July 13 update: Piney Branch pool, library renovation, business recycling, and legislative priorities

The city council’s agenda for Monday evening, July 13, starts with a 7 pm public hearing on business recycling.

Business Recycling

A proposed code revision would match a Montgomery County recycling requirement that was first enacted in 1993. City action to require recycling by businesses is long overdue! At the same time, the city would require that landlords of multi-unit apartment buildings provide adequate recycling facilities and that tenants recycle. We already require that residents of single-family home separate out recyclables.

Piney Branch Elementary School Pool

We will have public comment as usual at 7:30 pm, then vote on a resolution supporting keeping the Piney Branch Elementary School (PBES) pool open and urging Montgomery County to maintain its FY16 funding.

County Executive Ike Leggett has put pool operating funds on the chopping block, along with $50 million in other spending, due to an expected county revenue shortfall. The PBES pool plays an important community role. It’s used by kids who wouldn’t otherwise have access to lessons and recreational swimming, by seniors, by a wide swath of the community.

Reporting last May describes the situation.

If you support pool funding, please sign a Save Piney Branch Pool petition and ALSO contact county councilmembers directly by phone or by e-mail:

Craig Rice <councilmember.rice@montgomerycountymd.gov>
George Leventhal <Councilmember.Leventhal@montgomerycountymd.gov>
Hans Riemer <Councilmember.Riemer@montgomerycountymd.gov>
Marc Elrich <Councilmember.Elrich@montgomerycountymd.gov>
Nancy Floreen <Councilmember.Floreen@montgomerycountymd.gov>
Nancy Navarro <Councilmember.navarro@montgomerycountymd.gov>
Tom Hucker <councilmember.hucker@montgomerycountymd.gov>
Roger Berliner <councilmember.berliner@montgomerycountymd.gov>
Sidney Katz <councilmember.katz@montgomerycountymd.gov>

Legislative Priorities

After a number of voting items — see the full meeting agenda — the council will discuss 2016 Maryland legislative priorities. These are proposed items that the city would like to see supported by the Maryland Municipal League, a state-wide association. Each city gets to propose three items. Takoma Park’s annual suggestions usually relate to state revenues, county-city tax duplication (which is very imperfectly addressed in state law), and larger-scale matters such as transportation funding.

Please share your thoughts!

Anticipating one question/comment: I’m trying to find out status of the Maryland Health Care Commission’s issuing draft regulations regarding the licensure of freestanding medical facilities (emergency rooms) and of the MHCC’s appointing a working group on the topic. These MHCC steps are overdue. A state moratorium on licensing of new freestanding ERs was due to have expired on July 1.

Library Renovation

Finally, the council is slated to continue, at approximately 8:50 pm, our discussion with staff of library renovation options. The council voted to include $200,000 in the city’s FY16 budget for design of a modernized library building, one that will be accessible to persons with disabilities and that will support city library and programming needs for years to come.

The city has a Web page on the Library Renovation Project.

Your comments are welcome.

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