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WMATA, county battle over Silver Spring Transit Center

Thursday - 5/2/2013, 7:40am  ET

WASHINGTON - The battle over who will take over the troubled Silver Spring Transit Center once it's fixed has officially started.

A hearing on the status of the delayed and over-budget center, which a recent report also said has structural problems, was held Wednesday by the Montgomery County Council.

Through a written agreement on the deal -- a memorandum of understanding (MOU) -- the Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) was supposed to take over the transit hub.

WMATA says that won't happen now since the center failed to meet safety standards. But Tim Firestine, chief administrative officer for Montgomery County, says there's no way the county is going to operate the center.

"We believe within that MOU with WMATA, we can enforce their obligations under that MOU. Those obligations do include operating, owning, maintaining the facility," Firestine says.

While WMATA says it will run buses out of the center and listen to plans about fixing the flawed project, it won't accept responsibility for the facility.

In an email to WTOP Wednesday night regarding the issue, WMATA spokeswoman Morgan Dye says the agency stands by its position.

WTOP's Kate Ryan contributed to this report.

Follow @KateRyanWTOP and @WTOP on Twitter.

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