On The Council’s Agenda: Snow Removal, Purple Line, WSSC

Montgomery County CouncilThe Montgomery County Council will officially return from a month-long summer recess next week with a hearing on a new snow removal plan that could provide for the clearing of some county sidewalks.

The Council’s Transportation and Environment Committee will take up the bill, introduced by Hans Riemer and Nancy Navarro in April, at 9:30 a.m. on Monday. It will be televised live on County Cable Montgomery and streamed live on the County Cable Montgomery website.

Last winter left sidewalks and bus stops full of snow and ice and also meant pedestrians walking in the streets days after some snow storms.

The bill as proposed would try to beef up enforcement and public awareness of the 24-hour sidewalk snow and ice removal law. It would also require plans for county snow removal at bus stops, near schools and along state highways, create a “targeted public education campaign about sidewalk and snow removal for owners of property in the County” and designate “pedestrian priority routes” for more direct education and enforcement.

The bill seems likely to go through some revisions and some have already wondered about the costs of some elements of the plan.

The full Council will return with a regular session on Tuesday, followed by a county crime update at a Public Safety Committee hearing set for Thursday.

Other committee hearings of note include Government Operations at 2 p.m. on Sept. 15. The committee is set to discuss a bill that would set up a public financing system for county elections. On Sept. 18, the Health and Human Services Committee will continue its discussion of eCigarette usage. So far, no bill targeting the use of the devices has been proposed.

On Sept. 22, the Transportation and Environment Committee is scheduled to get an update on the Purple Line. Among many potential discussion items could be the fate of the Apex Building. County economic development officials have been negotiating with the owners of the building in order to entice redevelopment at the site that would allow for a more substantial Bethesda Purple Line station design.

On Oct. 6, the Transportation and Environment Committee will take up another issue of interest to many in Bethesda and Chevy Chase. The committee is set to discuss WSSC’s customer billing and dispute resolution process.

In June, the county’s Office of Consumer Protection released a report saying customers of the publicly-funded water utility don’t have an independent way to resolve billing disputes. The report came after Councilmember Roger Berliner asked WSSC about apparent mistakes in billing to a few dozen area customers.

Photo via Montgomery County Council

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