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Council Votes to Add More Funding to Assist in COVID-19 Recovery

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.

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New Bill Would Provide Tax Incentive for Housing on WMATA Property

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.

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Kefa to Leave Library Location, Bump ’n Grind to Take Over

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.”

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Takoma Park Seeks Citizen Preferences for Library Exterior Design

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.

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Washington Revels Headquarters Listed For Sale, May Force a Move

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.”

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Some Restrictions on Parks, Libraries Lifted This Week

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).

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