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NEXT STOP: HEAVEN & British rockers bring a love for the road to Fillmore. B-5 The Gazette DAMASCUS | CLARKSBURG DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Wednesday, October 30, 2013 Council approves help for poorer families Clarksburg development ball is in county council’s court Coyotes pull one out County leaders to hear zoning, other issues Dec. 3 n Will increase county supplement for low-income households n BY 25 cents BY VIRGINIA TERHUNE STAFF WRITER RYAN MARSHALL STAFF WRITER Montgomery County is restoring a tax break for low-income working families. The Montgomery County Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a bill requiring an increase in the county’s Working Families Income Supplement, which provides money to taxpayers working at or near the poverty level. The increase could help people make a car payment they otherwise might have missed, which could have jeopardized their ability to get to work and put their job at risk, said Councilman Hans Riemer (D-At See HELP, Page A-16 RAPHAEL TALISMAN/FOR THE GAZETTE Clarksburg High School’s Tyler Fenslau finds room to run in the fourth quarter of the visiting Coyotes’ game Friday against rival Northwest High School of Germantown. Clarksburg won, 14-13, on a late 2-point conversion. See high school football coverage, Page B-3. The controversy over the future of major new housing and retail projects in the ClarksburgBoyds area has landed in the lap of the nine-member Montgomery County Council. A council public hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 3 to accept comment on the planning board’s final recommendations for future development in the area. Chief among them are zoning recommendations to allow Pulte Homes to build up to 656 housing units on rural land in Boyds and the Peterson Cos. to build a mixed-use fashion outlet center in Clarksburg. Both projects are in the Ten Mile Creek watershed that drains southwest from Clarks- burg across Boyds into the Little Seneca Lake reservoir. The planning board recommendations would amend the 1994 Clarksburg Master Plan, which called for housing and services to complete the buildout of Clarksburg. It also called for a review of projects to ensure that the final phase of growth in Clarksburg does not result in irrevocable damage to Ten Mile Creek. After the Dec. 3 hearing, the council — which has ultimate control over zoning — will hold public work sessions before taking a final vote on the master plan amendment in early 2014. Elections for all nine council seats, held every four years, are set for November 2014. “We’ll find out whether the council represents the citizens of Montgomery County or developer interests,” Caroline Taylor, executive director of the See CLARKSBURG, Page A-16 Starr: $1.55B needed for school projects Mother honors late daughter by trying “The schools built in the ’60s and ’70s, the ones to save teens’ lives we’re replacing now, Superintendent proposes 14 new classroom addition projects in capital improvements budget n BY LINDSAY A. POWERS STAFF WRITER Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua P. Starr said he prioritized adding classroom space in his newly proposed $1.55 billion Capital Improvements Program for fiscal years 2015 to 2020. “We are bursting at the seams,” he said Monday at Highland Elementary School in Silver Spring, which is at maximum capacity. Starr said the school system needs $2.2 billion to cover all of its capital improvement needs for the six-year period. He is proposing a $1.55 billion program, he said, because the county is currently facing “fiscal restraints” and the school system is not getting the funding it deserves from the state. The proposed program is about $184 million higher than the current program, which covers fiscal years 2013 to 2018. Starr said the program addresses the school system’s ongoing, significant enrollment growth with a recommendation for 14 new classroom addition projects. The plan also maintains schedules for other, previously approved capacity projects, including five new schools. Since 2007, he said, the school system has grown by 14,000 students; another were not built to last.” County school Superintendent Joshua P. Starr 11,000 are expected over the next six years. Even if the program were fully funded, Starr said, 13 school clusters are expected to be over capacity in fiscal 2020. Fifteen school clusters in the system are over capacity this fiscal year. Most of the school system’s growth has occurred in elementary schools, he said. Of the 14 classroom addition projects, 12 are proposed for elementary schools. Starr recommended five addition projects at elementary schools in the Downcounty Consortium, an area that he said has faced the county’s largest growth in the last six years. “While the growth is most dramatic in the DCC, we’re also seeing enormous elementary enrollment growth across the district,” he said. The downcounty elementary schools with planned addition projects include: Brookhaven, Glen Haven, Kemp Mill, Sargent Shriver and Highland. FALL BACK This Sunday at 2 a.m., set your clocks back one hour for the end of daylight saving time. Around the County Automotive Calendar Celebrations Classified Entertainment Opinion School News Sports Please A-4 B-14 A-2 A-12 B-10 B-5 A-14 A-13 B-1 RECYCLE The other schools where addition projects are planned include Ashburton, Lucy V. Barnsley, Burtonsville, Diamond, Kensington-Parkwood, Christa McAuliffe and Judith Resnik elementary schools; North Bethesda Middle School; and BethesdaChevy Chase High School. Other previously approved elementaryand secondary-school capacity projects are scheduled to stay on target in the program. The projects include classroom additions; new elementary schools to serve the Clarksburg, Northwest and Richard Montgomery clusters; and new middle schools to serve the Clarksburg/Damascus and BethesdaChevy Chase clusters. About $725 million — or about 47 percent — is recommended for “revitalizations/expansions.” “The schools built in the ’60s and ’70s, the ones we’re replacing now, were not built to last,” Starr said. “We see that across the county and renovating them is not cost efficient.” Starr said the recommended plan includes more than two dozen such projects, adding about 118 classrooms throughout the system. The plan, however, pushes back the timeline of 20 of those projects. Elementary school projects would see a one-year delay. Middle and high school projects would see a two-year delay. “We know that so many of our school communities are impacted by the delay,” Starr said. “They’ve been waiting for many See STARR, Page A-16 Parent and Safe Kids Worldwide speak out against distracted walking n BY PEGGY MCEWAN STAFF WRITER There are no markers, no cross, flowers or stuffed teddy bears along Md. 118 in Germantown where Christina Morris- Ward, 15, died a year ago after being struck by a car. But part of her mother’s heart is there. Gwen Ward is working for pedestrian safety so no other parent will go through what she has. Ward has partnered with the Montgomery County Department of Transportation and with Safe Kids Worldwide See TEENS, Page A-16 Gwen Ward pauses at the spot on Md. 118 in Germantown where her daughter Christina MorrisWard, 15, was struck by a car and killed last Halloween on her way to school. Ward is speaking out to encourage young people to avoid distracted walking. PEGGY MCEWAN/ THE GAZETTE SPECIAL SECTION ALL ABOUT PETS Is fostering a pet right for you?; why some dogs need regular professional grooming; how to know when to take your pet to the emergency vet See Our Ad Inside! INSIDE TODAY 1906646

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