Noteworthy Notes

County Residents and Businesses that Sustained Damage from Tropical Storm Lee can Apply for SBA Assistance

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced that residents and businesses in Montgomery County affected by the severe weather from Tropical Storm Lee that occurred on September 8 and 9, 2011, can apply for low-interest disaster loans.

Information on loan rates and applications is available by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to Loan applications can also be downloaded from Completed applications should be returned to the Center or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

Those affected by the storm may also apply for disaster loans electronically from SBA’s website at

The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is January 13, 2012. The deadline to return economic injury applications is August 14, 2012.

Fire and Rescue Service Seeking Recruits via Online Applications

The Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) is recruiting for the position of Firefighter/Rescuer I (Recruit). MCFRS Firefighter/Rescuers receive outstanding benefits, including 20-year retirement with no age limit, group health and life insurance, paid holidays, paid vacation and paid sick leave.

This recruitment will be used to establish an eligibility list for an upcoming recruit class, subject to budgetary approval.

Applications -- that are due by December 2 -- will only be accepted on-line. Learn more.


Office of Consumer Protection Looking for Input about Inspection of Gas Appliances

Montgomery County’s Advisory Committee on Consumer Protection is soliciting comments from all stakeholders regarding the installation and inspection of gas appliances.

A joint investigation by the Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) found that a majority of gas appliances installed in Montgomery County during a test period had not been properly inspected following installation.

Input is being sought from retail business establishments, homeowner’s insurance companies, plumbing/gas fitting contractors, Montgomery and Prince George’s Fire and Rescue Services and consumers.

The regulatory code for gas appliances in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties is enforced by WSSC and applies to water heaters, furnaces, ranges, grills, generators, clothes dryers and fireplaces.

The WSSC code requires that all gas appliances be installed by a licensed gas plumber/gas fitter after a permit has been obtained. It also states that an inspection with WSSC must be scheduled within five days of the installation. Failure to have gas appliances inspected in a timely fashion is both a violation of the law and a potential safety hazard.

Anyone interested in submitting input regarding this issue can send their comments – no later than December 9 -- to the OCP Advisory Committee, 100 Maryland Ave., Suite 330, Rockville, MD 20850, or via email at

For more information call the Office of Consumer Protection at 240-777-3636.



Montgomery County Public Libraries Offers its 2011 Report to the Community Online

Montgomery County Public Libraries 2011 Report to the Community

The past year has been challenging for Montgomery County Public Libraries (MCPL), just as it has been for County government in general. Yet, it’s clear that residents treasure their libraries.

The 2011 Report to the Community presents a well-rounded look at the impact our libraries have had on the quality of life throughout the County.

For instance, in FY 2011:
More than 10 million people borrowed some type of material from a local public library;

5.7 million people visited a local public library;
3.4 million people got general information from the MCPL website; and
2 million people retrieved an electronic information resource.

The report contains facts, figures and photos -- all pleasingly presented -- to portray the activities and achievements of the past year, all of which were accomplished during a sustained economic downturn.

It’s a good read for the countless numbers of residents who love their libraries and an informative presentation and eye-opener for new residents or those not as tuned in to all their local libraries have to offer.



Maryland 511 Travel Information Service is Launched

The Maryland Department of Transportation has launched a new official travel information service called Maryland 511.

Travel information is provided through the internet at, by phone at 511 (for those in Maryland or key roads in the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia) or by smartphone. Those outside Maryland can call 1-855-GOMD511 (466-3511).

Maryland 511 is designed to provide users with real time traffic information, transportation alternatives and links to tourism spots across the State. Travelers will be able to access information on:

  • Traffic conditions
  • Live traffic camera feeds
  • Highway construction updates
  • Weather conditions and forecasts
  • Transit and airport information
  • Toll facility information

Travelers can also follow the latest information from Maryland 511 on Twitter, which can be accessed from the Maryland 511 website.



Bike Ride-Along for Decision Makers Highlights Trail Resources and Needs

Montgomery County’s Pedestrian and Traffic Safety Advisory Committee, in coordination with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and the Montgomery County Department of Transportation, recently hosted a Bike Ride-Along.

Participants included Planning Board Chair Françoise Carrier, County Councilmembers Nancy Floreen and Hans Riemer and other local officials, who got a first-hand look at what bicycling in Montgomery County entails – both the pleasures and the challenges.

The nine-mile route between North Bethesda and Downtown Silver Spring took riders along bikeways, roadways and trails used daily by both commuter and recreational bikers.

On average, more than 100 bicycle collisions occur each year in the County. A new Maryland law passed last fall requires motorists to give bikes three feet of space when passing. Bicyclists are no longer required to ride on the shoulder. However, if traveling at less than the speed of traffic, a bicyclist must still ride as near to the right of the roadway as practical and safe.

For more information about biking, visit the County’s website.



State Law Now in Effect on Illegal Signs along State Roads

The State Highway Administration (SHA) and local governments are now issuing warnings to those who illegally post signs along State-maintained highways. Beginning January 2012, jurisdictions will start fining offenders $25 for each sign in order to recoup the costs of removing them from highways.

Illegal signs distract drivers and, in some cases, can impede drivers’ vision or block legal signs from view. They can also affect maintenance operations, interfere with the work of utility crews and mar the landscape along Maryland’s scenic routes.

Along state highways – including interstates, U.S. and Maryland numbered routes – private signs are prohibited in the medians and along the sides on the public property or “right-of-way.” The illegal signs are often found attached to utility poles or stacked together on wooden posts littering medians.

For more information on the new law, visit the SHA website.

CATEGORIES: Worth Noting
POSTED AT: Tuesday, November 22, 2011 | 9:58:00 PM |
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