Mayor and Council to Hear Updates on Town Center Initiative

An update on ongoing strategies to improve and strengthen the vitality of Rockville Town Center will come before the Mayor and Council on Jan. 4.

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Rockville Earns Top Score for LGBTQ Support for Fourth Year

City Scores Perfect Marks — Plus Bonus Points — on Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index

For a fourth consecutive year, Rockville has scored perfect marks on the Human Rights Campaign’s Municipal Equality Index for the city’s commitment to the health, welfare, safety and equality of its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community.

Rockville scored 110/100 on the scorecard, netting 10 bonus points for its services to LGBTQ youth, homeless people, elders and members of the transgender community.

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What is Vision Zero?

Vision Zero is a strategy to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, fair mobility for all.

Vision Zero is a strategy for a safer community.

  • Sets a goal of reducing, and eventually eliminating, traffic-related deaths or serious injuries.
  • Recognizes that people make mistakes and crashes will occur, but also that no one should lose their life or suffer life-altering injuries because of such mistakes.
  • Acknowledges that many factors contribute to safe mobility and requires an approach to examine the whole system.
  • Recognizes that while transportation safety benefits everyone, some members of the community are more at risk for experiencing a serious crash.
  • Uses data to target the cause of crashes before they occur, in order to lessen the severity of injuries.

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2020 on Rockville Social Media

These were some of the top-performing news items on city media channels in 2020:

Twitter (@rockville411): Top tweets included a traffic alert about demonstrations on June 5 in response to the police-related death of George Floyd in Minneapolis; a police alert about a coyote on the loose on Oct. 1; census takers on Aug. 25 at Mt. Calvary Baptist Church; and a statue of Washington Senators pitcher Walter “Big Train” Johnson at Dogwood Park.

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A New Way to Pay Utility Bills

A new payment system debuts in January

Check your mailbox in January for:

  • New account information.
  • 4 How to register.

Then:

  • View and pay your utility bill online, anytime, with a credit/debit card or e-check.
  • Receive bills and receipts via email with a paperless option.
  • Get email and optional text message reminders.
  • Choose to pay online or by mail, phone or text message.
  • Create your own payment schedule with FlexPay:

– Use Auto Pay to avoid late or missed payments, or
– One-Time Pay to quickly view and pay without registering.

It’s safe, simple and secure. www.rockvillemd.gov/utilitybilling

Multimedia Competition Focuses on Human Rights, Offers Up to $2,500 in Scholarships

The city’s Human Rights Commission will launch its Multimedia Scholarship Competition on Monday, Jan. 25.

This annual competition is an opportunity for students who live in and/or attend high school in Rockville to compete for scholarships by responding to one of several prompts focused on human rights.

The prompts, applications and additional information will be posted Monday, Jan. 25 at www.rockvillemd.gov/humanrights. The deadline for submissions is Monday, March 29.

Students may choose their desired medium, e.g., an essay, poem, song, painting, etc., through which to respond to the prompts. Submissions will be judged by a panel of HRC members, a community leader and a high school faculty member. Judging will be based on creativity, work quality and relevance.

First-, second- and third-place winners will be announced at a Mayor and Council meeting and will be awarded up to $2,500 in scholarships.

It’s Snow Time!: How to Be In-the-Know About Snow

Quick Links, Facts and Phone Numbers

When winter weather strikes, turn to the city’s website at www.rockvillemd.gov.

Closure and snow emergency information will be available on the website, as well as through Facebook (www.facebook.com/cityofrockville) and Twitter (@rockville411), and by signing up for Alert Rockville notifications at www.rockvillemd.gov/alerts.

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Beating Stress, Winter Blues and Bad Joints: Virtual Classes in January at the Senior Center

Stay home and stay well with online seminars from the Rockville Senior Center in January.

For details, visit www.rockvillemd.gov/recreation. Register online, call 240-314-8800 or email seniorcenter@rockvillemd.gov for more information. Sessions are free, unless otherwise noted, and take place from 1-2 p.m.

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City Seeks Public Input on Short-Term Residential Rentals at Second Hearing

The Mayor and Council will hold a second public hearing virtually, Monday, Jan. 11, to gather input on whether to develop recommendations to regulate short-term residential rentals in Rockville.

A short-term rental is when a dwelling a unit, or part of a dwelling unit, is rented for a short period of time, usually fewer than 30 days. Most short-term residential rentals are coordinated through third-party companies such as Airbnb, Priceline and Expedia.

While short-term rentals take place in the city, no laws currently govern the practice. 

At their Nov. 9 public hearing, the Mayor and Council requested a second hearing to collect the community’s thoughts and opinions on residential short-term rentals prior to any recommendation for the development of regulations.

For more information, see the staff report in the Nov. 9 agenda at bit.ly/SRT11920.

Civil War Trail Signs Being Updated

Two new interpretive signs have been installed at the Stonestreet Museum of 19th Century Medicine and Beall-Dawson House, the first of several signs to be updated in Rockville that are part of the Civil War Trails, Inc., program.

Civil War Trails, Inc., has partnered with the City of Rockville, Peerless Rockville, Montgomery History and a private donor to renovate and update the signage. The museum and historic house are at 103 W. Montgomery Ave.

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Mayor and Council Initiate Annexation Discussion

The Mayor and Council are considering whether to annex an almost 10.3-acre plot of land at 16200 Frederick Road.

The annexation was initiated through a petition to the city by Victor, Inc., the property’s owner, with a request to zone the area as mixed-use corridor district.

Annexation is the formal process of incorporating an area outside of the city’s jurisdiction into its municipal boundaries. To be eligible, the property must be within the city’s maximum expansion limits, as identified in the adopted Municipal Growth Element of the Comprehensive Plan, and adjacent to city limits.

The proposal must go through several steps before approval, including a review by and public hearing in front of the Planning Commission scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 10. The Mayor and Council will hold a public hearing before making a final decision. For more, see the Nov. 23 Mayor and Council meeting staff report at www.rockvillemd.gov/AgendaCenter.

Mayor and Council to Hold Budget Hearing, Receive Utility Rate Structure Presentation

FY22 Budget Survey Available

The Mayor and Council continue their work on the Fiscal Year 2022 budget in January with a public hearing and a presentation on proposed rates and rate structure for the city’s water and sewer funds.

The city hired a consultant to develop a new utility rate structure, under which the Mayor and Council would set water and sewer rates based on property type, such as single-family, multifamily or nonresidential. If approved, the new structure and new rates would take effect in FY22, which begins July 1. For information about the current rate structure, see page 371 of the FY 2021 budget, at www.rockvillemd.gov/budget.

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