Montgomery Council Approves Library Parking Reimbursement to Rockville
$143,500 Special Appropriation for FY 2010 to Will
Provide Free Parking for Patrons at Town Center Library
ROCKVILLE, Md., July 21, 2009—The Montgomery County Council today approved a special appropriation of $143,540 for reimbursement to the City of Rockville that will allow users of the County’s Rockville Library to have two hours of free parking in Fiscal Year 2010. The approval of the funding is consistent with the County policy to provide free parking for patrons at all County libraries, including up to two hours at libraries in urban locations, such as Rockville Town Center.
The special appropriation, plus $3,890 approved for revenue lost in the Rockville Parking District for free parking by employees of the Rockville Library, was approved by a 6-2 vote. Council President Phil Andrews, Vice President Roger Berliner and Councilmembers Marc Elrich, Valerie Ervin, Nancy Floreen and Nancy Navarro voted to approve the total special appropriation of $147,430. Councilmembers Mike Knapp and George Leventhal voted against the appropriation. Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg was absent.
In spring, the Council decided it would postpone a decision on funding this portion of the FY10 budget, which went into effect on July 1, so it might revisit its policy at parking at public libraries. The Council has adopted a policy of not charging residents for parking during the first two hours while using any County library located in areas where parking is normally charged. Currently, this applies only to the Rockville and Bethesda libraries, but could apply to future new libraries in Silver Spring and Wheaton. However, no resolutions have been sponsored and introduced that would either repeal or amend the current policy, nor to set a rate for the Bethesda Library.
“The Council today showed its support for the policy of providing free parking at all libraries,” said Council President Phil Andrews. “In difficult economic times like we are experiencing right now, library use has increased for a variety of reasons. People are using libraries, in some cases, in their search for jobs. Charging one dollar an hour for parking could discourage people from going to the library. We do not want anything like that to be a financial barrier to using our libraries.”