Rockville City Council Agenda: Summit Review, RHE Loan and the Budget
Discussions of the ethics ordinance and heritage area plan and a vote on changes to the fire code also are on deck.
A review of a city summit on growth, and discussions of the city’s budget and budget process, and of changes to the city’s ethics ordinance and heritage area plan, are on the Rockville City Council’s agenda for Monday.
The council also is scheduled to vote on an ordinance that would bring the city’s fire safety code in line with state and national codes and standards.
Rockville Summit review
Working groups presented 139 recommendations focused on six areas:
- City Services and Budget.
- Education and School Capacity.
- Job Growth and Residential Workforce.
- Preserving Rockville’s Character.
- Transportation and Traffic.
The council on Monday is expected to tell city staff which recommendations from the summit to pursue. Recommendations could be referred to city boards and commissions or incorporated into updates of the city’s Comprehensive Master Plan.
Rockville Housing Enterprises loan approval
The council is expected to approve a $1.5 million loan advance from Montgomery County to Rockville Housing Enterprises, for the purchase of the Fireside Park Apartments.
On Nov. 5, the council approved RHE’s planned $37.5 million purchase of the 236-unit garden-style Fireside Park complex at 735 Monroe St.
The advance would complete a $2 million financial aid package from the city to RHE, which administers public housing agency in Rockville.
City staff is recommending that $500,000 of the package come from a $300,000 loan and a $200,000 grant from the city’s Housing Opportunities Fund. The city would repay the balance, the $1.5 million from the county, in three annual installments of $500,000, beginning in fiscal 2014, which begins July 1.
RHE is tentatively scheduled to close on the Fireside Park purchase on Dec. 17.
The council also is scheduled Monday to approve a fiscal 2012 budget amendment to reflect, in part, the $500,000 from the Housing Opportunities Fund. The amendment, a relatively common bookkeeping practice in city budgeting, also would reflect changes in the amount of certain purchase orders and $20,000 in grant-funded police overtime, according to a city staff report.
The council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on an ordinance that would revise the city’s sediment control and stormwater management policies.
The council is scheduled to address two other budget matters:
- A financial report, which shows revenues through the first three months of fiscal 2013, which began July 1, ahead of levels for the first quarter of fiscal 2012 levels. Real property tax, income tax, tax duplication and red light camera revenues are all more than their level for the same period in fiscal 2012, according to a city staff report.
- A discussion of biennial budgeting. The council asked city staff to report on the implications of moving to a process of budgeting in two-year cycles. The move could require changes to the city charter, city code and financial management policies, according to the staff report.
The council is scheduled to discuss changes that would bring the city’s ethics ordinance in compliance with a new state law.
The proposed changes include:
- A prohibition on the use of confidential information acquired by virtue of public office.
- A clarification that allows officials to accept unsolicited gifts.
- Provisions addressing conflicts of interest regarding entities doing business with the city.
- New financial disclosure requirements for public officials.
The council held public hearings on the proposed changes on Sept. 24 and Oct. 15. The council must submit changes to the State Ethics Commission before final adoption.
Heritage area plan
The council is scheduled to hear a presentation on a proposed amendment to Rockville’s portion of the Montgomery County Heritage Area Management Plan, which helps preserve and promote historical, cultural and natural resources for heritage tourism.
Click here to read the proposed amendment to Rockville’s portion of the state heritage plan.
A hearing on the proposal, the adoption of which could make the city eligible for state and county heritage area grants, is scheduled for Dec. 10. The council is scheduled to vote on the proposal on Jan. 28.
The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, which is considering whether to add Rockville to the Montgomery County Heritage Area, is tentatively scheduled to hold a hearing in Rockville on Feb. 7.
The consent agenda includes votes to approve:
- A contract of up to $135,000 to Family Services, Inc., of Gaithersburg, for mental health services at the city-operated Linkages to Learning program at Maryvale Elementary School.
- A contract of up to five years and $8 million to Mid-Atlantic Utilities, Inc., of Carlisle, PA, and Humphrey & Sons, Inc., of Laurel, for sewer improvements.
- Authorization of a stormwater management easement and maintenance covenant at the city’s Water Treatment Plant to Montgomery County. The easement would give the county access to the facility to “inspect the structure and provide maintenance if Rockville fails to adequately maintain the structure; the maintenance covenant requires Rockville to maintain the water quality structure,” according to the staff report.
School of Rock(ville)
The council is scheduled to recognize the School of Rock(ville)’s Class of 2012. The program gives high school students the opportunity to learn from Rockville officials and staff about the city’s government, history and neighborhoods.