The Montgomery County Council at approximately 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, April 16, is scheduled to vote on Bill 34-12 that would expand the Water Quality Protect Charge to all properties not otherwise exempt under state law. The bill implements in the County a state law approved in 2012.
At 2 p.m. Tuesday, the Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee, which is chaired by Nancy Floreen and includes Councilmembers Marc Elrich and George Leventhal, will review the Fiscal Year 2014 operating budget request of the Department of Recreation. The worksession is part of the Council’s review of County Executive Isiah Leggett’s recommended FY14 County operating budget. The Council will adopt the budget in late May.
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 general session, two public hearings starting at 1:30 p.m. and the PHED Committee meeting in the Seventh Floor Hearing Room 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, April 19, starting at 9 p.m.
At 10 a.m. during the morning session, Council Staff Director Steve Farber will provide an overview of the FY14 operating budget that outlines the core budget issues the Council will address and resolve over the next five weeks as it works toward adopting a new budget.
The morning session will begin with ceremonies honoring retiring Fire Chief Richard Bowers. A 35-year member of the County’s Fire and Rescue Service, he will be leaving Montgomery County to become fire chief in Fairfax County.
Bill 34-12, as state law now requires, expands the scope of the Water Quality Protection Charge to virtually all non-government properties, including many non-residential properties that do not currently pay the charge. The expansion was intended to make sure beneficiaries of stormwater management programs help pay for the infrastructure.
The state law provides that the County cannot charge state and municipal facilities, property owned by the state, a county, a municipality or a volunteer fire department. The Council’s Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy and Environment Committee has recommended that hardship exemptions be available to non-profit organizations that meet specified criteria.
Funds collected through the Water Quality Protection Charge will establish long-term schedules for identifying sources of pollution and for improving watersheds in the County. Funds will support regional strategies to reduce trash and increase recycling. A portion of the funds will be appropriated to the Montgomery County side of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission for its water quality activities.
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