The Montgomery County Council at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19, will discuss an independent consultant’s report on the delayed Silver Spring Transit Center. At 3:30 p.m., the Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment (T and E) Committee will meet to discuss a $7.5 million supplemental appropriation that County Executive Isiah Leggett has requested to further support the project.
The Council’s regular weekly session will begin at 9:30 a.m. in the Third Floor Council Hearing Room of the Council Office Building at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. The morning and afternoon sessions of the full Council, and the meeting of the T and E Committee, will be televised live by County Cable Montgomery (CCM—Cable Channel 6 on Comcast and RCN, Channel 30 on Verizon). The broadcast will be available via streaming through the County Web site at www.montgomerycountymd.gov It will be rebroadcast on Friday, March 22, starting at 9 p.m.
The Silver Spring Transit Center will replace a 30-year-old transit facility with a new, three-story, pedestrian friendly complex supporting the Silver Spring Metrorail Station, the MARC commuter train, Metrobus, Ride On, intercity buses, various shuttle buses, taxis and kiss-and-ride dropoffs. The project also will be a key aspect of the planned Purple Line.
The first phase of the project—the relocation of the MARC station to make it adjacent to the Metro station—was completed several years ago. The second, and much larger, phase proceeded to construction in 2008. By late 2011, the project was about 90 percent finished. However, a problem was reported with the concrete poured on the reinforcing bars on the middle and top floors. Subsequently, the County retained KCE Structural Engineers to perform a comprehensive review of the design, construction and inspection of the entire structure.
The KCE report will be discussed by the full Council at the 3 p.m. session.
If the Council approves the additional $7.5 million supplemental appropriation, it will mean that the cost of the project will have increased by $26 million over the past five years (from approximately $90 million projected in 2008 to $116 million).
During the morning session, Expedited Bill 8-13 will be introduced that would increase the Working Families Income Supplement to 80 percent of the Maryland credit beginning in Fiscal Year 2014, 90 percent beginning in FY15 and 100 percent in FY16 and beyond. The supplement is derived from the federal earned income tax credit, which is a refundable tax credit for lower income working families and individuals. Councilmembers Hans Riemer, Marc Elrich and George Leventhal are the sponsors of the bill.
Bill 9-13 also will be introduced during the morning session. It would establish an interest arbitration panel to resolve an impasse over a collective bargaining agreement and would require an impasse arbitration hearing to be open to the public. Interest arbitration is a method of resolving disputes over the terms and conditions of a new collective bargaining agreement. Councilmember Phil Andrews is the chief sponsor of the legislation.
The morning session will begin with a presentation to Board of Education member Judy Docca, who has been selected by the Maryland State Education Association to receive the 2013 Minority Recognition Leadership Award. The award honors individuals who promote and demonstrate leadership in public education and who have had a significant impact at the national, state and local levels. Prior to being elected to the Board of Education in 2006, Dr. Docca spent 38 years with Montgomery County Public Schools, serving as a Spanish and French teacher, a human relations coordinator, assistant principal at Montgomery Blair High School and principal at Argyle Middle School.
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