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As announced last week, the Town Council has approved an emergency plan for the 2020 Town Council election due to the coronavirus pandemic and Governor Hogan’s stay-at-home order. The Town will hold a universal vote-by-mail election this year. The election will be held as scheduled, with a deadline for voting of May 5. There will not be in-person voting on that day. Instead, each eligible Town voter will receive a ballot by mail and should mail back that ballot, once completed, in a stamped envelope that will be provided by the Town. All ballot envelopes must be postmarked by May 5, 2020 and received by May 12, 2020 in order for the enclosed ballot to be counted.
The Council also has agreed to certain measures to facilitate candidate communications in this year’s election. These measures, which are designed to expand outreach to voters during this ongoing public health emergency, include:
Detailed procedures for the election and annual meeting will be included in the election issue of the Forecast newsletter. We encourage all eligible Town voters to participate in our election, and we hope that everyone is safe and healthy during this difficult time.
In response to State and Montgomery County guidance to limit large gatherings and maintain social distancing, the Town will not host any events through the end of April. In addition, the Jane Lawton Recreation Center will be closed through March 27.
Town staff is currently on a telework schedule. Residents who need to drop off materials to the Town office may do so in the mailbox located outside the front door to the Town Hall. We will endeavor to process all permits and other applications in a timely manner. Phone calls and email will be monitored as usual.
While the office is closed, we encourage you to visit the Town website and subscribe to the Town Crier email alert system for the latest Town news.
Below is a list of resources for residents who would like more information on coronavirus preparedness and response:
Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services
Office of the Governor of Maryland
Centers for Disease Control
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Council Approves Emergency Plan for 2020 Town Council Election
On March 26, the Town Council discussed and approved an emergency resolution and operations plan to guide the conduct of the 2020 Town Council election.
The election will be held, as scheduled, with a deadline for voting of May 5. However, given the ongoing public health crisis, the Town Council identified the need to hold the election in a different manner than what is provided for in the Town Code. Specifically, the Council agreed that the election should be conducted by universal mail-in ballot, with no in-person voting at a polling place. Every qualified, registered voter in the Town will receive a ballot by mail and will return that ballot by mail.
Provisions are being made to facilitate candidates' outreach to residents through electronic means, and the Town will publish the election issue of the Forecast newsletter in mid-April with complete details on election procedures.
The Council understands that the emergency plan may need to be amended if further procedures are required or if circumstances change. We ask for your patience and support as we navigate extraordinary times while preserving both our democratic process and public safety.
Town Will Not Produce April Forecast Newsletter
Due to the ongoing public health crisis, and the consequent closure of the Town office and cancellation of Town events, the Town will not produce an April Forecast newsletter. For the latest Town news and information, please visit the Town website and sign up to receive Town Crier email alerts .
Spring Trash and Treasures Cancelled
Due to the public health crisis, the Town's spring Trash & Treasures event, scheduled for April 25 & 26, has been cancelled. Neither curbside bulk trash collection nor the alternative events at the Lawton Center will be provided. The Town hopes to hold this event in the fall.
Glass Recycling Update
Effective immediately, residents may place clean glass back into their recycling carts. The Town’s contractor recently established a glass recycling system at its processing facility, thereby enabling customers to once again include glass along with other recycled materials such as paper, plastic and cardboard. We ask that residents ensure that all materials are clean and remain dry to prevent cross-contamination. The Town will discontinue glass collection at the Lawton Center effective April 17. Additional details about proper recycling practices will be communicated shortly.
Utility Work Update
Next week, Washington Gas will continue working on East West Highway. Washington Gas also will continue to make scheduled house service connections.
While you are at home, staying safe, we thought you might want to take a look at a wonderful website for Town dogs and owners developed by Bren Lizzio with help from Jane Root and others -- Town-DOG.org [https://town-dog.org/] . The website is a one stop shop that has lots of helpful information about dog regulations, where the dog waste stations are, and what to do about a lost dog. It also has a great registry of Town dogs that you and your four footed friends can join if you like. It is fun scrolling through to meet some of the Town dogs, all from a socially safe distance, of course.
March Purple Line Construction Updates
Night Work/Lane Closure on Connecticut Avenue: Crews will be relocating utilities on Connecticut Avenue between Jones Bridge Road and East-West Highway. Work will occur in two shifts, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekdays and weekends. Temporary lane closures with flagging operations will occur.
Night Work/Lane Closure on Wisconsin Avenue: Crews will be pouring concrete for the walls of the Bethesda Shaft. Southbound lanes along Wisconsin Avenue between Montgomery Lane and Bethesda Avenue will experience temporary closures. Work will take place from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. on weekdays and weekends.
Pile Driving along the Georgetown Branch Trail: Crews will be pile driving along the Georgetown Branch Trail east of Connecticut Avenue between Newdale Road and Chevy Chase Lake Drive. Pile driving will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
Pile Driving at Rock Creek Bridge: Crews will be pile driving at the Georgetown Branch Trail between Jones Mill Road and the Rock Creek Bridge. Pile driving will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays for approximately eight weeks. The work zone can be viewed here .
Rock Creek Trail Closure: Crews will close the Rock Creek Trail between Rays Meadow Park and Susanna Lane access points for approximately three weeks. Electronic message boards will be place along the trail in advance of this closure to alert pedestrians. The detour can be viewed here: https://rebrand.ly/vqtvs5.
Traffic Shift on Jones Mill Road: Traffic has shifted onto the southbound side of Jones Mill Road for phase one of this traffic change. Crews will be excavating and installing the arch for the future underpass. Work will take places from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and weekends.
Weekend Work at Bethesda Work Zone (Elm Street): Crews will be working at the Bethesda Work Zone on Elm Street. Work will take place in two shifts from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 a.m. on weekdays and weekends.
Weekend Work at Columbia Country Club: Crews will continue work at the Columbia Country Club 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays and weekends.
Weekend Work and Lane Closures on East-West Highway: Temporary lane closures will occur on East-West Highway between Connecticut Avenue and Montgomery Avenue between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on weekdays and weekends.
Weekend Work on the Georgetown Branch Trail: Crews will be working along the Georgetown Branch Trail from the Wisconsin Avenue to Connecticut Avenue. Work will take place on weekdays and weekends from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Weekend Work and Several Lane Closures on Jones Mill Road and Jones Bridge Road: Temporary lane closures will occur on Jones Bridge Road between Altimont Lane and Jones Mill Road, as well as on Jones Mill Road between Flushing Meadow Terrace and Coquelin Terrace between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays and weekends.
Weekend Work on the Rock Creek Trail: Crews will be working near Rock Creek Park bridge from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and weekends. Temporary trail closures will occur.
Important Phone Numbers
Below is a list of phone numbers that may be helpful while the Town Office is closed. In case of emergencies, always call 911.
Montgomery County Police
Non Emergency/24hrs - 301-279-8000
Bethesda - Chevy Chase Rescue Squad - 301-652-0077
Chevy Chase Fire Department
(Opposite Columbia Country Club) - 240-773-4707
Bethesda Fire Dept
(Wisconsin Ave and Bradley Blvd) - 240-773-4706
National Capital Poison Center
(George Washington University Hospital) - 800-222-1222
Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO)
Emergency-Live wires down, power failure - 877-737-2662
Customer Service - 202-833-7500
Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission
Emergency - 301-206-4002
Complaints, Leaks, Information - 301-206-4001
Emergency - 703-750-1400
Information & Customer Service - 703-750-1000
Comcast - 800-934-6489
Verizon - 800-837-4966
Upcoming Meetings: Click here to view the Town calendar