Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2007

$416 million requested to speed up BRAC moves

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President George W. Bush last week sent Congress a $46 billion request for supplemental war funding that included $416 million to accelerate the Base Realignment and Closure that will affect Bethesda. The request, for fiscal year 2008 funds, would ostensibly subtract one year from the process of transferring employees and patients from Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington to the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda and Fort Belvoir Army Community Hospital in Virginia.

Federal law required the move to be finished by September 2011, but the request is aimed at pushing that deadline to 2010.

The military expects the Bethesda transfer to bring 2,500 new employees and 450,000 patients and visitors to the Rockville Pike base annually.

The Washington hospital base came under scrutiny earlier this year when The Washington Post uncovered poor conditions at the hospital and numerous complaints about bureaucracy.

Town of Chevy Chase considers amendments to charter

The Town Council of the Town of Chevy Chase holds a public hearing on 16 proposed charter amendments at 7 p.m. on Nov. 7, on the first floor of the National 4H Center, 7100 Connecticut Ave., Chevy Chase.

The amendments include minor changes to correct typographical errors or conflicts with areas covered by state law, and major changes dealing with property tax, voting, the budget and public information.

The council will decide between adopting the amendments and holding more public hearings after the Nov. 7 hearing. The text of each charter amendment is available by calling the Town Office at 301-654-7144 or visiting www.townofchevychase.org.