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Jan
21
2018

New Charter Amendment May Give Mayor Additional Voting Power

According to the latest Council packet, Council may consider introducing one of the two draft amendments at this week’s meeting. One version will allow the mayor to vote in specific circumstances (assessments, moving money, and charter amendments), regardless if there is a tie vote. The other option does not extend the mayor’s right to vote in those specific circumstances but retains existing language whereby the Mayor can only vote to break a tie.

The two options that the Council may consider are as follows:
1) Introduce the attached draft Charter resolution that incorporates the draft amendments and schedule a Public Hearing. In addition to making clarifying amendments, this resolution would allow the Mayor to vote with respect to alterations of assessments, spending money for a purpose different from the purpose for which the money was appropriated, spending money not appropriated at the time of the annual levy or transferring funds between major budget items and adoption of Charter amendments, regardless if there is a tie vote.

2) Introduce a different Charter resolution that incorporates the draft Charter amendments but allows the Mayor to vote with respect to alterations of assessments, spending money for a purpose different from the purpose for which the money was appropriated, spending money not appropriated at the time of the annual levy or transferring funds between major budget items and adoption of Charter amendments only in the case of a tie vote; and schedule a Public Hearing.

It is important to note that none of the proposed Charter amendments before the Council will change the outcome of Charter Amendment 17-CR-02 (the non-U.S. citizen resident voting measure). That Charter Amendment was NOT adopted since it failed to receive a majority vote of 5 for the amendment to pass.

There will be a public hearing on the proposed change on February 13.

Jan
19
2018

Crime Solvers Poster/Citizen Robbery

Jan
17
2018

City Plans to Amend Charter to Clarify Mayoral Roles

Since last fall, the City Council, legal Counsel, and City staff have met several times to receive legal advice about necessary Charter amendments.

At this week’s meeting, the Council discussed a few minor changes to clarify Mayoral’s role during Council votes.

The proposed draft of the City Charter that Council is asked to consider includes language clarifying that the Mayor has historically and correctly been a part of the “legislative body” and language specifically allowing the Mayor to vote to transfer funds, amend the Charter, and alter an assessment regardless of whether there is a tie vote. Clarifying language concerning the presiding officer is also included.

The Council will later seek public input about these changes before they vote on them at a later time.

Jan
15
2018

Bozzuto Asks City to Grant 75% Tax Relief for 15 Years

At tomorrow’s meeting, the Council will discuss a public financial assistance request for the proposed Bozzuto redevelopment at the Quality Inn and Plato’s Diner site.

The site was acquired by the University of Maryland Foundation and subsequently transferred to the Terrapin Development Company (TDC), which is a new entity created by the University of Maryland and the University of Maryland Foundation. Bozzuto requested that the County provide a 75% abatement of property taxes for 15 years (in
the form of a ‘Payment in Lieu of Taxes’, or PILOT) and the City provide 75% tax relief, in the form of Tax Increment Financing, or TIF in order to meet a gap in the project financial projections.

Based on Bozzuto’s projected value of the project upon completion, a 75% tax credit equals $14,003,990 in County tax revenue and $5,044,448 in City tax revenue over the term of the credit. The City would continue to receive 100% of the City property taxes on the current or base value ($50,935).

Jan
14
2018

Council to Kick-Off FY2019 Budget Discussion

The Council will discuss the initial general overview of the City’s current financial condition, key preliminary projections and proposed guidance to be issued to staff as they prepare the FY 2019 budgets.

City staff estimates that the actual FY 2018 revenues may be somewhat less than anticipated – primarily due to a change in the contract for speed camera revenue and state income taxes coming in less than anticipated. For actual expenditures, we expect to be under budgeted levels when looked at in total.

Though we have had the luxury of having significant surpluses the last few years, we do not anticipate a significant surplus for FY 2018 but will end the year close to “break-even” with revenues equaling expenditures. The Council will also discuss the proposed budget Calendar. Staff is requesting the Council to submit requests / specific projects by February 16. The Council plans to hold to full-day budget worksessions on April 14 and 21. Please see the full budget schedule:

Jan
13
2018

City Goes Cloud with Emails and Documents

At the last meeting, the Council decided to use a cloud-based platform for its internal emails and many documents.

The Council approved a contract with Volta, Inc. for $10,000 to migrate the City’s 2007 Exchange server to Exchange Online and to Microsoft Office 365 cloud-based solution from the current Microsoft Office 2007 desktop solution.

City believes that the conversion will help improve productivity, as staff can access the documents from anywhere online.

The new solution will also many additional products for multiple devices, automatic updates, enhanced collaboration, and storage, etc. Staff contacted Rockville, Greenbelt, Leonardtown, Caroline County, and LaPlata who have switched to Office 365 and have been pleased with the results.

If approved, the City expects the process to require four to six weeks for the migration and for staff training for the updated applications. The annual cost for Office 365 is approximately $2,000 more than the same cost of new licenses every five years for Microsoft Office.

The conversion will cost the City $10,000 for 91 full Microsoft 365 licenses at $12.50 per month and 91 limited licenses at $4.00 per month

Jan
12
2018

North College Park Crime Map: January 2-7, 2018

Please see below last week’s crime map and let me know if you have any questions. Thank you!

Address Type
9000 Blk Autoville DR Residential Armed Robbery
9300 Blk Cherry Hill RD Stolen Vehicle
9600 Blk Baltimore Ave Breaking & Entering
9300 Blk Baltimore Ave Theft
Jan
11
2018

Today’s NCPCA Meeting: Dog Park, Community Center, Traffic and City Budget

NCPCA – It’s Your Neighborhood Association

Today is the second Thursday of the month and thus the day when the North College Park Community Association (NCPCA) holds its monthly meeting. Please see the full agenda below. The meeting will take place at Davis Hall at 7:30 pm.

7:35  Presentation – New Dog Park at Duvall Field. Ms. Brenda Alexander, Deputy Director of College Park Dept. of Public Works, will present developing concepts for a new dog park at Duvall Field.  Ms. Alexander is interested to receive input of residents regarding the location, and she will address resident questions, comments, and concerns. 
7:55  Presentation – Storage Facility on US 1 at Hollywood Rd.  Revised plans will be presented by the Johnson Development team for construction of a consolidated storage facility at 9604 Baltimore Ave.  Early concepts for this multi-story building were presented to NCPCA on Sept. 14, 2017.  Possible NCPCA resolution in ‘New Business’.
8:15  Report – New Community Center in North College Park.  The NCPCA Community Center Committee Chairs Ms. Mary Cook and Ms. Christine Nagle will provide an update of the efforts of the committee established at the December 2017 NCPCA meeting.
8:20  Break & Refreshments.  Members are invited to bring something to share as we pause to enjoy a short break. 
8:30  Discussion – US 1 & Edgewood Road Afternoon Gridlock.  Member discussion of afternoon traffic problems at the intersection of US 1 and Edgewood Road.  Possible NCPCA resolution in ‘New Business’.  Note:  Discussion of Rhode Island traffic flow problems will be scheduled for the February 8 NCPCA meeting.
8:45  Discussion – City Budget.  Member discussion of City budget priorities and wish list of NCPCA members for the next year, so bring your ideas and concerns!
Jan
10
2018

January 28 – Family Fun Bowling Bash

Please join the City of College Park Rec Board for a bowling on Sunday, January 28 from 1-4pm at the AMF College Park Lanes. $5 a person for the first 100 who attend (includes shoes, bowling, pizza and soda). $10 for each person after. Hope to see you there!!!

Jan
9
2018

Please Help Find Danny DeHaven

A missing Beltsville, Maryland, man with dementia may have been picked up along Route 1 and dropped off in Anne Arundel County, and police are asking the public to be on the lookout.

Prince George’s County police tweeted Sunday night that Daniel “Danny” DeHaven, 65, may have been picked up last week by a driver who dropped him off in the 800 block of Annapolis Road in Gambrills.

Daniel “Danny” DeHaven, 65, went missing earlier this week. (Courtesy Prince George’s County Police)

DeHaven has been missing since Jan. 2, when he got separated from his wife while shopping at the Costco on Baltimore Avenue in Beltsville. He is nonverbal and is described as described as 5 feet 9 inches tall and 175 pounds.

Jan
7
2018

Water Main Break on Route 1

A water main break has occurred in the 9700 block of Baltimore Ave. Water and ice is reported and is affecting both lanes. One lane northbound is closed and both southbound lanes are opened. WSSC is aware of the break and is on the process of repairing the break. City contract police officers are assisting with traffic control. Department of Public Works is assisting with clearing the road and applying salt.

You can find more information here on WSSC’s website: https://www.wsscwater.com/contents/news/2018/update—january-7-wssc-working.html.

Please stay safe.

Jan
7
2018

City Seeks Input about Proposed Dog Park in North College Park

Next Thursday, January 11, the North College Park Community Association (NCPCA) will discuss a concept plan for a new dog park at Duvall Field.

$70,000 was included in the City budget to plan for a dog park in the current FY 2018 budget. The location of the proposed park is to the south of the new concession building, where the small softball field (“B” field) is located.

The City is interested to receive input of residents regarding the location, and Staff will be present to address questions, comments, and concerns from residents. The meeting will take place at Davis Hall at 7:30 pm.

Jan
6
2018

North College Park Crime Map: December 26, 2017 – January 2, 2018

Jan
4
2018

Potential Inclement Weather: Snow and Icy Conditions

Accu-Weather predicts snow will begin in our area between 11:00 PM today and 12:00 AM tomorrow across the Washington and Baltimore metro areas; the heaviest snow is forecasted to move into the area at 3:00 AM tomorrow (Thursday, January 4, 2018). The highest chances for snow will be near and east of Interstate 95. An accumulation of one to three inches is forecasted. Overnight temperatures on Thursday into Friday will be below freezing at 9°. Wind gusts are expected be between 30 and 40 mph on Thursday and Friday. If this threat does materialize during the Thursday morning rush-hour, many roads could quickly turn icy. This could lead to dangerous traveling conditions, accidents, and extensive delays. Plan ahead by allowing for extra travel time, and consider using public transportation and telework options.

Prince George’s County Government has a number of services available to assist our community and four legged friends.

Jan
3
2018

Pepco Seeks 4.18% Rate Hike

Yesterday, Pepco filed a request with the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) for approval to recover approximately $41.4 million for work done in 2017. Pepco said they’re seeking this hike in order “to enhance electric reliability, install modern equipment and meet the expectations of our customers.”

Based on today’s request, the typical Pepco residential customer in Maryland using 812 kilowatt hours per month would see a monthly bill increase of 4.18 percent increase, or about $5.14.

In a statement, Pepco said” Pepco has embraced the challenge of improving its systemwide reliability performance to meet more stringent standards set by the PSC and has made the appropriate investments. Pepco spent approximately $222.9 million in 2017 to maintain and improve the distribution system’s safety and reliability and improve customer service through projects such as replacing and improving aging equipment and installing advanced equipment to automatically identify and isolate issues and automatically restore
service to customers.”

Papeco claims that over the period of January 1, 2012 through December 31, 2017, Pepco’s Maryland customers have experienced a 46 percent reduction in average outage frequency and a 61 percent reduction in average outage duration.

Even with this proposed rate request, Pepco thinks that the typical residential customer bill would still be about 19 percent lower than it was in 2011, thanks to lower electricity supply costs, operating efficiencies and energy efficiency programs. Customers also are seeing quicker storm restorations because of the availability of additional utility resources.

Pepco also thinks that the recent tax-reform legislation will result in meaningfully lower tax costs for Pepco, and thus a lower cost of service that we will pass along to our customers in the form of rate reductions or offsets to
investments we are making or other costs we are incurring for the benefit of customers.

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