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City Publishes 2016 Requested Budget

City Budget

City Budget

The FY2016 requested budget is now available. Bound copies and CDs are available for resident pickup at City Hall and Davis Hall.

The 2016 requested budget can also be found here on City’s website:

I will give a more detailed highlights of the budget, but here are some quick notes: 1. No hike in tax is proposed 2. Revenue will remain almost the same compared to the current fiscal year 3. A small increase (about 2%) is proposed for the COLA – cost of living adjustments.

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Today – Live Smart, Eat Local – Clarice Smith Director Martin Wollesen!

Our March Live Smart, Eat Local event with The Clarice Executive Director Martin Wollesen is today! Please see below for details
livesmart-march2015

MD State Approves Highway User Revenue Funds

Great news!
The representative of the Maryland Municipal League (MML) told us last Thursday that, the Maryland Senate voted unanimously to approve the State of Maryland Fiscal 2016 Budget (HB 70) which INCLUDES the $19 million set aside for MUNICIPAL transportation funding needs allocated through the HUR (Highway User Revenue) formula.
Cities and towns use the HUR funds to build and repair local roads and bridges. In recent years the funds have been reduced due to recession.
This is a $3 million increase over current year allocation. Since the Senate and House language in the budget bill  regarding the $19 million match, this item should NOT be in play during the upcoming Conference Committee discussions on the budget. This is VERY GOOD NEWS!

County Proposes 15% Property Tax Hike


The Prince George’s County Executive has recently proposed to raise property tax rates by 15% for the first time in 35 years and includes layoffs and furloughs, all to free up more funding for schools, public safety and economic development.

Above are links and a 28-page document on the proposed budget. The website address immediately below has a 30-minute video on the budget and the full budget documents.

The City has invited our County Council representatives to come and discuss the proposed tax hike at the April 7 worksession. I will let you know if it’s confirmed.

Annual Bulk Recycling Starts April 4

Got junk?

Got junk?

The Public Works Department is open the first 4 Saturdays in April ( April 4, 11, 18 and 25) from 7:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. for City residents to drop off trash and recycling.

This is the only time you may bring items to Public Works for disposal (other than used motor oil).

The following items will be accepted:

  • Bulk trash
  • Yard trim
  • Brush, branches, and stumps
  • Electronics
  • Styrofoam®: molded block foam only, no food/beverage containers or packing peanuts
  • Scrap metal
  • Community Forklift donations
  • American Rescue Worker donations
  • Document shredding: only available during one cleanup event per year. Please check below for the next shredding event.

There may be a charge for A/C units, heat pumps, dehumidifiers, refrigerators, and freezers. There is a $4 charge for each tire.

Household hazardous waste (including shingles and propane tanks) will NOT be accepted.

Proof of City residency is required.

College Park Woods Community Pool Gets Second Higher Water Bill

The problem came about when WSSC installed a new meter and all the readings are conducted at their central office. The Pool Board plans to meet with a WSSC advocate today to discuss the bills in question.

City to Host Complete Streets Workshop

street

North College Park Crime Map: March 15, 21, 2015

[mappress mapid=”216″]
Breaking and Entering Residential

Event

Type

From

To

Location

[3/18/15] BREAKR 18:24 19:44 9700 Blk NARRAGANSETT PKY,


Theft from Auto

 

Event

Type

From

To

Location

[3/15/15] THEFTA 11:15 11:38 9600 Blk BALTIMORE AVE,
[3/19/15] THEFTA 05:14 06:31 9100 Blk RHODE ISLAND AVE,
[3/19/15] THEFT 10:20 10:59 9800 Blk RHODE ISLAND AVE,

The following citizen robbery occurred on February 25, 2015. There was an error  when the Crime stat was originally sent for Northern College Park. It was brought to my attention that the Crime Stats were reported inaccurately. However, the error has been corrected.

Citizen Robbery

Event

 

Type

From

To

Location

[2/24/15]
[2/24/15] ROBCIT 19:39 20:27 LACKAWANNA ST/NARRAGANSETT PKY,

Gateway Park Development Hit with Delay

The Gateway Park development at the south east corner of  Edgewood Rd and Route 1 has been hit by an uncertainty with the State’s Program Open Space fund. Even though the City has the grant money, it needs State’s approval to spend.
the Board of Public Works made approximately $400 million in cuts to agencies’ general fund budgets for the remaining fiscal year. The Department of Budget and Management and the Governor stated that these reductions are necessary due to reductions in revenue estimates for this current FY 2015.
The total reduction statewide is $8.1 million, of which Prince George’s County will lose approximately $1.8 million.  Since College Park represents approximately 3.52 % of the total County population, the City’s portion of the cut will be $64,127.  Not including this anticipated cut (a budget reconciliation bill must be passed in the current session), and the City’s Program Open Space funds that are already encumbered, the City at the end of FY14 had approximately $2 million in total Program Open Space funding (for both acquisition and development).
I’ll keep you posted as I find more.
Update [3/27/2015]: We’ve got some update yesterday afternoon. Staff told us that the State is now accepting applications from municipalities to obligate the Program Open Space (POS) grant money. The City plans to submit application soon for the final approval so that it can obligate any unencumbered funds for the Hollywood Gateway Park. Staff will also work on the acquisition of the area at the entrance of the proposed park. The owner of the lot is cooperating so far.
The project has not been bid so we don’t know for sure if we have enough funds.  Allocating $76,000 in FY16 POS funds would certainly help .  The developer contribution from the Greenbelt Station project has been received and is available.
If everything goes well and we get all the funds, construction may start as early as this Fall.

In Pictures – 2015 College Park Book Festival

What Does the Purple Line Mean for College Park?: A Forum for Students and Residents

Purple line

Join the SGA Student Sustainability Committee on Tuesday, March 31st to engage in a forum on the Maryland Transit Administration’s Purple Line project. The Purple Line would have major implications for the University of Maryland and surrounding communities, servicing 21 stops between Prince George’s County and Montgomery County. The infrastructure project could generate as many as 6,300 jobs and remove 17,000 cars a day from our roadways. But, not everyone is supportive.

A panel of experts and stakeholders including College Park Mayor Andrew Fellows, Leslie Henderson of Prince George’s Advocates for Community-Based Transit, Michael Madden of the Maryland Transit Administration, and John Fitzgerald, a practicing lawyer and an opponent of the Purple Line from Chevy Chase, will speak regarding the project at 7pm in the Prince George’s Room in Stamp.
Come to learn about how this project will affect you, and bring questions! RSVP to the Facebook event here.

Pepco Giving Away 1,500 Free Trees to Local Customers

Energy Saving Trees

Energy Saving Trees

Pepco is providing 1,500 free trees to customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia through the Energy-Saving Trees program. It’s the fifth year of the Pepco-Arbor Day Foundation partnership that provides two trees per household while supplies last. This year, the free trees are more developed as they’re lightly branched and 2 to 4 feet in height. The Energy-Saving Trees program helps customers conserve energy and reduces household electricity bills through strategic tree planting. Pepco customers can reserve up to two free trees by visiting www.arborday.org/pepco or by calling 1-855-670-2771. The types of trees offered are Eastern redbud, Crapemyrtle, Northern red oak, red maple and river birch, which will be delivered directly to the customer at an ideal time for planting.

“Our Energy-Saving Trees program is another way that Pepco is committed to helping our customers continue to conserve energy as well as improve the environment,” said Donna Cooper, Pepco region president. “By strategically planting the right trees in the right places, we help maintain a balance between the aesthetics of the tree canopy and the reliability of the electric distribution system while also offering our customers energy reductions.”

An online tool can help Pepco customers find the most strategic location for planting and estimate the annual savings that will result from the tree. The Energy-Saving Trees online tool was created by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Davey Institute, a division of the Davey Tree Expert Co., and uses peer-reviewed scientific research from the USDA Forest Service’s i-Tree Software to calculate estimated benefits. This tool requires an up-to-date internet browser. If customers experience an issue, we ask them to please call (855) 670-2771, for help.

For more information and updates, visit www.pepco.com, follow us on Facebook and Twitter at PepcoConnect, and download our mobile app at www.pepco.com/mobileapp.

City Needs Your Feedback for Future Direction

College Park seeks your comments for its future direction

As the draft College Park strategic plan is now ready, the City is looking for your comments on how you want to see the City to progress in the next 5 years.

Please attend the Public Forum in the Council Chambers at 7:00 P.M. on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 to comment on the draft 2020 strategic plan.

Also, consider holding a “Meeting in a Box” with a few neighbors or others to discuss the draft plan and provide comments electronically. See the link below–the process is very easy, and staff can provide copies of the documents.

All comments should be submitted by April 10.
In case you do not have time to organize the “meeting in a box” group meetings, please use this form to submit your comments. According to our staff, the Google Doc form was developed to submit comments from the Meeting in a Box, but it can also be used if someone prefers to submit individual comments.

The form is here:

And here is the link to the draft strategic plan:

This “environmental scan” document should help you to find some important data and trend on key activities in College Park:

Additionally, you can come to the March 24 forum to talk about the plan (details below).

In Pictures – the Revised UMD Hotel Design

The developer came to last night’s Council worksession and presented the revised UMD Hotel design. Here are some of the design schematics. I must say the new design is much more attractive than the previous one. As I wrote earlier, the developer has agreed to reduce the height of the buildings from 13 stories to 10 stories to comply with the aviation rules.Hotel-Mar-17-5

Seniors Spring Luncheon at College Park Youth and Family Center

Nate Sullivan, Park and Planning Director of the College Park Youth Services Center in North College Park is hosting a Seniors Spring Luncheon on April 7th from 10 am – noon at 4912 Nantucket Road.

In addition to the lunch, Nate will be gathering information from attendees about their interests as well as type of events or clubs they would like.

Please spread the word. He is hoping for a good showing and that it will generate a lot of ideas that he can develop.

Please see below for more details about the event.
senior-spring-lunch-2015

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