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Old Neighborhoods In Md. Get Face Lift

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By Matt Laslo

Some of the oldest neighborhoods in Forest Glen, Maryland are receiving face lifts.

As the cement truck backs up, a group of workers prep a trench that is going to be a side walk. The smell of fresh, acidic concrete is in the air. The sidewalks and curbs are being poured first. Next comes what really excites the residents: their streets. Cynthia Ross-Zenick says neighbors refer to the current roads as looking like the third world.

"There are some huge potholes," Ross-Zenick says.

Montgomery County is investing $4.7 million in the project over the next year. All told, the county will lay seventeen new miles of roads. County officials closed a one billion dollar budget gap this year. Unlike its operating budget, capital improvement projects can be paid for with bonds. County Executive Isiah Leggett says even on a tight budget these old streets need the work.

"The challenge is that we need to do more with this and hopefully as the budget improves our capital budget will improve as well," Leggett says.

Joyce Nalepka, who has been in Forest Glen since the 1960s, says the county should do more regular upkeep, instead of such a massive overhaul.

"Resurface the streets and go on your way and help do something else," Nalepka says.

The road projects are expected to continue until next summer.

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