January 31, 2018

Leggett Releases FY19 Capital Budget

Capital Budget

County Executive Ike Leggett released his recommended FY19 Capital Budget and six-year FY19-24 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) his final Capital Budget as County Executive on Tuesday, January 16. His six-year CIP totals $4.521 billion. It includes $1.751 billion for the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), the highest level ever. Including this recommendation, MCPS capital funding under Leggett has grown by $577.8 million – a 49.2 -percent increase - over the past 12 years.

Over the 12 years that Leggett has served as County Executive he has opened and renovated new County facilities of all types, adding more than 21,000 classroom seats in public schools, opening a record number of new fire stations, and expanding Montgomery College – as well as more funding for such “back to basics” as road repaving and maintenance, clean energy buses, and snow removal apparatuses.

Building a Better Future for Montgomery County

The Time To Build

During the past 12 years, County Executive Ike Leggett and his team worked to – literally – build a better future for Montgomery County. Even in tough fiscal times for County government and County residents, the Leggett Administration has completed 50 major projects – not including schools, parks, and the college. That’s more than the 37 completed during the 12 years before Leggett took office – when it was a boom economy.

Watch this video to see how Montgomery County continues to build for a better future.

Montgomery County Makes the List for Second Amazon Headquarters

Montgomery County made the list as a potential site for Amazon’s second headquarters. Selected from 238 proposals, Montgomery County is one of the 20 sites which made the list. The company plans to locate 50,000 jobs at the new headquarters.

County Executive Ike Leggett released the following statement:
“I am extremely pleased and proud that Amazon selected Montgomery County, Md. to enter into future discussions regarding locating their second headquarters. I want to thank Governor Hogan and his entire team for their strong support in helping to create a compelling case for the County.
“As the only County in the country on the short list, having the ability to move forward for further consideration is a real honor. I believe our initial proposal made an extremely strong case for Montgomery County as a great place do business, and I look forward to working with Amazon to bring jobs and investment to the County.”

Leggett Cuts Ribbon for New 2nd District Police Station

County Executive Ike Leggett joined by other officials, police and community members cut the ribbon for the new 2nd District Police Station on Monday, January 22. The new station is located at 4823 Rugby Avenue in Bethesda.

The new station resulted from a public-private partnership with developer StonebridgeCarras. The new four-story, 28,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility provides the 2nd District with many features that the old station at 7359 Wisconsin Avenue, built in 1961, could not. In exchange, StonebridgeCarras will develop the Wisconsin Avenue property as part of an office and hotel project.

The new station opens to the public in mid-February. Learn more at: New 2D Station.

Metro Wants to Hear from You on the Grosvenor Metro Turnback

In 2015, the Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) Board committed to extend more continuous Red Line service to Shady Grove beginning July 2018. Currently, about half of the trains turn back at Grosvenor.

However, the Metro staff budget proposal for fiscal year 2019 does NOT include the elimination of Grosvenor Metrorail Station turnbacks. The Montgomery County Department of Transportation encourages the public to provide input to Metro about the importance of eliminating these turnbacks to extend consistent service through to Shady Grove by:

Testifying at a public hearing, scheduled for Wednesday, January 31 at 6 p.m. (open house begins at 5:30 p.m.) at Metro Headquarters, 600 5th Street NW, Washington DC 20001; or
Providing written testimony by mail or through WMATA’s website by Monday, February 5 at 5 p.m.

The Metrorail turnbacks at the Grosvenor Station negatively impact ridership to White Flint, Twinbrook, Rockville and Shady Grove and reduce the frequency of trains beyond Grosvenor during peak periods to about one train every eight minutes.

County Executive Ike Leggett sent a letter requesting elimination of the turnbacks to WMATA General Manager and Chief Executive Officer Paul Wiedefeld last fall.

Additional information about the public hearing is available here.

Nominate Outstanding Volunteers for Award Recognition

Nominations are now open for the Montgomery County Serves Awards, Montgomery County's highest honor for volunteer service. This prestigious annual awards program, coordinated by the Montgomery County Volunteer Center, recognizes volunteer efforts in the following categories:
  • Neal Potter Path of Achievement Award, for lifetime service by residents age 60 and older
  • Volunteer of the Year Award, for extraordinary volunteerism by an individual in 2017
  • Youth Volunteer of the Year Award, for remarkable volunteers age 18 and younger
  • Volunteer Group of the Year Award, for a group's noteworthy volunteer efforts
  • Business Volunteer of the Year Award, for outstanding community service by a corporation
To nominate deserving volunteers, complete the appropriate online nomination form by Friday, Feb. 23.

Award recipients will be honored at a gala ceremony attended by county and state dignitaries the evening of Monday, April 23, at Imagination Stage in Bethesda. Reserve your free tickets now.

Older Driver Safety Education and Resources

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Montgomery County’s Age Friendly Advisory Group examined the topic of older driver safety during its January meeting. Detective Michael Polcsa, Montgomery County Department of Police, and Shawn Brennan, Department of Health and Human Services, discussed many aspects of this important topic. Both departments have partnered with Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) to educate the public about older driver safety.

Overall, drivers over age 60 are safe drivers; however, they are more likely to be injured or killed if involved in a crash. While the County works hard with its partners to expand transportation options for older adults, leaders recognize that driving is preferred by many residents.

MVA’s goal is to keep drivers behind the wheel as long as it is safe. To support that goal, they created Maryland’s "Resource Guide for Aging Drivers". This helpful booklet addresses how health impacts driving; safe driving skills; MVA’s medical review process; and transitioning from driving.

See more information from County's senior website.

Open House on MD 355 Bus Rapid Transit

Join the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) team at an open house to learn more about plans for MD 355. The BRT will provide an easier, faster, more reliable, and less stressful way to travel.

The open house will be held on Thursday, February 1, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School Cafeteria located at 4301 East-West Highway. Learn more.

Montgomery County Police Department Supports Community Survey

The Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) is committed to working in partnership with the community to identify and resolve issues that impact public safety. To that end, the department is supporting a survey conducted by a University of Maryland (UMD) student for a UMD Policy Engagement class project.

Community members are encouraged to take a few minutes to take a voluntary, anonymous survey that asks for opinions about the MCPD, as well as crime and public safety in our County’s neighborhoods.

Understanding community views of the police is important to ensure the department is operating with the most appropriate enforcement and social service responses.
  • Learn more about the project and access the survey, available in both English and Spanish, at: Survey.
Your participation in completing this important survey is appreciated.

County Executive’s Proposed Capital Budget Includes Funds to Improve Alternatives to Interim Georgetown Branch Trail

County Executive Isiah Leggett’s proposed capital budget includes about $3 million for construction of protected bike lanes and other bicycle infrastructure improvements in Bethesda. The funds will be used to further enhance alternative routes until the Interim Georgetown Branch Trail (which is now closed) is rebuilt as part of the Purple Line project. The Trail is an extension of the Capital Crescent Trail.

To ensure resident safety, Montgomery County’s Department of Transportation has made numerous improvements to the current interim trail by adding signs to better guide users to the designated route and refreshing pavement markings.

To read more about the project.

Tips and Resources for Family Caregivers

Being a family caregiver can be challenging, rewarding and exhausting. Here (pdf) are some helpful tips and Montgomery County phone & online resources that family caregivers can use to learn about available supports. 

Montgomery County Deploys Support for US Virgin’s Islands

Montgomery County is providing support through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) for the ongoing disaster recovery effort in the US Virgin Islands (USVI). The islands continue to recover from devastation caused by two Category 5 hurricanes, Irma and Maria, which hit the islands last fall.

Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service (8), Police Department (1) and Department of Health & Human Services (1) deployed 10 personnel as part of Maryland’s team tasked with providing Critical Incident Stress Management training, including psychological self-care, to USVI emergency responders. These critical efforts help ensure that the USVI responders do not experience long-term psychological issues such as PTSD. This deployment is anticipated to last 22 days.

The County’s Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security provides continual tracking support for the County’s deployed personnel and assists with the completion of post-deployment documentation. The EMAC guarantees full cost recovery eligibility for any deployment-related expense incurred by the County.

Touring the Department of Liquor Control

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett recently toured the Department of Liquor Control (DLC) offices and warehouse where he met with employees to discuss how new equipment, technology, and more training has modernized the department’s warehouse operations.

Under new management, the focus at DLC is on accountability and exceptional customer service. Today, the warehouse carries approximately 6,900 products. More than half of the DLC fleet (22 trucks) was replaced, resulting in more reliable delivery service to licensees. The DLC generates approximately $30 million in revenue - over and above expenses - for the County each year.

For information about the DLC’s 27 retail stores, visit montgomerycountymd.gov/dlc.

Created with flickr slideshow.

Montgomery County Public Libraries Offers a Series of Programs to Commemorate Black History Month

Montgomery County Public Libraries will celebrate Black History Month in February with special programs. The free events, suitable for all ages, will be offered at many library branches throughout the County.

For more information on the schedule go to the press release.

Residents Make Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday a Day of Service

Across Montgomery County, thousands of individuals joined forces to better our community and honor Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy by volunteering during the 2018 MLK Day of Service and the weekend leading up to the holiday.

More than 3,500 people participated in the Montgomery County Volunteer Center's largest-ever multi-project site at the Bethesda North Marriott Conference Center, where they worked on everything from packaging food for the hungry to creating hand warmers for seniors. An additional 1,200 volunteers served at coordinated project sites in Silver Spring and Gaithersburg, which were hosted by the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority's Montgomery County alumnae chapter and Seneca Creek Community Church. Many hundreds more volunteered for a variety of service activities in Montgomery County throughout the MLK Day weekend. These included painting a nonprofit's offices, removing invasive plants in parks, cleaning up trash from streams, and collecting food for needy families.

Check out the online photo album featuring images from the day of service. If you have pictures to contribute, upload them here, or forward by email.

Montgomery County Public Libraries to Celebrate Lunar New Year 4716.

Montgomery County Public Libraries will host the following free programs to celebrate the Lunar New Year 4716.

February 3 at 1 p.m.
Chinese New Year Celebration: Lion Dance!
Silver Spring, 900 Wayne Avenue

February 15 at 9 a.m. and February 16 at 2 p.m.
Lunar New Year: Make a Lantern
Wheaton Interim, 2400 Arcola Avenue

February 24 at 2 p.m.
Chinese New Year Celebration
Potomac, 10101 Glenolden Drive

February 24 at 2 p.m.
2018 Lunar New Year Performance by Li-Ming Chinese Academy
Germantown, 19840 Century Boulevard

January 10, 2018

Holiday Schedule for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Montgomery County government will observe the following holiday schedule for the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday:
  • County Offices – Closed 
  • Libraries – Closed 
  • County Liquor stores (DLC) – all stores will be open 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
  • Recreation – aquatics programs and facilities open; all other classes and programs canceled. Administrative office, senior centers and community centers are closed.
  • Montgomery Parks - for operating schedule, including Brookside Gardens, ice rinks and tennis centers.
  • Ride On – Modified Holiday Schedule. Route.
  • Metrorail and Metrobus.
  • TRiPS Commuter Store at Silver Spring Transit Center – Open
  • TRiPS Mobile Commuter Store – Closed 
  • Refuse/recycling pickup – No collection* 
  • The Shady Grove Processing Facility and Transfer Station – Closed 
  • Parking at public garages, lots, curbside meters – Free
  • State offices and courts – Closed 
*Collection provided one day later for remainder of week (last collection day is Saturday).

Montgomery County Ceremony Honors Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., Fulfilling the Dream: A Celebration of Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

A special tribute ceremony to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. will be held on Monday, January 15 at 3:30 p.m. This will be the first time in many years the holiday falls on Dr. King’s actual birthday, making this program particularly significant.

The event, produced by the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Committee and the Montgomery County Office of Human Rights, will be held at the Music Center at Strathmore located at 5301 Tuckerman Lane in North Bethesda.

This special presentation will celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. life through dramatic readings, music, dance performances and a special choral performance by the Carlton Reese Memorial Unity Choir.

Free tickets are required for this event, and will only be distributed onsite the day of the performance starting at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are first-come, first served and everyone in line will receive a general admission ticket until the venue is filled. Come early to get the best seating. The line forms in the Music Center foyer, starting near the café. Patrons may enter on the third floor near the skybridge. Seating begins at 3 p.m.

For more information about the event, go to www.strathmore.org/events-and-tickets/mlk-tribute.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Holiday a day ON, not a day off!

Make the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday a day ON, not a day off! On Monday, January 15, join thousands of others to honor Dr. King’s life and teachings by serving our community as part of Montgomery County’s 2018 MLK Day of Service.

The Montgomery County Volunteer Center and its partner agencies are hosting a wide variety of family-friendly service projects at three indoor locations providing residents a meaningful way to help others.

The largest site, the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center is located at 5701 Marinelli Road in North Bethesda. This site will feature dozens of service projects and a volunteer fair where participants can learn about nonprofits and government agencies in our region and their year-round volunteer needs. North Bethesda activities will be held from 1 to 3 p.m.

Additional service sites are at the Silver Spring Civic Building located at 1 Veterans Place from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and Seneca Creek Community Church located at 13 Firstfield Road in Gaithersburg from 9 to 11 a.m.

Projects will vary by location and include opportunities such as packaging food for the hungry, crafting costumes for hospitalized children, making dog toys for animal shelters and service dogs, creating hand warmers for the homeless, and writing letters to seniors and military troops. Students are eligible to receive Student Service Learning (SSL) hour credits for participating at any of the three locations.

Several of the Volunteer Center’s partner agencies will hold additional service activities throughout the MLK Day weekend, including Manna Food Center, which seeks volunteers to staff food drives at local Giant Food Stores, and Montgomery Parks, which is coordinating park cleanups and other volunteer activities. Find more details and more ways to serve during the weekend (and all year) at www.montgomeryserves.org.

Statement by Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett On the Corporate Decision to Shift Discovery Communications Headquarters from Silver Spring

“I was disappointed to hear of the corporate decision by Discovery Communications to move its headquarters from downtown Silver Spring, where they have been located since 2003.

“Certainly these are challenging times in the communications industry and the recent Scripps merger involving Discovery undoubtedly had a significant impact.

“Notwithstanding these changes in objective conditions, Montgomery County has been in discussions with Discovery in the past months since the merger in an effort to respond to the challenges faced by an independent television, entertainment, and education channel in a radically-changing industry. The County and State made a substantial proposal designed to accommodate Discovery’s challenges. Together, we were ready to provide considerable incentives to retain their presence in the County.

“I know this was a tough decision for Discovery. I respect the contributions Discovery has made over the last 15 years to Silver Spring and Montgomery County. We will miss them.”a

Statement by Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett On Federal Decision to End Temporary Protected Status for Salvadorans Living in the United States

“The announcement today by the federal Department of Homeland Security ending Temporary Protected Status for citizens of El Salvador resident in the United States under this program is unfortunate and should be condemned by all people of good will. Even though this would not be effective for 18 months, the action threatens to tear apart communities and families who have put down strong roots here.

"Montgomery County is a welcoming community. This action is the opposite of welcoming. I urge the President and the Congress to work together to craft a sensible solution so that this wholly counterproductive action does not come to pass.”

Registration to Open for Summer Camps and Programs on January 16

The 2018 online Montgomery County Summer Camp Guide features dozens of affordable and fun summer camps for a variety of ages and interests.

Print copies of the Summer Camp Guide are available at aquatic and community recreation centers and Montgomery County Public Library branches. Summer camp registration officially begins Tuesday, January 16. The online link for summer camp registration is www.ActiveMONTGOMERY.org.

To help you choose a camp, Montgomery County Recreation will host two, free summer camp fairs. Families can meet recreation staff and instructors, learn about financial aid, and register for summer camp.

The summer camp fairs will be held from noon to 3 p.m. at the following locations:
The summer camp fairs are designed to showcase the wide variety of specialized summer camps offered including arts, aquatics, cooking, dance, music, nature, sports, and technology. The fairs will include demonstrations, raffles, and giveaways. T-Rec, the Department of Recreation mascot, will also attend.

Montgomery County 2017 Economic Successes

2017 was an exciting and eventful year for Montgomery County’s Economic Development. With many successes to build on, it is expected that 2018 will continue the economic growth and progression.

Here is a review of some of the 2017 economic highlights:
Montgomery County is one of the best places in the country to do business. Montgomery County is a dynamic, diverse and business-friendly community who cares about local and global issues, the work done in County changes the world.

Watch this video to see how the work done in Montgomery County changes the world every day.

Montgomery County Public Libraries to Host Second Comic Convention

Calling all Jedi, superheroes, wizards and even muggles, to Montgomery County Public Libraries’ second comic convention, MoComCon. The event will be held on January 27, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Silver Spring branch located at 900 Wayne Avenue.

This event is open and accessible to all, build including seasoned comic conventioneers, novices and the curious of all ages. The comic convention will include a variety of presenters, workshops, programs, displays, exhibitors, and cosplay (costume play, dressing up as a character) opportunities – all free of charge.

Event highlights include:
  • Superhero Storytime 10:30 a.m., (prior to the event start);
  • Light Wands with FutureMakers for all ages;
  • Introduction to Illustration with Jason Bunyan (for teens);
  • Presentations: Marc Tyler Nobleman, Matthew Winner, and local authors panel;
  • Harry Potter-Themed Escape Room;
  • DIY Dragon eggs inspired by Game of Thrones;
  • Cosplay contest with prizes for children, teens, and adults.
No weapons, including replica and costume pieces, are allowed at the event.

More information, including lead-up events, schedule, rules and cosplay contest guidelines, is posted on the MoComCon website: montgomerycountymd.gov/mocomcon.

January is National Radon Action Month

This January, Montgomery County joins a nationwide effort to educate homeowners and renters on the dangers of radon gas and the importance of testing every home. Radon Action Month focuses on the steps we can take to help ensure our homes are safe and radon free.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, radon is responsible for roughly 21,000 lung cancer deaths each year. It is the second leading cause of lung cancer and the number one cause of lung cancer for nonsmokers.

January is an especially good time to test homes for radon because windows and doors are closed tightly and people spend more time indoors. Testing typically happens in the basement or first floor of a building since radon enters a home through cracks and other openings in the foundation.

In awareness of Radon Action Month, the County’s Department of Environmental Protection has developed a new radon brochure with information on testing and the 2016 Radon Home Sale testing law. The brochure is available at here and at libraries and regional service centers.

For more information about radon, testing and finding a radon mitigation contractor, visit the new DEP radon website.

White Oak Science Gateway Newsletter Edition #8 Is Now Available

The White Oak Science Gateway Newsletter Edition #8 is now available. There is a lot happening in White Oak. Stay updated with the latest news in White Oak by following the White Oak Science Gateway Master Plan Facebook page and by visiting the County’s website. Peruse minutes from Friends of White Oak meetings here.

The White Oak Science Gateway Master Plan is designed to leverage the area’s many assets and establish a foundation upon which the area may evolve into a community that offers more opportunities to learn, live, work and play.

Kickoff for the 100 Mile Challenge is Set for January 20

The kickoff event for the Department of Recreation’s 100 Mile Challenge is scheduled for Saturday, January 20 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the cafeteria at the Executive Office Building located at 101 Monroe Street in Rockville.

This popular program encourages residents – and their dogs – to log 100 miles of physical activity in 100 days. For this challenge, you can walk, run, or bike one mile a day or engage in 20 minutes of continuous physical activity. It all counts as you move to a fitter you.

More information is available at the 100 Mile Challenge website. Register online at ActiveMONTGOMERY.org, activity no. 42466.

Author James Quinlan to Speak at January Montgomery County Civil War Roundtable Meeting

James Quinlan will speak on his book “Armed Only With Faith: The Civil War Correspondence of Chaplain William Lyman Hyde, 112th New York Infantry” at the January meeting of the Montgomery County Civil War Round table at 8 p.m. on Thursday, January 11 at the Gaithersburg Hilton, 620 Perry Parkway. A $5 donation is requested.

Montgomery Parks Seeks Public Input on the Renovation Plan for Battery Lane Urban Park

Montgomery Parks seeks public input on the proposed playground renovation plan for Battery Lane Urban Park. All feedback should be posted on the Open Town Hall Forum, located on the MontgomeryParks.org web page. Written comments can also be emailed to the Project Manager at Lucas.Bonney@MontgomeryParks.org, mailed to Lucas Bonney, Project Manager, at 9500 Brunett Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20901, or communicated via phone at 301-495-2572. The deadline for public comment is Friday, January 26.

For additional information about the project, go to www.montgomeryparks.org and search “Battery Lane”.