Council Committees Meet on Nov. 18

montgomery county council-for-slider-450x280The Montgomery County Council’s Education Committee will hold a worksession at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 18 to discuss a proposal that seeks Maryland State aid to help pay for construction needs for Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS).

The Education Committee, which is chaired by Valerie Ervin and includes Councilmembers Phil Andrews and Craig Rice, will meet in the Third Floor Conference 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 .

This Council is considering a resolution that addresses the County’s annual request for school construction aid from the State through the Board of Public Works’ School Construction program. On Oct. 31, County officials and members of the County’s State Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly announced a new initiative to seek State participation to fund approximately $750 million for new capacity projects for MCPS. This initiative is not part of the County’s annual State aid for School Construction request.

In early October, MCPS submitted its preliminary Fiscal Year 2015 State aid for school construction request to the Interagency Committee on School Construction (lAC). MCPS’ FY15 State aid request is $160.9 million.

Each year, the County transmits a unified request to the IAC, which takes the form of a letter signed by the Council president, the County Executive, the Superintendent of Schools and the Board of Education president. The Council also acts upon a resolution formally supporting the Board of Education’s State aid request. The Council resolution is scheduled for Council action on Tuesday, Nov. 19.

The Board of Education is scheduled to take action on the Superintendent’s FY15 Capital Budget, the FY15-20 Capital Improvements Program and the FY15 State aid request on Monday, Nov. 18.

As has been the case in the past few years, the County’s requested amount includes funding sought for a build up of new and ongoing projects either not funded by the State yet or projects previously only partially funded. In addition, a total of $25.3 million is for “forward funded” projects (projects already under construction or completed that have yet to receive eligible State aid). MCPS also is requesting $10.6 million in State aid for systemic work (roof replacement and heating, ventilation and air conditioning work).

The requests for State aid include: Gaithersburg High School Revitalization/Expansion ($39.6 million) and Wheaton High School Revitalization/Expansion ($15.8 million). MCPS also is seeking the balance of State aid for the Paint Branch High School Revitalization/Expansion ($6.5 million requested, which would result in total State aid for the project of $31.7 million) and the Herbert Hoover Middle School Revitalization/Expansion ($8.2 million requested, which would result in total State aid for the project of $10.6 million). There also are many elementary school modernizations and additions and other projects for which funding is being sought.

Later in its meeting, the Education Committee will receive its annual briefing from the Montgomery County Coalition for Adult English Literacy (MCAEL).

At 9:30 a.m. in the Seventh Floor Hearing Room, the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee, which is chaired by Roger Berliner and includes Councilmembers Nancy Floreen and Hans Riemer, will hold a worksession on alternative fuels.

At 2 p.m. in the Seventh Floor Hearing Room, the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee, which is chaired by Councilmember Floreen and includes Councilmembers Marc Elrich and George Leventhal, will discuss a report from the Office of Legislative Oversight that evaluates the Bethesda Urban Partnership. The partnership, which was formed in 1994, provides services within the urban district such as landscaping and other maintenance services, organizes special events, promotes downtown Bethesda and oversees operation of the Bethesda Circulator shuttle.

The committee also will hold a worksession on an interim economic development strategic plan developed by the Department of Economic Development.



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