Category: Government (Page 2 of 8)

City Opposes I-270 Widening

The Mayor and Council continued efforts in January to oppose a state project to widen interstates 270 and 495 over the American Legion Bridge with toll lanes, as a state board approved the project.

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Mayor and Council Write in Support of Rockville Station Improvements

The Mayor and Council have sent a letter to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority expressing their strong support for a study of the Rockville Metro Station, following notification in summer that money for the study was available through WMATA’s Project Development Program.

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Dubon Receives Bill Mason Recognition

Alex Dubon, a tree climber and acting crew supervisor with the Department of Recreation and Parks, was honored with the Bill Mason Award for Outstanding Performance on Thursday, Dec. 12, during the city’s annual awards ceremony.

In receiving the award, Dubon, who has worked for the city for more than two decades, was described as “honest, straightforward and an asset to the city.”

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City Honors Employees for Their Service

The City of Rockville held its annual employee awards ceremony, Thursday, Dec. 12 at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre. Thirteen employees were honored with awards for more than three decades of service, who between them have a combined 430 years of experience working for the city.

Honored for 45 years of service: Fran Jablonski, with the Rockville Senior Center. Honored for 40 years: Maj. Michael England, with the Rockville City Police Department, and Betty Wisda, with Recreation and Parks.

Thirty-year employees are: Lisa Cooper, Janet Hare and Angela Joyner, with Information Technology; Lt. Brian Paul and Maj. Eric Over, with the RCPD; Michael Shipp, with Public Works; and Christine Henry, Janet Opar and Rob Orndorff, with Recreation and Parks.

In all during the ceremony, 85 city employees were recognized for five to 45 years of service, and more than 40 YouRock awards, recognizing the good work of employees, were presented.

Water Utility Bills Pay for Water System Builds

A family of four in Rockville pays nearly $440 a year for city water service.

But what does a water bill actually pay for?

It costs about $11.7 million each year to deliver safe, reliable water to Rockville customers, including water treatment, water system operations and maintenance, and administrative services.

Those costs must be entirely covered by the city’s water fund, which is one of six enterprise funds in the city budget. Enterprise funds function like a private business, with costs fully recovered through user charges. Water rate increases approved last year were necessary to fund ongoing repair and replacement of aging water pipes and other infrastructure vital to providing water service.

Construction costs will total $9.7 million in 2020, including water line replacements and $7.2 million for rehabilitation of the city water treatment plant’s electrical system, which has not been upgraded since the plant on the Potomac River opened in 1958. The rehab project will replace the original substation, repair the roof, upgrade the heating and cooling system, and remodel occupied spaces to meet modern building codes.

Another project planned for 2020 will stabilize a stream bank between the treatment plant and the water intake structure on the Potomac River. Left unattended, the stream bank’s erosion could cause an electrical feed to the intake structure to fail, and could eventually damage the pipe that carries the raw water from the intake to the treatment plant.

A planned program to replace all commercial water meters, starting in 2020, aims to increase the accuracy of meter readings. Other projects include continued investment in improvements to the water distribution system to increase the flow of water to fire hydrants, improve water quality, reduce water main breaks, and replace aging pipes and other infrastructure. The city has invested more than $26 million since 2008 in such improvements and will continue to invest $3 million to $4 million each year.

Learn more about Rockville’s drinking water at rockvillereports.com/citys-water-quality-receives-high-marks-for-safety-4.

Election Board Welcomes Ideas

Even though it’s only been three months since the 2019 Vote by Mail election, Rockville’s Board of Supervisors of Elections is already preparing plans for 2023.

The board will host two forums as first steps in planning for the next election. The first post-election forum will be from 7-9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30; the second is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 8, from 10 a.m.-noon.

Both forums will be held in the Mayor and Council chambers at City Hall, 111 Maryland Ave. While open to the public, invitations have been also extended to participants in the 2019 election, including candidates and campaign treasurers.

For more information, or to RSVP to attend, contact Judy Penny at jpenny@rockvillemd.gov or 240-314-8288.

Mayor and Council Provide Feedback on Town Center Recommendations

The Mayor and Council in November discussed, supported and provided direction on several recommendations delivered in a report from an expert panel from the Urban Land Institute on ways to strengthen the vitality of Rockville’s Town Center.

The report, which was discussed at the Nov. 25 Mayor and Council work session, followed the expert Technical Assistance Panel’s intensive two-day study of Town Center in July.

Mayor and Council direction included:

  • Support for beginning a new branding campaign.
  • Support for designing a direct pathway between Montgomery College and Town Center, in coordination with the college and Montgomery County Public Schools, and reaching out to the college to determine whether the shuttle to Metro stations could include a stop in Town Center.
  • Conducting an analysis on potential improvements to roads internal to Town Center.
  • Improvements to Promenade Park, a key entry point to Town Center from the Metro
  • Near-term repairs to signage, as well as, in the longer-term, improving signage to support the branding/messaging effort.
  • Support for sending a letter to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority indicating the importance of improvements to the Rockville station.

To watch the work session, visit www.rockvillemd.gov/AgendaCenter, and select the TV icon next to the Nov. 25 agenda item.

FY 2019 Financial Reports Highlight Rockville’s Finances

Two annual reports that city staff delivered to the Mayor and Council on Dec. 9 give the public a closer look at Rockville’s financial health during the most recently completed fiscal year.

For Fiscal Year 2019, which closed June 30, the city ended “with a healthy overall net position of $283.1 million,” City Manager Rob DiSpirito wrote in the city’s Popular Annual Financial Report, a summary document highlighting the city’s finances. Net position is a useful indicator of a government’s financial health and represents total assets minus total liabilities.

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Mayor and Council to Hold Budget Hearing, Discuss Priorities

FY 2021 Budget Survey Available

The Mayor and Council continue their work on the Fiscal Year 2021 budget in January with a public hearing and discussion of results from a budget survey.

A public hearing during the Mayor and Council meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 13 at City Hall will give the community an opportunity to provide input on the operating budget and Capital Improvements Program for FY 2021, which begins July 1.

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Upcoming Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Calendar
Jan. 13 – Public hearing.
Jan. 27 – Survey results and priority discussion.
Feb. 24 – Presentation of FY 2021 proposed budget.
March 2 – Public Hearings and work sessions.
March 23 – Public Hearings and work sessions.
April 17 – Close of public record.
April 20 – Work sessions.
May 4 – Adoption of the FY 2021 Budget.
July 1 – Start of FY 2021.

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Meet a Rockville Employee: Amanda Campbell

Amanda Campbell, Sustainability Coordinator

Amanda Campbell, the city’s sustainability coordinator, has been on the job since Nov. 4. We asked her to answer a few questions to introduce her to the community.

What does the city’s sustainability coordinator do?
The sustainability coordinator develops and implements municipal and community programs related to energy efficiency, renewable energy, green building, stormwater management, waste reduction, climate change mitigation and adaptation, equity, green procurement, and sustainable transportation. The work is very multifaceted and definitely collaborative.

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