September 15, 2015

Silver Spring Transit Center to Open September 20

On Sunday, September 20, Metro will open the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit Center. This new transit center is located next to the Silver Spring Red Line Metrorail station and features more than 30 bus bays serving Metrobus, Montgomery County Ride On, VanGo and the University of Maryland shuttle.

The fully ADA-accessible Transit Center is three levels with a number of new customer amenities including real-time bus departure information, public restrooms, water fountains, escalators, bike racks/lockers, and enhanced neighborhood map displays. Kiss-and-Ride spaces will be available on Level 3, accessible from Bonifant Street.

For more information about the Transit Center, visit the website.

Purple Line Presentation and Informational Open House

The public is invited to attend a presentation by the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) regarding recent scope changes to the Purple Line project. The meeting will be held on Thursday, September 17 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Silver Spring Civic Building, One Veterans Place. The Purple Line is a proposed light rail line that will run from Bethesda in Montgomery County to New Carrollton in Prince George’s County. The presentation by MTA will begin promptly at 7 p.m. and will be followed by an open house, during which attendees will have an opportunity to discuss project changes with staff.

A detailed list of the scope changes can be found at

Library of the Future Summit: Public Invited to Speak Up, Share Thoughts

The public has a unique opportunity to help determine the shape, tone, function, look, contents, programs and services of libraries in Montgomery County for years to come by participating in the County Executive’s Library of the Future Summit to be held September 24 at the Silver Spring Civic Building from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In a new feature of this summit, the morning portion of the program at the Silver Spring Civic Building will use “Google Hangout on Air” live to the Gaithersburg Library at 18330 Montgomery Village Ave., providing an opportunity for feedback from an audience in another part of the County.

Registration is required for in person attendance at either location. Registration will close on September 19. Register here for either site.

For those who cannot attend in person, other ways to participate are:
  • Participate online from any location at #MCPLFuture.
  • Share comments, questions and ideas on Twitter (#MCPLFuture) and Facebook.
For more information and details, call 240-777-0002 or visit MCPL website.

Report Shows Maryland’s Solar Power Capacity Grew 50 Percent Last Year

Montgomery County’s Solar Permits Tripled from FY14 to FY15

Montgomery County processed an estimated 545 solar permits in FY14, and in FY15 more than 1,582 permits were processed. This represents three times the number of solar permits issued from one year to the next.

A new report from Environment Maryland shows per capita solar power capacity grew 50 percent in Maryland last year. The report states that the growth brings Maryland to 12th in the nation for total solar power capacity per person. Montgomery County Councilmember Roger Berliner, who chairs the Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee, joined representatives of Environment Maryland at a news conference on September 3 to reveal the results of the study.

The report, Lighting the Way III: The Top States that Helped Drive America’s Solar Energy Boom in 2014, shows that while every state in the country gets enough sun to meet its energy needs many times over, the states that ranked the highest for solar per capita were those with policies that encourage increasing numbers of homeowners, businesses, communities and utilities to “go solar.”

“Public policy makes a huge difference in driving the solar revolution,” said Berliner, sponsor of dozens of environmental initiatives. “Our state has strong policies and our County has strong policies and those policies are paying big dividends."

“Montgomery County is committed to implementing sustainability practices in new and existing buildings,” said David Dise, director of Montgomery County’s Department of General Services, the County’s lead agency on its initiatives to green its operations. “Clean energy solutions such as solar help us achieve climate protection goals, lower the cost of energy and contribute to the creation of new jobs. This commitment to clean energy is clearly demonstrated by a current project to install photovoltaic systems generating at least six megawatts or enough electricity to power 550 homes. This project coincides with a recent White House initiative promoting the installation of solar energy.”

County Executive’s Transit Task Force to Host Public Forum

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett’s Transit Task Force will host a public forum on Wednesday, September 30 at 6 p.m. in the Council Office Building, Third Floor Hearing Room, 100 Maryland Ave., Rockville. Members of the public are invited to attend and provide comment on the Public Draft of the Report of the Task Force. The Public Draft is available online at the Transit Task Force website.

Earlier this year, the Transit Task Force was reconvened to review the prior legislation and recommend how best to organize and finance implementation of a high-performance bus rapid transit system. The system is contained in the Countywide Transit Corridors Functional Master Plan, which was approved by the County Council in late 2013.

Members of the public wishing to speak at the forum must sign up between September 16 and September 30. To register to speak, call 240-777-7165, Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.; TTY users call Maryland Relay.

A maximum of 50 people will be able to present their views during the public forum. Speakers will have three minutes to make their comments and are encouraged to submit written remarks – which may include additional information and materials. If 50 people sign up before September 30, no additional names will be accepted and there will not be a waiting list. Those who are unable to testify can submit written comments to the “Contact Us” portion of the Task Force web page between Wednesday, September 16 and Tuesday, October 6, 2015.

The objective of the Task Force is to complete a draft report and possibly propose state legislation. After receiving and considering public input on the Public Draft of the Report of the Task Force, the Transit Task Force will submit its final report.

Choose Montgomery

Watch the YouTube video that highlights local small businesses in Montgomery and why they chose Montgomery County to establish and grow their businesses.

From HonestTea and WeddingWire in Bethesda to Zane Networks in Silver Spring, and many more, hear how these businesses chose Montgomery County and why they plan on staying in this County. Visit

Department of Veterans Affairs has Begun Location Search for Outpatient Clinic in Montgomery County

U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin (both D-MD), Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen and Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett announced that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has begun searching for a location in Montgomery County for a new Community-Based Outpatient Clinic (CBOC). While the VA’s goal is for no veteran to be more than 30 minutes from medical care, many of Montgomery County’s veterans face a much longer drive to reach the VA Medical Center in Washington, D.C. The VA’s search is a promising sign that after years of delay, veterans in the region will have access to the quality care they deserve.

“I am very pleased to hear that the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is planning to open a Community-Based Outpatient Clinic here in Montgomery County,” said Leggett. “In 2008, I established the Montgomery County Commission on Veterans Affairs to give our veterans a voice in how the County can best serve them, and they said having services here in the County is a priority. Thanks to Congressman Chris Van Hollen and Senators Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski for making it happen.”

The VA is searching for space to lease in the area of Rockville and Gaithersburg. Of the more than 44,600 veterans living in Montgomery County, more than 10,000 are enrolled in the VA health care system. According to statistics provided by the VA, over 4,000 of these veterans live within easy driving distance of the general area.