Montgomery’s nighttime task force wrapping up -- Gazette.Net


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The Nighttime Economy Task Force has one month to finalize suggestions to the county on improving nightlife and local economies.

The county task force met Monday to discuss draft recommendations before its final meeting in October. Three residents attended the meeting at BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown.

The recommendations include forming urban noise districts where businesses or recreation departments could set up performances or music events that run late into the evening. The districts would increase the allowed decibel range and extend the hours noise will be allowed in that area.

Jonathan Sachs, a member of the task force’s business engagement subcommittee, suggested a concierge service for business owners. Businesses that are interested in moving into the county or relocating within it would meet with the corresponding county staff representative, or “concierge,” for that geographic area. The concierge would guide them through the moving process.

The service is intended to make businesses feel “like they have a friend in the county,” Sachs said.

Tina Benjamin of the county’s Department of Economic Development also presented the department’s strategic plan for fiscal 2014. Benjamin said the county will focus on job creation, marketing its own initiatives and enticing businesses to relocate to Montgomery.

County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) appointed the 21-member Nighttime Economy Task Force in May. The group’s objective is to increase nighttime business and social activity, which would boost local economies and provide employment in the county.

The task force, headed by Greater Bethesda-Chevy Chase Chamber of Commerce board member Heather Dlhopolsky, consists of business owners, county staff, chamber of commerce members, municipal employees and representatives for elected officials.

The task force’s subcommittees are scheduled to meet on Tuesday in Germantown, then offer policy recommendations with a presentation to the county before the end of the calendar year.

scarignan@gazette.net