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Wellness Programs for a Healthier You, at Rockville Senior Center

At the Rockville Senior Center this month, find out about pain management and reducing your stress and, for Spanish speakers, how to eat healthily.
Register at the senior center’s information desk by calling 240-314-8800, or online with the course number at www.rockvillemd.gov/registration.

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Kids Can Learn to Swim — and Stay Active — at the Swim Center

Looking for a weekday afterschool activity for your kid? How about learning a life skill to get children ready for summer fun in the pool? The Rockville Swim and Fitness Center offers dozens of learn-to-swim classes to keep your children, ages 4-11, active during the winter months.

Classes are available between 3:35-5:15 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 4:35-6:15 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, starting the week of Jan. 6. While the center also offers weekend classes, weekday classes tend to be smaller, allowing for more individualized instruction.

Recreational swimming is available daily. Daily admission costs $6 per child and $7 per adult. To see the pool schedule and find classes, visit www.rockvillemd.gov/swimcenter, or call 240-314-8750 or email swimcenter@rockvillemd.gov for more information.

Drop by the center at 355 Martins Lane for a tour and help registering.

Certified Instructor? The Swim and Fitness Center is Hiring!

The Rockville Swim and Fitness Center is hiring part-time fitness instructors to teach classes this winter.

Instructors are sought for yoga, water fitness and Bootcamp. Ideal candidates will have availability either early mornings, weekday evenings or Saturday mornings. Instructors work about three to four hours a week.

An additional perk offered to Rockville Swim and Fitness Center employees is free use of the facility for the employee and a guest. The center also offers staff training in CPR, first aid, lifeguarding and, on occasion, specialty courses at a significant discount.

Qualified candidates should go to www.rockvillemd.gov/careers to apply as a fitness instructor at the swim center. Certification is required.

Find out about Rockville Swim and Fitness Center pool schedules, seasonal hours, personal training opportunities and more at www.rockvillemd.gov/swimcenter.

A 19th-century Lunch Break

Bring your lunch and join Peerless Rockville for a presentation on what life was like in the small town of Rockville in 1850, at noon Wednesday, Jan. 22 at the historic Red Brick Courthouse, 29 Courthouse Square, in Rockville Town Center.

“Lunch & Learn: Rockville 1850” will look at a time when slavery was the practice of the day and the community experienced the rising tensions of a nation drifting towards the Civil War. Afterwards, check out the exhibit “Forging Freedom: Endurance, Escape, and Rockville’s Underground Railroad.” Seating is limited. Contact Peerless Rockville to RSVP at 301-762-0096 or info@peerlessrockville.org.

Recycling? Help the City Tackle ‘Tanglers’: Be Cart Smart

Throwing out plastic bags or medical sharps? Please don’t use the brown recycling cart – put them in the gray trash cart.

“Tanglers,” such as plastic bags or wrap, rope, wire, clothes, cords, hoses, holiday lights, and chains can become tangled in recycling equipment, bringing processing to a grinding halt.

Do not put recyclables in plastic bags and do not put plastic bags in your brown recycling cart. Instead, place bags in the gray trash cart, or find a grocery store that accepts plastic bags for recycling by visiting bit.ly/howtorecyclebags.

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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.

Multimedia Scholarship Competition

The city’s Human Rights Commission will launch its Multimedia Scholarship Competition on Monday, Jan. 27.

Formerly known as the Multimedia Contest, the revamped annual program is an opportunity for students who live in and/or attend high school in Rockville to compete for tuition and/or book scholarships by responding to one of several prompts focused on human rights.

The prompts, applications and additional information will be posted beginning Monday, Jan. 27 at www.rockvillemd.gov/humanrights. The deadline for submissions is Friday, March 27.

Students may choose their desired medium, e.g., an essay, poem, song, painting, or other medium, through which to respond to the prompts. Submissions will be judged 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.

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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