating Budget for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service and Introduce Multiple Supplemental Appropriations for Small Business, Hotel and Rental Assistance and Affordable Housing

For Immediate Release: Monday, May 9, 2022

Also on May 10: Councilmember Navarro will introduce a resolution supporting the preservation of abortion rights under Roe v. Wade, and a Council vote is expected on the measure

 

For Immediate Release: May 9, 2022

The Council will meet on Tuesday, May 10 at 9 a.m. The meeting will begin with multiple proclamations. The first, presented by Councilmember Rice, will recognize ALS Awareness Month. The second, presented by Council President Albornoz and Councilmember Katz, will recognize Mental Health Awareness Month. The third, presented by Council President Albornoz and County Executive Elrich, will recognize Building Safety Month.

More detail on each agenda item is provided below. 

 

FY23 Operating Budget – Fire and Rescue Service

Review: The Council will review the FY23 Operating Budget for Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS). The recommended FY23 budget for the department is more than $251 million, which is a 7.9 percent increase from the FY22 approved budget. The Public Safety (PS) Committee reviewed the MCFRS budget at a meeting held on April 20 and recommended adding $150,000 to the budget to provide fleet and building maintenance services to the Bethesda Chevy Chase Rescue Squad in a manner similar to what is provided to all other local fire and rescue departments. The PS Committee recommended approval of the remainder of the budget as submitted by the County Executive.

Resolution Supporting the Preservation of Abortion Rights Under Roe v. Wade

Introduction and vote expected: Lead sponsor Councilmember Navarro will introduce a resolution supporting the preservation of abortion rights under Roe v. Wade. The introduction will be followed by a vote to suspend Rule 7(c) in order to introduce and act upon the resolution on the same day, then the Council expected to vote on the resolution.

A recently leaked draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion indicates that the high court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, which is a nearly 50-year-old precedent upholding an individual’s right to access abortion under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The resolution urges the U.S. Supreme Court to maintain the fundamental rights provided under Roe v. Wade and urges Congress to enact a law to make abortions legal across the nation. The resolution also reaffirms Montgomery County’s commitment to ensuring that health care organizations that provide reproductive health services have the appropriate supports and capacity to safeguard reproductive rights.

Montgomery County Planning Board Candidate: Carol Rubin

Interview: The Council will interview Montgomery County Planning Board member Carol Rubin, who was previously appointed to the Planning Board for a partial term that is scheduled to end on June 14, 2022. On February 25, 2022, the Council advertised the vacancy to applications for a full-term which would end June 2026. Ms. Rubin has re-applied for the full-term vacancy.

The Planning Board serves as the Council’s principal adviser on land use planning and community planning. Planning Board members also serve as commissioners of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). Members serve four-year terms and are limited to two full terms. No more than three members of the Planning Board may be from the same political party, and each member must be a resident and registered voter of Montgomery County when appointed. In addition to Ms. Rubin (Democrat), current Board members are Chair Casey Anderson (Democrat), Gerald Cichy (Republican), Tina Patterson (Unaffiliated) and Partap Verma (Democrat).

 

Consent Calendar Highlights

 

Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY22 Operating Budget, WorkSource Montgomery Non-Departmental Account, $3,000,000 for COVID-19 Workforce Support Programs; and Amendment to the FY22 Operating Budget Resolution 19-872, Section G, FY22 Designation of Entities for Non-Competitive Contract Award Status: WorkSource Montgomery, Inc.

Introduction: The Council will introduce a $3 million special appropriation for COVID-19 workforce support programs, which would provide funding for WorkSource Montgomery, Inc. to implement recovery programs for the County’s businesses and residents.

The Council reviewed proposed funding options for the remaining $27.5 million in unallocated American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding on April 19, 2022. WorkSource previously received ARPA funding allocated to Maryland and is currently implementing recovery programs. This appropriation will augment these programs in FY22 and beyond.

A public hearing and vote are tentatively scheduled for May 17.

Special Appropriation to the County Government’s FY22 Operating Budget, Office of the County Executive, $4,690,000 for COVID-19 Business Rental Assistance and Hotel Relief Programs; and Amendment to FY22 Operating Budget Resolution 19-872, Section G, FY22 Designation of Entities for Non-Competitive Contract Award Status: Latino Economic Development Corporation of Washington, D.C.

Introduction: The Council will introduce a $4.69 million special appropriation for COVID-19 business rental assistance and hotel relief programs. Two million dollars would be allocated to the small business rental assistance program to provide funding for previously awarded but unfunded businesses and for new businesses to apply and receive a grant. This program will use the criteria approved in Council Resolution No. 19-782 and be administered by the Latino Economic Development Center. An additional $2.69 million would be allocated to the hotel relief program to provide new funding for accommodation providers. This program will use the criteria approved in Council Resolution No. 19-718.

A public hearing and vote are tentatively scheduled for May 17.

Special Appropriation #22-86 to the Fiscal Year 2022 Operating Budget, Montgomery County Government, Department of Health and Human Services, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development – Emergency Rental Assistance Program, $8,800,000

Introduction: The Council will introduce an $8.8 million special appropriation for the County’s emergency rental assistance program, which continues the County’s ability to implement the federal emergency rental assistance program and provide rental and utility assistance to households facing economic hardship as a result of the pandemic.

Previously, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) was awarded more than $28 million from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s emergency rental assistance program and the state has now awarded an additional $8.8 million for this purpose.

A public hearing and vote is scheduled for May 17.

Special Appropriation #22-85 to the Fiscal Year 2022 Operating Budget, Montgomery County Government, Department of Health and Human Services, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development – Emergency Rental Assistance Program, $6,488,000 (Source of Funds: State Grant)

Introduction: The Council will introduce a more than $6.4 million special appropriation for the emergency rental assistance program. DHHS was awarded this funding as a sub-grantee from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development to reduce the negative impact of COVID-19 by providing rental and utility assistance to households facing economic hardship as a result of the pandemic.

A public hearing and vote is scheduled for May 17.

Supplemental Appropriation to the County Government’s FY22 Capital Budget and Amendment to the FY21-26 CIP, Department of Housing and Community Affairs - $14,749,992 for Affordable Housing Acquisition and Preservation

Vote expected: The Council is expected to vote on a more than $14.7 million supplemental appropriation to the FY22 Capital Budget and amendment to the FY21-26 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) for the Affordable Housing Acquisition and Preservation project. The appropriation for this project will support affordable housing developments throughout the County.

The appropriation is needed to provide loan repayment funds for the acquisition and renovation of properties for the purpose of preserving or increasing the County's affordable housing inventory. Properties may be acquired by the County, nonprofit developers, the Housing Opportunities Commission or other entities that agree to develop or redevelop property for affordable housing.

The lead sponsor is the Council President at the request of the County Executive. The Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee recommends approval.

 

Additional Consent Calendar Items

 

Resolution to approve extend the appointment of Acting Chief Health Officer, Department of Health and Human Services: Dr. James Bridgers until Sept. 28, 2022 — The Council is expected to vote on a resolution to approve an extension until September 28, 2022, of the appointment of Dr. James Bridgers, DHHS acting chief health officer. Dr. Bridgers was appointed as acting chief health officer in the Department of Health and Human Services on Sept. 8, 2021. The Montgomery County Code requires Council approval for an acting official to serve in this capacity for more than six months. On May 3, 2022, the County Executive requested that the Council approve the extension of this appointment until Sept. 8, 2022, due to the upcoming election.

Resolution to extend time until November 29, 2022, for Council consideration of Executive Regulation 15-21, Office of Racial Equity and Social Justice Action PlanThe Council is expected to vote on a resolution to extend time to consider Executive Regulation 15-21, which will detail the work required for the County and its departments to develop the capacities and processes necessary to apply a racial equity and social justice lens to the development and implementation of its policies, practices and procedures, enacted through Bill 27-19 and Bill 44-20.

 

Public Hearings

 

Unless otherwise indicated, the Council will hold public hearings beginning at 1:30 p.m. Residents continue to have the opportunity to testify remotely for public hearings or provide in-person testimony at the Council Office Building in Rockville for many public hearings.

Expedited Bill 7-22, Fire and Rescue Services - Credited Service for Group Silver  

Public hearing: The Council will hold a public hearing on Bill 7-22, Fire and Rescue Services – Credited Service for Group G Members, at the request of the County Executive. The bill would permit County employees enrolled in Group G of the Employees’ Retirement System to receive credited years of service with Montgomery County based on prior years of U.S. military service. The purpose of Bill 7-22 is to provide up to 24 months of service credit for Group G members at no cost to the employee for prior military service based upon the years of County service. An employee with seven years of County service would receive 12 months of credited service and an employee with 15 years of County service would receive 24 months of credited service.  

Expedited Bill 8-22, Fire and Rescue Services - Length of Service Awards Program for Volunteers - Amendments   

Public hearing: The Council will hold a public hearing on Bill 8-22, Fire and Rescue Services - Length of Service Awards Program for Volunteers – Amendments. The bill would expand eligibility for and increase the amount of the length of service benefits to certain local fire and rescue department volunteers, pursuant to an agreement collectively bargained between the Montgomery County Volunteer Fire-Rescue Association (MCVFRA) and the County Executive.

The purpose of Bill 8-22 is to address amendments to a negotiated collective agreement between MCVFRA and the County Executive and increase the amount of Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP) benefits to certain local fire and rescue department volunteers by 2.5 percent. The lead Sponsor is the Council President, at the request of the County Executive. 

Supplemental Appropriation #22-69 to the County Government’s FY22 Operating  Budget, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service $1,937,314 for Senator Amoss  Fire, Rescue, and Ambulance Fund (State 508) Grant

Public hearing and vote: The Council will hold a public hearing and is expected to vote on a $1.9 million supplemental appropriation for the Senator William H. Amoss Fire, Rescue and Ambulance (State 508) Fund, which was established to provide grants for fire, rescue and ambulance services to promote high-quality service and the continued financial viability of volunteer fire, rescue and ambulance companies.

 

District Council Session

 

Local Map Amendment (LMA) H-143, Request for Oral Argument

Request for oral argument: The Council is expected to consider a request for oral argument related to Local Map Amendment (LMA) H-143.  A request for oral argument before the Council was filed by a community member who lives adjacent to the property. The applicants filed an opposition to the request for oral argument. The District Council may grant or deny the request for oral argument. If oral argument is denied, the Council will hear the Hearing Examiner’s report and recommendation and take a roll call vote. If oral argument is granted, it will be scheduled for a later date.

LMA H-143 is a request to rezone the property located at 4910/4920 Strathmore Ave. in North Bethesda from its current R-60 Zone to CRNF 0.75, C 0.25, R 0.75, H 50. The property is currently improved by Garrett Park Academy of the Holy Cross and Garrett Park-Holy Cross Convent, or St. Angela’s Hall, a vacant and unoccupied retirement home for nuns. If approved, the proposed development of the property will include 125 single-family dwelling units, including a minimum of 15 percent MPDUs, and a 145-bed residential care facility.

The Hearing Examiner recommended approval of the application.

 

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 Council returned to in-person meetings on March 15; residents continue to have the opportunity to testify remotely for public hearings or provide in-person testimony at the Council Office Building in Rockville for many public hearings.

The Council is recommending that residents, who choose to attend in-person Council meetings, get fully vaccinated to protect themselves and others against COVID-19. If this is not possible, virtual participation is encouraged.

Council and committee meetings are 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: 22-197
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926, Benjamin Sky Brandt 240-777-7884