Howard County Solicits Professional Services to Develop Ellicott City Master Plan
The Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning has released an Expressions of Interest (EOI) for professional services to develop a master plan for Ellicott City and its watershed. The master plan process will help define a comprehensive, community-driven vision for rebuilding a stronger, model resilient community. It will also incorporate a watershed plan in a way that many traditional master plans do not.
“Following Ellicott City’s historic July 30 flood, we held four public meetings to bring the community together, hear its concerns and discuss ideas for the future,” said Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman. “Our Community Advisory Group has worked diligently to sort through and prioritize nearly 300 project ideas. Now we’re ready for this next step in the rebuilding process.”
Key services and experiences should include urban design, landscape architecture, architecture, historic preservation, economic development, flood impacted communities, traffic, transportation, parking, and engineering expertise to address the technical implications of possible options and to help translate flood study results.
A hydrologic and hydraulic study is currently underway for the Ellicott City watershed. Additionally, its unique topography, hydrology, road network and mill town heritage will require a tailored, well-planned roadmap for long-term rebuilding.
A pre-submission meeting will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 2 p.m., at the Office of Purchasing, located at 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Suite 501, Columbia, to brief prospective consultants on the scope of the project and provide an opportunity for questions. Questions concerning the EOI should be directed to Evangeline Bolder at 410-313-6373 or by email to EBolder@howardcountymd.gov by no later than 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 3; responses to the EOI are due no later than 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 15. More details can be found at www.howardcountymd.gov/Departments/Planning-and-Zoning/Community-Planning/Community-Plans/EC-Master-Plan.
CRTC, Montgomery County-Based TCM Merge, Rebrand at MTC
The evening of Jan. 24, during the 29th Annual Maryland Policy & Leadership Dinner, the Technology Council of Maryland (TCM), of Rockville, and the Annapolis-based Chesapeake Regional Tech Council (CRTC) announced a merger of the organizations. It is designed to expand and regionalize Maryland’s technology and life science hubs while creating a consistent, unified voice for the industries statewide and a platform to attract more companies and leverage synergies.
The councils have rebranded as the Maryland Tech Council (MTC), with a new visual identity that also was unveiled during the dinner. The merger will provide the combined organization with a stronger influential legislative presence, as it will now represent more than 250,000 Maryland voters.
Former CRTC Executive Director Tami Howie has been named CEO of the MTC. “We are now the largest tech association in the state, with over 650 thriving life science and technology members,” said Howie. “I will work diligently to address the needs of the members, and – with their help – will position Maryland as a top U.S. technology and life science center.”
“The formation of the Maryland Tech Council, by this merger, represents the tremendous collaboration and desire to strengthen the innovation ecosystem in the Maryland business community,” said CRTC Chairman Jason Silva, president and CTO of Annapolis-based ByteGrid. “I am excited to help drive the growth, and I am very pleased that Tami will continue the leadership that she has so capably delivered for the CRTC board and stakeholders.”
GE Healthcare to Move Laurel Operations to Wisconsin
GE Healthcare has announced plans to close its current facility in Laurel and move operations to sites in Wisconsin. According to GE Healthcare Spokesman Benjamin Fox, the transition began in January and will take between 12 to 24 months to complete.
“The Laurel facility’s approximately 180 current employees will be impacted, though certain positions will be relocated or continue working in Maryland remotely,” Fox said. The Laurel plant manufactures incubators and warmers for neonatal intensive care units in hospitals.
GE Healthcare plans to add a significant though unspecified number of new positions in Wisconsin, and the company will be offering impacted employees comprehensive support to identify other positions either in or outside of GE, as well as income extension aid and other benefits.
“GE Healthcare regrets the loss of any job,” Fox said, noting that the decision is expected to help the business stay competitive by combining business operations, leveraging technical expertise and encouraging engineering collaboration.
Kittleman Advances New Courthouse Through Public-Private Partnership
Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman has pre-filed a resolution asking the county council to support the construction of a new Circuit Courthouse through an innovative public-private partnership (P3). Delivering the estimated $138.7 million project through a hybrid P3 option was given unanimous support by the Spending Affordability Advisory Committee at a meeting earlier this month.
The proposed hybrid P3 would blend public and private financing. A private consortium selected through competitive bidding would be responsible for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the new courthouse for 30 years. This financing and delivery approach is expected to benefit the county in a long run with its ability to share risks, lower costs, gain efficiency and keep the building in good condition. The project would be built on property the county currently owns on Bendix Road. The existing Thomas Dorsey Building would be demolished. The county estimates the new facility would require 227,000 square feet of space and parking for 600 vehicles.
In the existing courthouse, prisoners, judges, court staff, the public and opposing parties in highly contentious matters such as child custody cases often are required to share hallways and other common areas. The courthouse cannot adequately accommodate security needs or the technology infrastructure to meet state requirements for electronic filing. While the state has already authorized a sixth judge for Howard County, the courthouse has no space for an additional judge and support staff.
“The existing Circuit Courthouse is 174 years old. Despite multiple renovations, it can no longer be updated to compensate for its limitations,” said Kittleman. “A new courthouse has been discussed and delayed for nearly 20 years, and it’s badly needed, but we also have to balance our priorities of education, public safety, infrastructure and community services. That is why we needed an innovative solution to fund the courthouse, without impacting our ability to address those priorities. This public-private partnership is the most efficient and effective way to deliver a modern facility at the best value to our taxpayers in the long run.”
Kittleman Announces State Grants to Assist Rebuilding Efforts in Historic Ellicott City
Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman has announced the receipt of two grants to support the ongoing rebuilding efforts in Historic Ellicott City.
The first grant for the Strategic Demolition Fund includes $500,000 from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (MDHCD)and $125,000 in matching funds from the county. The Strategic Demolition Fund will be used to rebuild infrastructure and for architecture and engineering plans for building stabilization and rehabilitation in Ellicott City. These funds can be used by various county agencies for existing and upcoming projects.
The Community Legacy Grant, also from MDHCD, is for $100,000 to continue the Façade Improvement Program for residential and commercial properties in Ellicott City. This grant pays for 50% of the cost of repairs to the front of a building, with a maximum of $10,000. All work must be pre-approved by the Historic Preservation Commission and Maryland Historical Trust. Both grants will be administered by the county’s Department of Planning and Zoning.
The Howard County Economic Development Authority recently estimated that about $42 million in economic activity has been lost due to the flood, with about $1.3 million less in tax revenue coming to the county as a result. Progress toward rebuilding has been steady, however, with more than 70 businesses reopening since the flood hit on July 30.
The county continues to assist those impacted by the flood through a combination of tax credits, grants and fee waivers. All permit fees are waived through the end of fiscal 2017, and Kittleman filed legislation in December to expand eligibility for tax credits when making repairs and improvements to historic properties.
More Than Two-Dozen Broadcasters to Join MPT, Air Heroin Program
Maryland Public Television (MPT) will premiere a new program, “Breaking Heroin’s Grip: Road to Recovery,” on Saturday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. The hour-long television event, consisting of a 40-minute documentary and 20-minute live phone bank program, will air on nearly 30 television and radio stations in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Washington, D.C., either simultaneously with MPT’s telecast or shortly thereafter.
Produced by MPT in association with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Behavioral Health Administration, “Breaking Heroin’s Grip” examines stories of three Maryland residents in rural and urban settings with an opioid use disorder. Rather than focusing on the criminal and legal aspects of the users’ stories, the MPT program instead concentrates on the subjects’ individual struggles and recovery from addiction.
Throughout the evening and at the documentary’s conclusion, a live phone bank (at 800-422-0009), staffed by Behavioral Health Administration crisis hotline team members, will receive calls from addicted individuals, family members or friends to provide immediate information and assistance that may lead to treatment and recovery. MPT news anchor Jeff Salkin will be joined by WBAL-TV news anchor/reporter Jason Newton, to host the one-hour broadcast and phone bank outreach event.
Nitro Circus Comes to Annapolis in July
Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides, Ward Two Alderman Fred Paone and United States Naval Academy Athletic Director Chet Gladchuk have announced that famed professional motorsports competitor and Annapolis native Travis Pastrana’s Nitro Circus will be coming to Annapolis on July 23.
While it is ultimately the decision of the Naval Academy Athletic Association (NAAA), Mayor Pantelides called a meeting, bringing Paone and members of Nitro Circus to the table to discuss potential alterations to the show, which would address concerns of the neighborhood associations that pointed to excessive noise and limited parking.
“After walking door to door with Travis Pastrana and listening to the community, specifically those most impacted by the event, I can say the response was overwhelmingly in support of the July event,” Pantelides said. “For that reason, I continue to stand behind Nitro Circus coming to Annapolis.”
Pastrana said local charity groups will be invited to watch the athletes warm up prior to the show, and local youth will have an opportunity to talk with the Nitro Circus team before and after the event. “I appreciate the city’s support of our event, and I want to thank the local community for their ongoing encouragement,” he said. “This performance is about being able to bring something that I am very proud of to my hometown. I hope everyone enjoys the show as much as I will enjoy performing.”
LM, MLW Complete Merger
Annapolis-based Leadership Maryland (LM), the professional development program dedicated to building a better Maryland by harnessing the strength of its local business and communities, and Maryland Leadership Workshops (MLW), a leadership development program for middle and high school students, announced today that a merger has been completed to join the two organizations.
Under the agreement, Maryland Leadership Workshops becomes a division of Leadership Maryland, and will continue to host five week-long student programs each summer. Anita Durall Anderson will remain in the role of executive director, and representatives of Maryland Leadership Workshops will also serve on the Leadership Maryland board of directors.
Now in its 62nd year, MLW is a nonprofit organization that hosts peer-led summer programs that empower and inspire middle and high school students across Maryland to succeed and be more engaged in their schools and communities. Leadership Maryland, celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2017, has more than 1,100 leaders from all industries and regions of the state who have completed the eight-month, hands-on learning program focused on the state’s most vital social, economic and environmental issues.
“Our two organizations have been great partners since 2004,” said Eliot Pfanstiehl, former Maryland Leadership Workshops board chairman and CEO. “Joining forces officially creates more financial efficiency in the day-to-day operations of our organization, and allows us to focus more of our energy and attention on expanding our program.”
Executive Alliance Accepting Applications for Mentoring Program
Executive Alliance, which promotes women leaders in Maryland, is accepting applications for the organization’s year-long mentoring program, Effective Impact, which provides individual guidance and professional skills for mid-level professional women. The application is available online at www.executivealliance.org and due Wednesday, Feb. 1. The Alliance will select eight to 12 women who demonstrate leadership and communication skills for the 2017-18 class.
Effective Impact provides participants with formal and informal one-on-one consultation sessions, five professional development sessions and networking opportunities. The program pairs participants with Executive Alliance members based on career fields and professional goals. For more information, visit www.executivealliance.org .
Meet Members at Artists’ Gallery in February
Artists’ Gallery, new to Main Street in Ellicott City, is dedicating February to acquainting its visitors and patrons to member artists during its upcoming show, “Introductions.” “We’ve been here since November, but the local and tourist community that comes through may not be familiar with our artists and their work,” said Marian Gliese, president. “We thought this would be a good time to make some introductions. We’re especially happy to present our newest artists, painter Joan Bevelaqua, quilter Etarae Weinstein and potter Kathy Swan.”
There will be an opening reception for the show, with food and wine, on Friday, Feb. 10, from 6-8 p.m., at the gallery, located at 8197 Main Street, Ellicott City. For more information, call 443-325-5936 or visit www.artistsgalleryec.com .
‘Sweet Judy Blue Eyes’ Returns to Columbia
Legendary songstress Judy Collins will perform at the Jim Rouse Theatre, which is located at Wilde Lake High School, Columbia, on April 1 at 8 p.m. Seating is limited.Tickets are on sale to Columbia Festival of the Arts donors onFriday, Jan. 27, and to the general public on Friday, Feb. 3.
Costs range from $48 to $63, with no service fees; members of the military, students and seniors are eligible for $5 discounts. For more information, call 410-715-3044.
From MarylandReporter.com …
O’Malley now supports non-partisan commissions to draw congressional districts he admits gerrymandering:
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley now says he supports “non-partisan redistricting commissions not only for drawing Congressional districts every 10 years, but for state legislative districts as well,” even while admitting he engaged in partisan gerrymandering as a Democratic governor. Read more: http://marylandreporter.com/2017/01/29/omalley-now-supports-non-partisan-commissions-to-draw-congressional-districts-he-admits-gerrymandering
Legislature’s fiscal chief presses for spending reform:
Maryland’s legislative leaders are getting pressure to fix their approach to spending – not just from Republican Gov. Larry Hogan, but from their own top budget expert, Warren Deschenaux. In his analysis of the $43.5 billion state budget Hogan sent to the legislature last week, Deschenaux told legislators, “This is another kick-the-can-down-the-road budget” that postpones hard decisions. Read more: http://marylandreporter.com/2017/01/24/legislatures-fiscal-chief-presses-for-spending-reform
MarylandReporter.com is a news site for government and politics in Maryland that is published and edited by Len Lazarick. For more information or to sign up for the daily e-news, visit www.marylandreporter.com .