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Council Committees Meet

The Montgomery County Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (T and E) Committee at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Oct. 11, will receive an update on construction issues involving the future Silver Spring Transit Center.

The committee also will receive a status report on design plans for the Purple Line—the future east-west transit line that will connect the Bethesda and New Carrollton Metro stations.

At 2 p.m., the Planning, Housing and Economic Development will be updated on the new Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club that is scheduled to open later this year in the foreclosed Bethesda Theatre on Wisconsin Ave. in downtown Bethesda.

The T and E Committee, which is chaired by Roger Berliner and includes Councilmembers Nancy Floreen and Hans Riemer, will meet in the Seventh Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The meeting will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast also will be streamed through the County Web site at www.montgomerycountymd.gov.

The T and E Committee held worksessions with the county’s Department of General Services in January and April regarding the Silver Spring Transit Center. The first phase of the project—the relocation of the MARC commuter station to be adjacent to the Metro station—was completed several years ago. The second, much-larger phase proceeded to construction in Fall 2008. By late last year, the project was about 90 percent completed. However, a major problem was reported with concrete poured on the reinforcing bars on the middle and top floors of the center. The County has been working with construction contractors to try and remedy the situation.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $109 million, with 49 percent of the funding coming through federal aid and 13 percent via state aid.

In October 2011, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley announced that the Federal Transit Administration had given its approval for the Purple Line to move forward and enter the preliminary engineering phase. Since then, the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) has begun preparing more detailed plans, schedules and cost estimates. This work has included design issues at several locations along the line. MTA will brief the committee regarding the current status of these issues.

At 2 p.m. in the Seventh Floor Conference Room, the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee, which is chaired by Councilmember Floreen and includes Councilmembers Marc Elrich and George Leventhal, will receive the quarterly report from the County’s Department of Economic Development. Among the issues of focus will be implementation of the program to establish a Small Business Navigator to help small businesses comply with County requirements and regulations.

The economic development report also will update the progress of establishment of the new Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club that is scheduled to open later this year in the foreclosed Bethesda Theatre on Wisconsin Ave. in downtown Bethesda.

The PHED Committee also will discuss workforce development programs and strategies.

The PHED Committee meeting also will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery.

At 8:15 a.m. in the Rockville Memorial Library, the Health and Human Services Committee, which is chaired by Councilmember Leventhal and includes Councilmembers Nancy Navarro and Craig Rice, will meet with boards and commissions that are overseen by the committee.

At 2 p.m. in the Sixth Floor Conference Room, the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee, which is chaired by Councilmember Navarro and includes Councilmembers Riemer and Valerie Ervin, will interview applicants for an open position on the Charter Review Commission.

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