Montgomery County public safety offices are scheduled to move in May to the new public safety headquarters in Gaithersburg—but there's one more big issue to work out.
What will our public safety officers eat?
The brings the Montgomery County Police Department headquarters, the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, the Montgomery County Office of Homeland Security, the First District Police Station and parts of the transportation department under one 408,000-square-foot roof.
The building at 100 Edison Park Dr. was formerly the National Geographic Society headquarters. At nearly 50 years old, its cafeteria facilities are inadequate for the county's needs, according to David Dise, director of the county's division of general services.
"It’s going to cost an awful lot over a longer period of time to renovate the entire building," Dise told the Montgomery County Council on Tuesday. While renovations to the cafeteria are being made, the county is looking into providing food trucks stationed at the site to feed personnel.
"My colleagues at Fire and Rescue have taken on that enthusiastic endeavor," Dise joked.
But as the council teased fire and rescue representatives over their culinary expertise, Councilmember Marc Elrich (D-At Large), of Takoma Park, suggested the county look at food trucks as a long-term solution, rather than as a middle ground between brown-bag lunches and a full-service cafeteria.
"I actually think this is a good long-term solution potentially," Elrich said. "People are actually looking at this as a serious way to provide a variety of food you can almost never replicate inside a cafeteria.”
He suggested it would also provide an outlet for small businesses in the county, cost less for the county to maintain and allow for more flexibility in how renovation funds are spent.
"Some of these guys put a ton of money in their trucks. They really are serious food production facilities," Elrich said. "I like this for a lot of different reasons, and I hope it proves to be one of those innovations we can look back and say this was a really good idea."
Councilmember Phil Andrews (D-Dist. 3) of Gaithersburg thanked Elrich for his comments, and said the county would continue to look into options.
What do you think? Are full-time food trucks at the new public safety headquarters a potentially innovative idea, or too over-the-top?