A presentation by Montgomery County Councilman Philip M. Andrews, a stormwater management ordinance, presentations on financial audits for fiscal 2012 and on city contracting and a vote on a legal services contract highlight the Rockville City Council’s agenda for Monday.
The council also is scheduled to vote on the purchase of three new refuse trucks and the purchase of playground equipment to replace equipment destroyed in a fire at Rockville Civic Center Park last month.
The council meets at 7 p.m. at City Hall. The meeting will be broadcast live on Rockville 11.
County Councilman Andrews presents
Andrews (D-Dist. 3) of Gaithersburg, who represents Rockville on the Montgomery County Council, is scheduled to address issues of mutual interest to the city and county.
Topics of the discussion are expected to include:
- The fiscal 2014 county budget.
- Development along the city/county border in the White Flint/Twinbrook area of Rockville Pike.
- Andrews’ proposal to have tolls lowered on the Intercounty Connector to increase use of the road.
- Andrews’ proposal to expand hiring opportunities for people with disabilities. Question A on the November ballot proposed creating a program within the county's internal employment system to recruit, select and hire people with certain disabilities for some county jobs. The question won approval of nearly 80 percent of county voters.
- School construction.
- Municipal tax duplication.
- Stormwater management fees.
The council is scheduled to discuss, and possibly vote on, an ordinance that would revise the city’s sediment control and stormwater management policies in order to comply with state law. The revised city code would require consideration of sediment control measures at the earliest stages of development planning.
The council is scheduled to hear reports on the city’s audited financial reports for fiscal 2012, which closed June 30, and on the city’s Popular Annual Financial Report, which is intended to make the annual audited report easier to read and understand.
The city’s amended fiscal 2012 operating budget totaled $114.1 million, according to the report. The amended capital budget totaled $72.6 million.
The city ended fiscal 2012 with $135.9 million in outstanding debt.
Rockville ended fiscal 2012 with a fund balance of $9.9 million, which meets city policy requiring that the city maintain a 15 percent general fund reserve. The city’s general fund totaled $66.3 million. Rockville holds a triple-A bond rating, which allows the city to borrow at the most favorable rates available to municipalities.
“The City of Rockville has experienced economic pressures similar to the rest of the country, although to a lesser degree,” city manager Barbara B. Matthews wrote in a letter introducing the Popular Annual Financial Report.
Enterprise funds, including the water, sewer and refuse funds “continued to show mixed results,” she wrote. “Looking forward, the City must continue to address the deficiencies in the Water and Sewer funds through rate increases, expenditure reductions or a combination of both.”
Legal services contract
The council is scheduled to vote on whether to award a contract of up to $375,000 to Venable LLP for specialized legal services.
“The City has the need for specialized legal services from Venable LLP in FY2013 in connection with various issues including issuing general obligation revenue bonds, employment benefits, retirement plan, code enforcement, Town Center operations, and the Town Center garage litigation,” city staff wrote in a report.
Earlier this year, the city increased its contract with Venable. City staff told council that unexpected legal issues facing the city, including transferring leases for parking garages in Rockville Town Square to Federal Realty Investment Trust and negotiating the lease for a new Town Square grocery store, necessitated contracting out $1 million in legal services that the City Attorney’s office could not handle alone.
City contracting discussion
The council also is scheduled to discuss city contracting.
City staff wrote in a report to the council that it “recommends that the City ordinance not be amended to establish a section on local preference, but that other steps be taken as described in this report to support local businesses.”
Such steps include working with the Chamber of Commerce on “outreach programs whereby local businesses would be encouraged to participate in the City's procurement process,” staff wrote.
When weighing potential cost savings of contracting out, staff wrote, the following factors should be considered:
- Does sufficient competition for the service or program exist in the private market to ensure the City has a selection of vendors from which to choose?
- Are there clear results for the service or program that the City can easily measure and establish performance metrics that vendors must maintain?
- Does the City need to control the process of how the service is provided to residents?
- Are there sufficient in-house resources to manage the contract?
This is the fifth of six discussions in preparation of the council’s fiscal 2014 budget deliberations. The council is expected to adopt in late May the budget for fiscal 2014 which begins July 1. Other discussions have explored biennial budgeting and what it means to cut costs. A final discussion, on “Costs and Revenues Associated with New Development” is scheduled for the council’s next scheduled meeting, on Jan. 7, after it returns from a holiday recess.
Monday’s consent agenda is a vote on whether to approve the purchase of three refuse trucks from Mid-Atlantic Waste System of Easton at a cost of $574,599 and whether to award a contract for up to three years and up to $150,000 for the purchase of new playground equipment to Playground Specialists, Inc. of Emmitsburg, under a Frederick County Public Schools rider.
“Immediate use of the contract will be for the removal and replacement of the play structure at the Rockville Civic Center Park in the amount of $95,011.22,” according to a city staff report.
The park’s playground equipment was destroyed in a Nov. 21 arson fire. Four teens were arrested in connection with the arson.