Tomorrow night, the Montgomery County Council will hold a public hearing on how to finance the infrastructure needed under the White Flint Sector Plan. The hearing will begin at 7:30 in the Council Office Building in Rockville.
(An earlier Council meeting on White Flint financing options; County Council (R) and County Executive and Planning Staff (L))
As usual, the Council staff has prepared a background briefing packet for the hearing. The packet contains the legislation being considered to implement the financing decision, plus a copy of the County Executive’s letter proposing a financing plan. Statements or reactions have been submitted by the Action Committee for Transit, Friends of White Flint, and the White Flint Partnership.
The biggest controversies appear to be the same as before: the County Executive’s staff is quite upset at the possibility of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) being used in White Flint. Ironically, a TIF was used in Gallery Place in the District recently to build County Executive Leggett’s favorite museum: the International Spy Museum. In addition, the Executive’s staff is still highly exercised over the possibility that they might have to reserve some funds generated in White Flint to pay for White Flint infrastructure, instead of having the flexibility to transfer all White Flint funds somewhere else in the County. Following last week’s Council briefing, the Executive’s staff was seen (and heard, since they were pretty irate) berating those who had spoken on behalf of a TIF.
The Council has planned additional Committee meetings on the White Flint financing proposals. The Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) and Management and Fiscal Policy (MFP) Committees will hold joint hearings on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 2PM, Tuesday, Nov. 9 at 9:30AM, and Nov. 16, at 9:30AM. These three meetings are scheduled for the seventh floor hearing room at the Council Office Building in Rockville. Six of the nine Councilmembers serve on these two Committees, and Roger Berliner often sits in on White Flint hearings, so the joint hearings should give a good idea of the Council’s thinking.