Montgomery County

Posted by MONTGOMERY COUNTY on 1/28/2003 8:09:58 AM | Views: 479 |

Montgomery County

Type of County and Homes Available: There are 23 cities, towns and special taxing districts within Montgomery County. One of the country's most prestigious and fastest growing counties, Montgomery County was established in 1776 and named for Richard Montgomery, a Continental Army General.

Montgomery Count is accessible from the Capital Beltway (1-495) and bisected by 1-270. The National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Standards and Technology, National Naval Medical Center, Naval Ordnance Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services and U.S. Dept. of Energy are here, along with many research and development firms.

Over 150 biotech firms employ more than 11,500 people. Along with its growth and development, Montgomery County has preserved more farmland, 99,000 acres, than any other county in the United States. There are homes available in a wide range of prices, types, and sizes, with prices for single family homes from $150,000 to over $4,000,000 and townhouses from $125,000 to $600,000; condominiums from $70,000 to $700,000.

Housing Price Ranges:
Prices quoted in community profiles were obtained through August 1998 and were accurate at that time.

Tax Situation: Single and two-family homes are assessed by the slate for property taxes at 40%/$100 of fair market value. The county base property tax rate is $2.13/$100 taxable market value (to run most county agencies and pay for public education). This rate indudes land acquisition, mass transit and the fire districts. Additional spe cial area rates apply for recreation and other speaal services for many residents.

There are 45 tax dasses which mak the rate vary in different areas. (Also, 60% piggyback tax on the state income tax). Fuel energy taxes; electricity (about $.00 I/kilowatt hour); natural gas (about: $.009/therm). and heating oil (about $.01/gallon).

There is a 1/4 to 1% tax on home property transfer; a deed recordadon tax of $2.20 for each $500; 5-7% tax on admissions/amusements in unincorporated areas. Homeowners receiving county trash disposal service are charged $261.91 for one pickup per week. Some incorporated towns may also have a city tax.

Form of Government: Government services expanded rapidly during the 1970s as citizens increasingly demanded government answers to social and urban problems. The recent trend toward fiscal restraint has brought a leveling off of government services and expenditures, and stabilization of the tax rate.

The government, elected every four years, includes a county executive and seven-member County Council. The executive has power to appoint department heads, reorganize government agencies, propose budgetary action, veto bills and appoint most, but not all, Montgomery members of boards and commissions.

Two exceptions are the Planning Board, which recom- mends council action on land use, and the Board of Appeals, which hears and decides special exceptions and variances of zoning regulations. Besides filling these powerful advisory positions, the Council confirms most major department appointments by the Executive, adopts budgets for county and school governments, set tax rates, and passes legislation.

County offices provide usual government services, such as highways, building inspections, trash disposal, planning, health clinics, recreation, police and fire protection, a 3-campus community college system and a correctional system. Other services include: consumer protection, landlord-tenant relations, drug abuse, roadside litter collection, adapting schools and grounds to community recreation-education centers and urban and neighborhood renewal.

The seven-member School Board is elected at large to staggered terms and operates the school system autonomously, after receiving its council appropriation. Other elected officials are Judges and Clerk of Circuit Court, Register of Wills, State's Attorney and Sheriff. Information: (301) 217-6500.

Driving Time to Washington: Times shovm in local profiles are generally for light to moderate traffic and are from the center of starting communities to downtown Washington. They can vary upwards to as much as 60 minutes during peak traffic periods.

Public Transponarion: Bus service provided by Metro (202) 637-7000 and the County Ride-On 217-7433. The Metrorail subway rail system connects Maryland, Virginia and D.C. with 4 lines with a fifth under completion.

Eyre Bus and Travel provides morning and evening buses between Baltimore and Washington, through Columbia (18 to DC and I to Baltimore). They also provide 5 trips daily from Hagerstown Md. to the Shady Grove metro station, stopping in Frederick, MD. Commuter rail system, MARC, operates weekday service from Martinsburg.|

W.Va., to Union Station (in D.C.) with 11 stops in Monigpmery County: Dickerson, Bamesville, Boyds, Metropolitan Grove, Germantown, Washington Grove, Gaithersburg, Rockville, Garrett Park, Kensington, and Silver Spring. Call 1-800- 325-7245 for information.

Scheduled county minibus system (301) 217-7433 (RIDE-ON) in operation to Silver Spring, Takoma Park, Rockville, Gaithersburg, Germantown and Metro stations, Rockville offers minibus transport for elderly; county offers similar service on an on-call basis. Senior citizens, handicapped persons and low income individuals needing special transportation can call Metro Access (301) 588-8181 to arrange for help.

Metrorail's Red Line provides service between Shady Grove (south of Gaithersburg) to Silver Spring and easy connections with Friendship Heights, Bethesda, downtown Washington and Northern Virginia, Forest Glen, as well as Glenmont, and Wheaton. Montgomery County Airpark, outside Gaithersburg, provides executive flight and small plane services. Three major airports Baltimore-Washington International, DuUes International and National service the metropolitan area.

Public Facilities and Services: Electricity to entire population; gas to 65% (for emergency service: (703) 750-1000 and 750-1400, gas leaks only); water and sewer to 95%. Leaf pickup in fall by vacuum equipment in lower county, Trash collected at least once weekly. 975 police officers are dispatched from 7 stations: Rockville, Silver Spring, Gaithersburg, Takoma Park, Wheaton-Glenmont, Germantown, and Bethesda. Satellite stations are being opened in various locations around the county.

These stations are intended to better serve the people of Mtg. Co. and are partially funded by the businesses and landlords of the shopping areas in which they are placed as well as the Police Community Action Team. Headquarters at Rockville; Youth Division at Wheaton station; state police station, Rockville. 942 paid firefighters and administrative personnel as well as 700 active volunteers serve in firefighting and rescue operations from 19 departments and 33 stations.

Nearest apparatus responds. County operates 32 ambulances with a total of 200 pieces of equipment and 26 mobile intensive care units. Emergency (police, fire, rescue) phone: 911.24 hour Hot Line (301) 315-4673. Award-winning Technology Transfer Program uses retired professional volunteers. County Conservation Corps for 17-22-year-olds puts youths to work improving county parks and streams.

7 senior centers, 6 adult day care centers, meals-on-wheels, senior lunch programs. Library system includes 21 branches including a Special Needs Library, I bookmobile, 2,460,565 volumes (which includes books, tapes, CD's), 75,000 government documents, and 4,500 videocassettes.

Libraries offer films, records, children's programs, special services for individuals who are homebound, blind, deaf, and have physical disabilities (large print, Braille, talking books), adult programs, online data bases, local computer bulletin boards, cultural minority service.

Computer online Public Access Networkphone: (301) 217-3906,Helpline: (301) 217-6722, TDD: (301)217- 3873. Also CD-ROM Work Station. Health Info Center at Wheaton Regional Library. Business and government information at Rockville Library. Library information: (301) 217-INFO. Non-emergency police: (301) 279-8000. Non-emergency fire: (301) 217-4644.

Public School System: County operates 123 elementary schools, 32 middle, 23 senior high, 6 special schools, and I career center. Per-pupil expenditure: $7,288. Teacher salary range: $30,285 to $63,553 (10-month salary scale). 89.3% of high school grads go on to higher education.

Average enrollments in kindergarten: 21,3, elementary: 24.8; middle school: 25.4; senior high: 26.8. Projected enrollment for FY2003 is 133,425. This figure includes Kgc. 9,050, elementary 48,000, middle school 28,698 and senior high 37,932. The balance is made up from extended elementary education, Head Start and various levels of special education totaling 9,745 students.

School system has psychologists, guidance counselors and home instruction teachers, special programs and facilities for children with speech and hearing problems and special programs or schools for the mentally, physically and emotionally handicapped.

Extended Elementary Program, foreign language programs, theatre education, family math program, gender equity initiatives, magnet programs, internship programs in business and industries. Physical education program with competition in 19 sports in H.S. Adult education classes(26,600 participates and a staff of 800 part-time instructors). Average cost is $102 for 28 students.

Senior citizens pay %50. Extensive outdoor education and summer school programs. Students living more than I mile from elementary, 1-1/2 miles from middle, or 2 miles from junior or senior high schools are bused. Information: (301) 279-3700; for school zone: (301) 279-3331.

Private and Parochial School: 3 pre-S/N/D Care, I pre-K-12, 4 N-8, 21-8,1 3-12, 7 pre K-8, 11 Catholic ele- mentary (K-8), 3 high schools (9-12), 1 (6-12). There are approximately 7,000 students enrolled in all grades of Catholic Schools in Montgomery County.

There are 155 nonsectarian or church-related private nurseries, kindergartens, and K-12 small and large schools. These vary gready, offering rigorous college preparatory or flexible, unstructured programs.

There are approximately 400 licensed day-care centers and about 1,500 licensed family day care homes. Child Care Connection helps you find the right child care arrangements: (301) 279-1773. (See article and directory on private schools.)

Colleges: Campuses of Montgomery College located in Takoma Park, Rockville, and Germantown; extension courses offered by area universities; many advanced private schools offering academic or vocational education.

The Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Center at the Shady Grove Life Science Center, located near 1-270 and Shady Grove Road, may be the only major biotechnology research facility in the country.

It is expected to become a bridge between public agencies and private companies in the area and a conduit of information. Easily accessible are 7 major universities in the Washington area. Places of Worship: 408 churches including A.M.E, Zion, Apostolic, Armenian Apostolic.

Assemblies of God, Baha'i Faith, Baptist, Buddhist, Catholic, Charismatic, Disciples of Christ, Christian Reformed, Christian Science, Church of Christ, Church of God, Mormon, Church of the Brethren, Community, Episcopal, Free Methodist, Friends, Hindu, Independent Fundamental, Jehovah's Witnesses.

Lutheran, Nazarene, Non-Denominational, Orthodox, Pentecostal, Pentecostal Holiness, Presbyterian, Seventh-Day Adventist, Synagogues, Unitarian- Universalist, United Church of Christ, United Methodist, Wesleyan.

Recreational Facilities: 27,700 acres ofparldand administered by Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. 4 recreational parks, 5 regional parks totaling nearly 9,000 acres in the County along with 300 other parks and 260 community, local and neighborhood parks. 6 conservation parks, 11 special parks, 9 high- ly developed recreational parks; 4 public golf courses.

Five outdoor and 4 indoor public swimming pools, are administered by the Montgomery County Recreation Dept. Rockville and Gaithersburg have indoor-outdoor pools, and there are approximately 50 private neighborhood pools and 14 private country clubs in the county.

Within the parks there are 2 ice skating rinks, 4 nature centers, 4 fishing lakes and campsites in regional parks, an arboretum and botanical garden; biking, hiking, and horseback riding trails; picnic and playground facilities; 4 gym- nasiums; 74 baseball diamonds (4 lighted); 114 football/soccer fields; 297 basketball courts (47 lighted); 285 tennis courts 2 of them indoor; 20 handball courts; 10 horseshoe courts; and 2 archery ranges, 3 group picnic areas and 13 community recreational centers.

Call (301) 495-2525 for information and park use permits. Seneca Creek State Park, Patuxent River State Park, the C&0 Canal, Great Falls Recreational Area are also within Montgomery County. The Strathmore Hall Arts Center, a total arts center sited on 11 acres, hosts outdoor concerts at the Gudelsky Pavilion.

County recreation department offers a wide range of classes, special events and athletic activities for all age groups from pre schoolers to senior citizens, 21 special senior citizen clubs and centers.

Youth programs are handled by 3 regional offices. A very good professional dramatic company performs at the Round House Theatre and provides training in music, theater, dance and mime. There are also many local theater and music groups. Informadon: (301) 217-6800 for general recreadon informadon.

Medical Facilities: Hospitals at Oiney Montgomery Gen. (229 beds); Takoma Park Wash. Adventist (300 beds); Silver Spring Holy Cross (on Capital Beltway, 442 beds); Bethesda Suburban (388 beds); and Gaithersburg Rockville area Shady Grove (253 beds). Also National Institutes of Health and National Naval Medical Center.

5 county health centers located in Colesville, Gaithersburg, Rockville, Silver Spring and Wheaton. 2 psychiatric hos- pitals. 29 nursing homes and several walk-in medical clinics throughout the county. Mobile medical clinics travel to various senior citizen sites.

A litde more than half of the MCMS's 1,383-member physicians belong to PARS, a medical referral service. Information (Medical Society: (301) 921-4300, Patient Advocacy Referral Service: (301) 963-3100). Poison Control: 1 (800) 492-2414.




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