The Montgomery County Council reaffirmed yesterday its belief that construction of the Metro subway should continue regardless of whether the segment from Silver Spring to Glenmont is ever built.
The Council thus formally broke with County Executive James P. Gleason on the issue. Gleason has said he will seek to block construction for all Metro segments until he gets a federal guarantee that the 4.5-mile Glenmont line will be built.
On Monday, Transportation Secretary Brock Adams approved money to design the Glenmont line, but said approval would hinge on what priority area politicians give completion of the Glenmont line in relation to four other lines.
Gleason's effortst suffered another blow that same day when Maryland Transportation Secretary Hermann K. Intemann signed an agreement that forwards $328 million in federal money to Metro for construction.
Gleason told a reporter he would try to block the required Maryland state matching funds so the federal money could not be used.
But after a day of legalstudy yesterday, Metro's William A. Boleyn, General manager of finance, said, "We think we have money." Boleyn said that state matching funds had already been contributed by the District of Columbia and Virginia: thus a total of $256 million was available for construction. That represents District and Virginia money plus a portion of the federal money.
That would mean that, even with Gleason's threat unresolved, construction could begin on several contracts. Of those projects expected to benefit, most prominent are the construction of stations at Tenely Circle and Friendship Heights on the line to Shady Grove and at King Street in Alexandria on the line to Huntington.
The County Council, in its resolution yesterday, said that "problems with the Glenmont line cannot justify further delays on other lines in Montgomery County and other jurisdictions." It urged the Washington Suburban Transit Commission, a Maryland agency, to forward the Maryland matching money.
Gleason said through a spokesman that he is still researching whether he has the power to stop the state matching money from going to Metro. Montgomery County members of the Washington Suburban Transit Commission are appointed by Gleason.