Purple Line Makes Progress in Montgomery County

The Purple Line, a 16-mile light rail, is "halfway" complete in Silver Spring. Reported by Bethesda Magazine: The tunnel is expected to be completed by 2020, said Nick Tabor, a project engineer with Traylor Bros., which is under the umbrella organization of the Purple Line Transit Partners, the public-private partnership building the light-rail line that will run from Bethesda to New Carollton. Facts about the Purple Line and Construction: The Line will accommodate 21 stops…

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Howard County Council, Main Street Businesses Wrestle With Proposed Ellicott City Flood Plan

A Baltimore Sun article (2018-09-28) explored the dilemmas posed to Ellicott City businesses and the Howard County government as the County Council prepares to vote on funding for a five-year flood control plan. The plan was developed after two historic floods that caused millions of dollars in property damage to the City's Main Street and several deaths. From the article: On Monday, the Howard County Council is scheduled to vote on a bill that would allocate nearly…

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Home High-Cost Home

Based on national data, Maryland county residents have relatively high median mortgage owner costs, with 19 counties in the highest bracket. The National Association of Counties (NACo) has released data compiling county-by-county statistics on 2016 housing costs. As NACo reports, 64% of all counties nationally have median monthly homeowner costs of more than $1000. NACo's data shows the median monthly owner costs for mortgaged housing for all counties in the nation. Housing costs are an…

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LGAC: Better Local Technical Assistance Needed to Meet Bay TMDL Challenge

The Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC) is pushing for better technical assistance to local governments as they work to meet their water pollution reduction goals under the third and final phase of the Chesapeake Bay Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). Specifically, LGAC is considering the creation of a state-specific circuit rider program that can provide assistance to low capacity counties and municipalities. LGAC held a forum in Winchester, Virginia, on September 26 to discuss and…

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Sustainable Growth Commission Discusses A Better Maryland, Transportation, and Parks Plans

The Maryland Sustainable Growth Commission heard on updates on the new State Development Plan, A Better Maryland; the 2040 Maryland Transportation Plan; and the Maryland Land Preservation and Recreation Plan at its September 24, 2018, meeting in Leonardtown. A Better Maryland Maryland Secretary of Planning Robert McCord, Special Secretary of Smart Growth Wendi Peters and other Maryland Department of Planning (MDP) representatives provided an update on the new State Development Plan, A Better Maryland. The plan,…

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Learn to Grow Your Community Forest at Sustainable Maryland Workshops

              Sustainable Maryland is offering a leadership training workshop on "Growing the Community Forest" to municipal and county elected officials and staff. The workshop is offered on three different dates in Central Maryland, Western Maryland, and the Eastern Shore. From an email notice (2018-09-24) of the event: The Environmental Finance Center at the University of Maryland will host Sustainable Maryland's annual Leadership Training workshops in November. This training series…

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Conduit Street Podcast: Revenue Write-Up, 2020 Census, Listener Mailbag, & More!

On the latest episode of the Conduit Street Podcast, Michael Sanderson and Kevin Kinnally discuss the latest revenue projections from the Board of Revenue Estimates, discuss the importance of the 2020 Census and how it affects local governments, and answer questions from our listener mailbag. Listen here: MACo has made the podcast available through both iTunes and Google Play Music by searching Conduit Street Podcast. You can also listen on our Conduit Street blog with a recap and link to the…

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How Did Your Legislator Score on Environmental Issues in 2018?

      The Maryland League of Conservation Voters recently released its 2018 Environmental Scorecard. The scorecard ranks the 2018 environmental voting record and lifetime voting record of all 188 Maryland legislators. From a League press release (2018-09-14): The 2018 Session was a complicated year for the environment in the Maryland General Assembly. On the one hand, legislators passed several bills of environmental importance and in multiple cases the environment was a bipartisan concern. ...…

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Register Today for Winter #MACoCon

MACo's Winter Conference, "Charting the Course," will be held on January 2-4, 2019, at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Cambridge, MD. Registration is now open. MACo's upcoming Winter Conference will focus on the breadth of county services in Maryland, building relationships with newly elected officials at the county, state, and legislative levels, and strategic planning for coming years. Approximately 600 decision-makers from county and state government, along with legislators, and commercial and nonprofit representatives will gather…

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Congress Considers Bill to Stop Diversion of 9-1-1 Fees

The 9-1-1 Fee Integrity Act would prevent states from diverting funds meant for 9-1-1 services, $1 billion of which has been lost since 2009 Since 2009, about $1 billion in 911 funding intended to bolster counties’ emergency response has been diverted by states into non-9-1-1 programs, according to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reports. While this issue has not been raised in Maryland, according to data collected by the FCC in 2018, at least five states—…

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