Around Town

Public Hearing Set for Kentlands Firehouse

The public has an opportunity to offer input on the future of the Kentlands Firehouse at a hearing on Jan. 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Gaithersburg City Hall. Up for consideration is whether the city should declare the site surplus property and subject to disposition, should no future public use of the property be found.

The Firehouse, built in the mid-1900s by Otis Beall Kent to house his fire engine collection and also used as lodging for the farm’s workers, was designated a historic property by the mayor and City Council in February 2012.

In March 2012, nine community members and now-City Manager Tony Tomasello were appointed to a committee to evaluate potential uses for the property. The committee gave its recommendations as part of a comprehensive report several months later, citing redevelopment of the Firehouse into residential units or small offices as the options seen as providing the highest utility to the community and the city.

The 8,700-square-foot site, which is currently zoned MXD (Mixed Use Development), is in need of significant renovation. A garage area at the rear of the Firehouse was demolished in June 2012, and site grading and other repairs were done to two small rooms in the building that extended into the rear garage addition.

The city has received proposals from several parties interested in purchasing the Firehouse property should the site be declared surplus.

City Seeks Citizen Input at Budget Forum

Gaithersburg elected officials want to hear input from residents in order to plan for the upcoming fiscal year. On Feb. 11, Mayor Sidney Katz and the City Council will host the annual Gaithersburg Budget Public Forum in the City Hall Council Chambers starting at 7:30 p.m. In an informal, town hall setting, staff will present the financial state of the city, then community members can provide feedback on funding priorities for the coming fiscal year, which begins on July 1.

The staff presentation will include a state of the city’s finances, including how Gaithersburg ended the previous fiscal year, revenue and expenditure projections for FY14, and potential implications of “fiscal cliff” negotiations on city finances.

Members of the public will each have a three-minute opportunity to express their thoughts. Advance registration is not needed to speak. Comment can also be sent via e-mail to

The meeting will air live on GTV, Gaithersburg’s municipal cable channel, viewable on Comcast and RCN channel 13 or FiOS channel 25 within city limits. The meeting will also stream live at, or can be viewed online at a later date once the meeting is archived.

On Feb. 25, the mayor and City Council will hold a planning retreat at 6:30 p.m. at the Gaithersburg Upcounty Senior Center. The retreat is open to the public; however, no public comment is permitted.

The FY14 budget is scheduled for public hearing in late April, with adoption anticipated in early June.

The city’s FY13 budget and strategic plan are available at For more information please contact the Office of the City Manager at 301.258.6310.

Kingfish Coaching

The Kentlands Kingfish Swim Team is now accepting applications for its 2013 coaching staff and will interview for: Assistant Head Coach, Assistant Coaches and Coaches in Training (CIT, not paid/SSL hours offered). Application forms and criteria for coaching positions are posted at Please send questions and/or submit applications and signed coaching criteria forms by Feb. 17 at 5 p.m. to Tara Hofmann at 604 Kent Oaks Way.

Candidates will be interviewed on Feb. 24. Positions will be announced at the beginning of March.

The team is forming a coaching committee and is seeking three to four parents who have knowledge of swimming, coaching and the Kingfish. Interested parents. Parents interested in participating on the coaching committee should email Hofmann at

Sweet Family Fun at Kentlands Mansion Cupcake Class

Kentlands Mansion invites parents and kids to a Mommy/Daddy and Me Cupcake Decorating Class on Jan. 27 from 2 to 4 p.m. Taught by Bella’s Sweet Treat, families will learn kid-friendly, step-by-step piping, icing and decorating tricks to create their very own tasty masterpiece.

This event is open to children ages 5 to 12 and their parents. Admission is $35 for one child and one adult.

For information, visit For reservations, call 301.258.6425.

Hospice Volunteers Needed

JSSA (Jewish Social Service Agency), a nonsectarian community agency, is seeking volunteers for its Hospice and Transitions program, which provide professional care and volunteer support to terminally ill individuals and their families in our community. The program also provides bereavement support following a loved one’s death. Volunteers visit patients in their homes and in residential facilities, provide companionship and emotional support, practical assistance with errands and transportation, and offer respite for caregivers.

The next 20-hour specialized training for prospective volunteers is Feb. 3 – 5 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. at JSSA’s 6123 Montrose Road, Rockville, Md., office. Applications and interviews are required for those interested in the volunteer training. Volunteers must be over the age of 18. Male as well as Russian speaking volunteers are especially needed. Please note: Through experience, JSSA has found it beneficial for individuals to wait one year following the death of a loved one before becoming a volunteer for the Hospice and Transitions program.

For more information and to register for the training, please contact Amy Kaufman Goott at 301.816.2650 or, no later than five days prior to the start of the course.