April 10, 2014

Pothole Blitz in Effect

With winter officially at an end, County Executive Ike Leggett has directed the Department of Transportation (MCDOT) to do another intensive, two-week effort to fill the County’s potholes, devoting about 60 percent of its resources to filling potholes and replacing damaged road sections. A week-long blitz in March filled 2,600 potholes countywide.

MCDOT relies on resident reports of potholes, and repair crews also stop to fill any other potholes encountered as they make their rounds. Residents can report potholes online or by calling the MC311 Call Center at 311 or 240-777-0311, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Drivers are asked to be cautious and patient when encountering crews filling potholes.

MCDOT fills potholes on 5,000 lane miles of County-maintained roads. The Maryland State Highway Administration (MSHA) fills potholes, plows snow and maintains numbered routes in the County, such as Maryland routes 355 or 97. MSHA can be reached at 301-513-7300. Municipalities, such as the cities of Rockville and Gaithersburg, handle their own repairs.

Study Ranks County Second in Nation in Life Expectancy

A new analysis of life expectancy at birth, plus rates of obesity and physical activity in all 3,143 counties or county-equivalents in the nation ranks Montgomery County second in life expectancy for males and females.

Males in the County have a life expectancy of  81.6 years of age – a 7.1 year jump between 1985 and 2010, while females live 84.9 years, an increase of 5.1 years over the last 15 years.

The study, conducted by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, was the first-ever county-level analysis. See Montgomery County’s profile.

Sheriff’s Notice – Cell Phone Scam

According to Montgomery County Sheriff Darren M. Popkin, a phone scam currently going around the country has reached Montgomery County residents.

A caller, falsely claiming to be from the sheriff's office, says a warrant that has been issued for your arrest  will be served unless, of course, you pay up.

The scammer may get specific by giving his name and “official” rank. The caller might also request personal information so he can “clear your name” and cancel the mythical arrest warrant. Victims may be asked to go to a store, get a pre-paid credit card, load it up with money and call a phone number with the card information

Anyone who has received a scam phone call from someone claiming to be a Montgomery County (MD) Deputy Sheriff who is going to arrest you unless you immediately send money should call the Sheriff’s Office at 240-777-7000. Save any recorded messages, record the date and time of the phone call, the purported name of the caller, the call back number and their phone number as displayed on caller ID.

Get Your Hands Dirty, Keep Your Community Clean

The Volunteer Center is promoting environmentally focused projects during the entire month of April as a time for volunteers to get engaged in Earth Day.

Students are reminded that they can earn Student Service Learning (SSL) hours through the projects. The opportunities also include many volunteer projects that are ideal for groups or families who have the time, enthusiasm and desire to help the environment and their communities.

See a list of projects going on throughout the month, including some from the Department of Environmental Protection.

Council Radio Show for Local Latino Community Debuts on Radio America

The local Latino community can now receive key information on issues and programs thanks to the new partnership between the County Council and Radio America (WACA 1540 AM) that will provide a 30-minute show at 2 p.m. each Friday on the Washington Region’s most popular Spanish language station.

Entitled, “SintonĂ­a con el Concejo del Condado de Montgomery” (“Tuned In with the Montgomery County Council”), the show will include guests talking about important issues before the Council. Information will also be offered about County programs to help residents and businesses. Listeners can call in and express opinions and ask questions of guests.

The show debuted on April 4 with guests Councilmember Nancy Navarro and Daniel Parra of the Montgomery County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Listen to the first show.

“Montgomery Serves” Reception and Awards Ceremony

Good people will be honored for doing good for others at the annual “Montgomery Serves Awards” ceremony to be held Monday, April 28 at 6:30 p.m. at Imagination Stage in Bethesda. The ceremony and reception are free, but reservations are required, as seating is limited.

The awards to be presented -- the 2014 Montgomery Serves Awards, the Neal Potter Path of Achievement Awards and the Roscoe R. Nix Distinguished Community Leadership Awards -- recognize extraordinary volunteerism and will be presented to nine honorees for their service to Montgomery County.

Get more information and/or register for the event. Questions may be directed to serviceawards@montgomerycountymd.gov or call the Volunteer Center at 240-777-2600.

Low-Income and Senior Homeowners can Apply for Property Tax Credit

Montgomery County homeowners who have a limited income or are at least 70 years of age may be eligible for property tax credits that will limit the amount of taxes they must pay.

One application will determine eligibility for three programs – the Maryland Homeowners’ Property Tax Credit Program; the Montgomery County Supplemental Property Tax Credit; and the Montgomery County Senior Property Tax Credit. The application deadline is September 1.

Property owners who have applied for a tax credit previously and been denied are encouraged to apply again, since the tax credit programs have changed and been improved over the years and income situations may have changed.

To apply for the tax credits, homeowners must fill out one application form each year. The forms are available by calling the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) at 1-800-944-7403 or by downloading the form and instructions from the SDAT website at http://www.dat.state.md.us/sdatweb/htc.html.

See more information in the news release.