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Council Agenda: Sign Ordinance Hearing, Financial Matters and a Pool

A request for changes to a sidewalk plan and a Civic Center advisory panel are also on the agenda.

The city’s finances will be a big part of Monday’s meeting of the Rockville City Council with discussions of issuing tax-supported debt, approval of financial management practices and creation of a financial advisory board.

The agenda also includes a public hearing on the city’s sign ordinance.

The  at  Meetings are broadcast live on Rockville 11.

Sign ordinance

The council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on proposed changes to the city’s sign ordinance.

The changes have been in the works since late 2010, when the  raised issues with sign regulations with the council.

City staff recommended nine proposed changes.

The city’s Planning Commission discussed the proposed changes on April 25. The commission approved the recommendations by city staff, but, in a memo to the mayor and council, raised issues with sign animation and color and with how the regulations treat new vs. existing developments.

City staff recommends that written comments on the proposal be accepted through June 18. Comments can be made by emailing mayorcouncil@rockvillemd.gov or by U.S. mail to , 111 Maryland Ave., Rockville, MD 20850.

Debt and finances

The council is scheduled to discuss guidelines for issuing tax-supported debt.

The recommendations are from a Finance and Budget Task Force headed by Councilman Mark Pierzchala that issued a report in September 2010.

The panel recommended, in part, increasing the city’s per capita debt limit to $1,200 from the current $700 limit and adjusting the limit “automatically and annually in accordance with the increase or decrease in the National Consumer Price Index.”

The city’s borrowing practices have been an issue among elected officials and residents, including in and in a .

The council also is scheduled to discuss creation of a financial advisory board. City staff is recommending a five-member board appointed to staggered four-year terms that would review and report on financial reports, city compliance with its financial policies and other matters.

The council also is scheduled to vote on proposed changes to the city’s Financial Management Policies on debt management and administration and on budget reserves. The changes are necessary to bring the city into compliance with federal accounting rules, city staff wrote in a report.

Twinbrook Swimming Pool ownership

The council is scheduled to consider a request by the for the city to assume ownership of the nearly 60-year-old pool.

“TSP has been struggling financially for many years, primarily due to declining membership sales and rising operations and maintenance costs as the facility ages,” city staff wrote in a report. “The TSP board of directors has approached the City on several occasions over the years requesting the City consider taking over ownership and operation of TSP.”

The council could decide to conduct a preliminary study of the pool, its condition and the possible use and costs should the city assume ownership. Such a study would cost between $6,000 and $8,000, staff wrote. Or the council could conduct a comprehensive study, costing between $20,000 and $25,000. Such a study would include a deeper look at the pool’s condition, possible upgrades and costs of assuming ownership, as well as a traffic impact study.

The council also could choose to take no action on the request.

Proclamations and awards

The council is scheduled to issue a proclamation to Washington Rockville Elks Lodge 15 declaring June 14 as "Flag Day in the City of Rockville." Members of the lodge are scheduled to present the council with a $2,000 check to support the Rockville Farmers Market’s “Eat Fresh Rockville” program. The lodge, at 5 Taft Court, will host a at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

The council also is scheduled to present awards to 2012 Rockville Scholarship Fund recipients.

Odds and ends

The council also is scheduled to discuss:

Boards

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