May 7, 2015

Executive Reconvenes Transit Task Force

County Executive Ike Leggett has announced that he has reconvened the County’s Transit Task Force.

In a letter to Task Force Chair Mark Winston, Leggett asked the group to make recommendations relating to how to “… establish a plan for the implementation of as much of the [high quality bus rapid transit] network as is financially and organizationally feasible.”

Leggett has asked that the Task Force use as the starting point for its deliberations the proposal he made last year for State enabling legislation authorizing the County to adopt certain financing measures and form a transit agency to allow development and operation of the transit network.

The Task Force and Working Groups on organizational and financial matters will meet weekly between now and September 30, the date on which Leggett has asked the Task Force to report its findings and recommendations to him and the County Council.

All Task Force meetings are open to the public. Information on the meetings and the Transit Task Force is available on website.

The Task Force will hold a Countywide public forum on  June 17 at 6 p.m. in the 3rd floor hearing room of the County Council Office Building, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville.

Read more in the news release.

Global Healthcare Giant GlaxoSmithKlein to Locate New Lab in Rockville

Global healthcare company GlaxoSmithKlein (GSK) has announced plans to open a research and development lab in Rocville, creating possibly up to 1,000 jobs over the next couple years. The new center in Rockville will be one of three for GSK in the world.

Read coverage by The Baltimore Sun, Bethesda Magazine, The Washington Business Journal, The Wall Street Transcript and FierceBiotech,

New Silver Spring Library to Open June 20

The new Silver Spring Library, at 900 Wayne Avenue, will open on Saturday, June 20 at 11 a.m. A Grand Opening ceremony is being planned for the public to celebrate Montgomery County Public Libraries’ (MCPL) newest building in its award-winning system.

More details on the new building project are on the Department of General Services’ construction project website and the MCPL Silver Spring Library website.

Leggett Decides on “New Approach” for County’s Economic Development Efforts

Speaking recently as a panelist at the Washington Business Journal’s first “On the Road” event, County Executive Ike Leggett stated he has decided to transfer the authority away from the County and “put it in the hands of those in the economic development field.” The new responsibility would lie with a public-private authority, similar to Fairfax County’s Economic Development Authority.

The purpose of the new structure is to improve effectiveness, enhance private sector involvement and create a more flexible environment to meet market dynamics and County needs.

Legislation will be sent to the County Council this summer.

See the video.

Business Leaders Unite in Unprecedented Way for Final Purple Line Push

Business leaders from Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, supported by each County’s officials, gathered recently to press for construction of the Purple Line. 

The session, held at the Silver Spring Civic Building, was led by the Greater Washington Board of Trade President and CEO James Dinegar. A newly released economic impact study by Transportation Economics & Management Systems, Inc. (TEMS, Inc.) was presented as part of the message sent to the State about the vital importance of this project.

Check out media coverage of the event in The Post; Bethesda Now; The Sentinel; and The Gazette; and on TV – WJLA- abc7 and MyMCMedia. See The Post editorial.

Status Report on the FY16 Operating Budget

Now that the public hearings on the FY16 Operating Budget are past, the Council is in its work session phase. A status report dated May 1 reflects the work of the Council's six Committees since the public hearings on April 14-16.

See the report.

Garage 31 in Bethesda First to Install Charging Stations for Electric Vehicles

County Executive Ike Leggett (shown above with Acting Director of the Department of Transportation Al Roshdieh) recently unveiled three new electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the Capital Crescent Garage (Garage 31) at 7171 Woodmont Ave. in Bethesda with the capacity to charge six vehicles.

Garage 31 is the first to be completed in the Department of Transportation’s program to install additional EV stations, capable of charging 26 vehicles, in 11 County parking garages and lots over the next few months.

The EV charging stations operate like gas pumps. Drivers pay 13 cents per kilowatt hour to charge their vehicles, in addition to paying the same parking fee as other vehicles in the garage. The charging station parking spaces are clearly marked and limited to four hours, which should provide enough time to fully charge a vehicle.

The public EV charging stations are connected to the nationwide ChargePoint Network of searchable charging stations and motorists can pay for energy used through a ChargePoint Network card or RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) enabled credit card.

Read the news release for additional information.