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This Week in Potomac

Thompson Property

On April 24, the Thompson Property is scheduled to go before Park and Planning for a preliminary review.

The Thompson Property is located on the east side of Stoney Creek Road near the intersection with Travilah Road. The 102-acre property is zoned RE-2 (one house per two acres) and the developer proposes to build 34 single-family homes.

The houses conform with current zoning for the areas. “We’ve asked the builder to help protect the stream valleys,” said George Barnes of West Montgomery County Citizens Association. Barnes hopes that the builder might donate some land along the Stoney Creek for a conservation easement. “You can do a lot,” Barnes said.

The Thompson Property will be discussed some time after 1 p.m.

Park Improvements Hearing

A public hearing will be held to discuss the Capital Improvements Project (CIP) budget for FY 2003-08 will be held on April 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the address below.

Several projects of particular interest to Potomac residents are included in the proposal: Replacing play equipment in Avenel Local Park and the Potomac Community Center, replacing the flat roofs at Rockwood Manor on MacArthur Boulevard, work on a natural surface trail in Watts Branch, and several improvements in Cabin John Regional Park.

The plan does not include a recommendation for a new roller hockey rink.

To register to speak, call 301-650-2890 before noon on April 24. Written comments may be sent to Derick Berlage, Chairman, Montgomery County Planning Board, 8787 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring, MD 20910.

Fire Truck to Stay

Cabin John’s ladder truck is not going anywhere this year. During a round of budget cuts in January, the county proposed removing the truck and the 24-hour staffing that accompanies it from Station 10 on River Road.

Firefighters said the truck is needed because of Potomac's large homes, and that the fire and rescue workers that man the truck are also key to the many river rescues Cabin John undertakes each year.

The proposed cuts, originally proposed for January, did not materialize after public outcry, but there had been concerns about its removal in this year’s budget.

The truck was not removed from the budget, and service levels in Potomac will not be substantially affected.

“My big concern is what is going to be the administrative levels,” said Eugene Roesser, spokesman for Cabin John Station. The budget calls for eliminating 20 positions, one of which is at Cabin John Station.

“Positions are not going to be funded,” said Pete Piringer, spokesman for the county fire and rescue service. He noted that local volunteer fire departments would be free to continue to have the position, if they take on the funding themselves.

Eleven new positions will be created in a centralized administrative center. “It’s a reorganization ... streamling the reporting,” Piringer said.

“Rick Burdette really makes a big difference with the day-to-day operations in the station,” Roesser said.

Additionally, the cost of being transported in an ambulance will go up, although uninsured individuals will not be denied service.

Volunteers Sought

Potomac Community Resources needs volunteers to assist the professional music therapist with the NoteAbles Music Enjoyment Group by providing one-on-one help for participating teens and adults with developmental disabilities. Call 240-777-2600

Strong Arm Robbery

On April 9 at 9:50 p.m. a Potomac woman was robbed in the 7000 block of Strathmore Street. Two males approached her. One grabbed her arm and demanded her purse while the other went behind her and took it. She screamed for help. The suspects fled on foot toward Bradley Boulevard. Both suspects were described as Hispanic males 18-23 years old between 5 feet 8 and 6 feet tall and 150 pounds.

Residential Burglaries

Two residential burglaries were reported on the 4600 block of River Road. At the first house, between 5 p.m. on March 1 and noon on April 6 the garage door was twisted. At the second, on 10:49 p.m. on April 9 the garage door was pried. Nothing was taken from either house.

SARS and Preparedness

A community briefing will be held to educate and inform the community about Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), and other emergency preparedness issues. Presentations will be given by a representative of the Montgomery County Public Health Office and Gordon Aoyagi, county fire administrator.

Information will be shared on how residents can take steps to prepare for emergencies whether they involve severe weather or other incidents.

The briefing is scheduled for April 29 at 7:30 p.m. in the Council Office Building Cafeteria, 100 Maryland Avenue, Rockville. Call 240-777-8042.

Puppy Update

On April 3, a good Samaritan found five lab-mix puppies in a box on Bradley Boulevard. She brought the puppies to the county animal shelter for care. The puppies were treated for a severe viral condition, dehydration and flea infestation. One of the five was in such bad condition that a veterinarian recommended that it be euthanized.

The remaining puppies spent several days fighting for their lives, but are now doing well. One is on its way to a new home home while two others are in foster care. The fourth is still at the veterinary clinic and is expected to make a full recovery. There are multiple applicants for adopting the puppies.

The Montgomery County Humane Society has paid the veterinary bills for these puppies. Anyone interested in helping to support the humane society in this can send donations to MCHS, 14645 Rothgeb Drive, Rockville, MD 20850. Specify that the donation is for the “Puppy Fund.”