The County Council this week approved two special appropriations and introduced a third designed to help businesses and organizations recover from the COVID-19 emergency. The council unanimously okayed $14 million to create the Reopen Montgomery Business Assistance Program. The funds will reimburse county businesses and nonprofit organizations reopening expenses incurred to comply with new state and county health regulations due to the crisis.
Not Your Average Joe’s restaurant in Ellsworth Place has permanently closed, according to an email sent to customers today (July 9) and forwarded to the Source. The message, signed by Peter D’Amelio, the company’s chairman and CEO, reads, “We have truly enjoyed being part of the Silver Spring community.”
Councilmembers Hans Riemer and Andrew Friedson introduced legislation Tuesday that would extend Metro’s existing property tax abatement for 15 years for new high-rise development. Bill 29-20, the “More Housing at Metrorail Stations Act,” would require the Director of Finance to offer a payment in lieu of taxes for a high-rise building constructed by a private developer on property leased from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority at a Metro station.
Kefa Café will leave its location in the Silver Spring Library and open a café in the new Wheaton Library, while Bump ’n Grind will take over the Silver Spring spot. “We have been honored for the past five years to operate the coffee shop located on the grounds of the Silver Spring Library,” said Kefa’s co-owner Lene Tsegay in a statement, “and we are proud to have established a precedent for creating a welcoming and supportive community space for library customers.”
Service on Metro’s Red Line was interrupted by a derailment at the Silver Spring station shortly before 11:30 a.m. A statement posted by the Washington Metrorail Safety Commission, posted on the organization’s Twitter page, reads, “Preliminary information suggests the eight-car train passed a red signal prior to the derailment.”
Two Georgia Avenue businesses in downtown Silver Spring have been shut down for violating COVID-19 restrictions, county officials announced. The Palisades Lounge and the Cabana Hookah Lounge were both closed.
The City of Takoma Park is asking citizens to take a survey to indicate their preference for the exterior design of a renovated and reconstructed library, officials announced. The survey provides a review of three designs submitted to the City Council in February by RRMM Lukmire Architects. The presentation included a project cost estimate of more than $8 million for each design.
Next Day Blinds, based in Jessup, Md., has ceased operations and closed all of its stores, including one across from Whole Foods in Downtown Silver Spring. The company’s website now redirects visitors to a page on the site of 3 Day Blinds, a company founded in California in 1978.
The Washington Revels’ headquarters building has been listed for sale, a development that may require the organization to move out, according to Revels Executive Director Greg Lewis. “The expectation is that the buyer will not be an investment buyer,” he said, “in which case, if it were, it might be a scenario where a lease rate could be worked out and we could stay.”
The county’s parks and library branches this week will begin lifting some restrictions imposed as part of the COVID-19 lockdown and offering certain services and amenities. Beginning today (June 29), Montgomery Parks will be reopening playgrounds to patrons under certain guidelines, and library book drops will open for returns (with some exceptions).