MoCo Council Committees Meet
The Montgomery County Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 28, will hold worksessions on two bills that would help protect trees in the County. Public hearings on the bills held earlier this month had more than 30 speakers.
The T and E Committee, which is chaired by Roger Berliner and includes Councilmembers Nancy Floreen and Hans Riemer, 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 www.montgomerycountymd.gov.
Bill 35-12 would save, maintain and establish the tree canopy by maximizing tree retention and establishment of new trees. The bill would establish standards to minimize the loss of trees as a result of development and would provide for mitigation when trees are lost or disturbed. It also would provide for a fund for tree canopy conservation projects.
Bill 41-12 would require certain applicants to obtain a permit for specified activities in a public right-of-way that would destroy or disturb trees. It would authorized the Department of Transportation to create a tree replacement fund to pay for needed roadside trees and would lead to the adoption of regulations regarding work (trimming) that would be conducted on roadside trees.
Councilmembers Berliner and Marc Elrich are the chief sponsors of Bill 41-12.
At 9:30 Monday in the Seventh Floor Conference Room, the Education Committee, which is chaired by Valerie Ervin and includes Councilmembers Phil Andrews and Craig Rice, will discuss a proposed supplemental appropriation of $1.1 million to construct an artificial turf stadium field at Wootton High School in Rockville. The source of the funds is private contributions. This would be the third artificial turf field installed at a County high school (Richard Montgomery and Walter Johnson already have artificial turf fields).
At 2 p.m. in the Seventh Floor Hearing Room, the Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee, which is chaired by Councilmember Floreen and includes Councilmembers Elrich and George Leventhal, will meet jointly with the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GO) Committee, which is chaired by Nancy Navarro and includes Councilmembers Ervin and Riemer, to discuss proposed Bill 36-12 that would increase the percent of collected County Hotel/Motel tax from 3.5 percent to 7.0 percent for support of the County’s Conference and Visitor’s Bureau.
The Conference and Visitor’s Bureau promotes Montgomery County as a destination for visitors, including for meetings and conferences, conventions, group tours and leisure travel. However, Montgomery’s bureau receives less funding than do similar bureaus than most Washington area jurisdictions.
At 2:30 p.m. in the Third Floor Conference Room, the PHED Committee will receive a quarterly update on the status of economic development in the County.
At 2:30 p.m. in the Seventh Floor Hearing Room, the GO Committee will address Spending Affordability Guidelines for the Fiscal Year 2014 Capital Budget.