Montgomery County and Gaithersburg officials on Monday toured the old Quality Inn in the Montgomery Village area, a building that this fall will be converted into furnished efficiency apartments designed to be affordable to service and retail workers.

For the $6 million project, the county will pay $2 million to $2.5 million, the Gaithersburg government will contribute $500,000, and the state will add $2 million. The remaining $1 million mortgage will be paid by rents at the facility, said Richard Ferrara, director of the Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Development.

County Executive Sidney Kramer, who participated in the tour, has urged the business community to help defray the cost of the project, because the 120 apartments are being provided partly in response to the needs of businesses for affordable housing in the county for their employees.

Rents on the apartments, located at 80 Bureau Dr., rents will range from $300 to $400, including furniture and utilities. Kramer said rents at the complex, which is called the Diamond Square Apartments, are being structured to suit people with incomes of $12,000 to $26,000.

The apartments, Ferrara said, are being designed primarily for single workers, but larger efficiencies can accommodate a couple, or a single parent and child. One-third of the units are being set aside for people earning a maximum of $15,000 annually and another third are earmarked for individuals earning $26,000, or families of two earning $32,000. The remaining apartments are being set aside for those with a variety of needs such as someone newly divorced, or a new worker whose family is in the process of moving to the county.

Ferrara said people who have jobs or commitments for jobs in the Shady Grove, Gaithersburg and Germantown areas will receive priority in becoming tenants.

The facility, which also will have a 7,500-square-foot senior center, is scheduled to begin accepting tenants in January. The idea for the senior center came from Gaithersburg officials who say the upcounty area could use such a facility.


Rockville residents can receive a variety of free health tests at a family health fair Sept. 9 at the Lincoln Park Community Community Center, 357 Frederick Ave.

The city-sponsored event, to be held from noon to 4 p.m., will include clowns, storytelling, refreshments and prizes, including gift certficates for sneakers.

In other news, Mayor Douglas Duncan and the City Council will hold a public hearing Sept. 17 to discuss proposals for spending $271,000 in federal block grants the city expects to receive in fiscal 1992.

The grants, known as Community Development Block Grants, are earmarked for housing and community programs that serve low- and moderate-income people, that help prevent or eliminate slums or neighborhood blight or that meet an urgent community need.

Examples of projects that may be funded by the grant money include buying property for public uses such as recreation or historic preservation; building roads, curbs, parks or flood and drainage systems; removing architectural barriers for the handicapped and elderly; providing loans and grants to renovate houses and apartments, and job-training programs. In recent years, the city has used block grants to reline water mains and to assist the Boys and Girls Clubs, the Helping Hands homeless shelter, a Head Start reading program and the city's public housing program.

City officials say the fiscal 1992 funding is down slightly, about 5 percent, from the $294,000 in grants for fiscal 1991, which began in July.

Individuals or organizations that want to present a proposal at the hearing should register in advance with the city clerk by calling 424-8000, ext. 310. Testimony will be limited to three minutes for an individual and five minutes for an organization.

The hearing will begin at 7:30 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall, Maryland Avenue and Vinson Street.