The controversial Laytonsville landfill heads the list of projects recommended by Montgomery County Executive Charles W. Gilchrist in the six-year Capital Improvements Program (CIP).
Gilchrist's proposals, which must win County Council approval, call for construction or renovation of 740 public buildings and roads by 1987 at a cost of $1.1 billion.
Bonds totaling $450 million are needed to finance this year's CIP Gilchrist's staff had originally proposed a $588 million program. But in an attempt to keep the lid on county spending, the executive set back the construction dates of several projects.
"I do not believe it is in the best interest of the county to sponsor a $600 million capital program in an environment of ever-diminishing resources," Gilchrist wrote in the foreword to the three-volume report on the CIP.
According to D. James Sayer, chief of the county division of planning and capital programming, $5.2 million has been set aside to complete construction of the Laytonsville landfull. About $12.4 million has already been spend to committed to the project, Sayer added.
At a public hearing before the County Council last week, Laytonsville City Council member Stanley Mills gave emotionally charged testimony in opposition to the landfill.
Mills accused the county of being "in direct violation of the law" by continuing to build the facility. He said passage of a bill last November prohibiting landfills in residential neighborhoods supports the Laytonsville community's stand against construction there. The county is seeking to have the measure overturned, while it proceeds with work on the landfill. And several lawsuits have been filed by Laytonsville citizens' groups against the county.
Mills' comments came on the heels of a plea by the mayor and City Council of Rockville that the county go ahead with its plan to build the landfill.
Rockville officials want the county to shut down the dumping site it now operates within the city on Gude Drive.
"We're getting some vibrations that some (County) Council members are weakening in their support of this long-awaited project," Rockville Mayor William E. Hanna Jr. said. He warned the County Council that the city will use its "legal resources" to prevent Montgomery from operating the Gude Drive site after June.
Rockville council members also objected to the executive's plans for a number of county-funded projects within the city. These included Gilchrist proposals to postpone until 1984 construction of an extension of Gude Drive from Rte. 355 west to Research Boulevard; to delay until 1984 ride-on bus service scheduled to begin this spring, and to underfund a joint county-city plan to refurbish the area surrounding the new county courthouse and office building complex. Rockville leaders also noted the lack of financial support for the city's plan to revitalize its central business district, which City Council member Phyllis Fordham stressed is "the seat of the county government and should be a suitable reflection of the county's history and people."
Gilchrist's plan to defer for three years the construction of a Wheaton Regional Library addition brought a number of protestors to the hearing.
The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce urged immediate funding for construction of a parking garage in downtown Bethesda, rather than defer the project until 1984 as Gilchrist has recommended.
Chamber President James Goeden said a "critical" parking storage already exists in downtown Bethesda. Unless more spaces are built, Geoden predicts Metro service could begin without sufficient parking nearby.
The council will hold work sessions on the CIP through March.