North College Park Crime Map: January 26 – Feb 3, 2018

Address Type
4800 Blk Edgewood RD Theft from auto
9100 Blk Baltimore Ave Theft
5000 Blk Odessa RD Theft
9300 Blk Cherry Hill RD Theft from Auto
9300 Blk Cherry Hill RD Theft from Auto
9300 Blk Cherry Hill RD Theft from Auto
9300 Blk Cherry Hill RD Theft from Auto

Council to Discuss Second Phase of Duvall Field Development

The Council will discuss the second and final phase of the Duvall Field development project. Duvall Field is the home of the College Park Boys and Girls Club, and has seen countless games of youth soccer, football and lacrosse played on its fields. It is also a great community space as events like National Night Out and Night at the Movies have been held there.

As part of the first phase of the renovation of the Duvall Field facilities, the old concession stand was torn down and a brand new beautiful concession building was erected in its place. The plaza has also been upgraded with tons of added seating areas as well as state-of-the-art stormwater management and bio-retention features. The project has been supported by the State and our State legislative delegation with Program Open Space and Bond Bill Funds.

A state bond bill was requested in 2017 to replace the existing field lighting and $150,000 was received. The State agreement in the bill is broadly worded to include planning, design, construction, reconstruction and capital equipping for Duvall Field. A comprehensive improvement plan was previously prepared for this facility over 10 years ago but is now out of date and should be revisited.

Staff believes that the important next step is to determine the amenities and facilities to be included in the park, the construction phasing and allocation of funding. This could be accomplished by retaining a parks and recreation design firm to prepare a new conceptual plan for Duvall with input from the community.

It is likely that the field area south of the concessions building would be the next phase for design and construction with the area to the north that includes the playground and parking as the third and final phase.


6th Annual College Park Book Festival, 2018


Council to Get Debrief on 2017 City Election

The Mayor and Council typically conduct an election debrief with the Board of Election Supervisors after each election.

Following the 2017 City election, the Council will discuss a few items withCity’s Board of Election Supervisors (BOES)

Here are a few items the Council will discuss:

  1. Electioneering; prohibited practices
  2. Campaigning, door-to-door time limits
  3. Meet and Greet with food (“things of value”)
  4. Formal monetary limit for advertising/gifts (“things of value”)
  5. Contributions and expenditures; prohibited practices:
  6. Political Committee – Campaign Fund
  7. Candidate Residence vs. Candidate as a Registered Voter
  8. Late Fee for Campaign Finance Reports
  9. Early Voting
  10. Voting Centers
  11. On-Campus Polling Location
  12. Candidate Signs:
  13. Paying for Voter Registration

Problems with Mail Deliveries? Post Office’s Informed Delivery Service May Help!

Many of the residents have shared not so great experiences with the College Park Post Office.

Here is a piece of information about a great service that the Post Office has been offering. The service called the “Informed Delivery® by USPS®” that allows you to digitally preview your mail and manage your packages scheduled to arrive soon! Informed Delivery allows you to view greyscale images of the exterior, address side of letter-sized mailpieces and track packages in one convenient location.

Here is one caveat for this service. Images are only provided for letter-sized mailpieces that are processed through USPS’ automated equipment.

Here’s the link: https://informeddelivery.usps.com/box/pages/intro/start.action. Registration is completely free.


Vote for College Park Proteus!

Proteus has been nominated for WABAs Bicyclist Choice Awards Best Bike Shop and best social ride again.
WABA’s voting categories include:
1. Best Bike Shop in 2017
2. Best Social Ride in 2017
3. Bike friendliest business in 2017
4. Best Improvement for Biking in 2017 in Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia

The voting closes on 2/2 at midnight. Here is the link: http://www.waba.org/events/washington-area-bicyclists-choice-awards/


Council Sets Top Priorities for the Year

The City Council held a Council retreat last weekend. Among a few things, it discussed a list of items that the Council should work on a priority basis for the next year.

The Council will continue to work on the existing items, such as City Hall, Hollywood commercial Streetscape, Gateway Park, and College Park Woods Pool, however, it also a voted to set priorities from a list of new items. The top priority new items include (1) Charter Amendment (extending Council term to 4 years) (2) completion of the Trolley Trail and the bike/pedestrian connectivity, early redistricting etc. Other items that were on the new list, but the Council did not make to the top of the list include (1) Police study implementation (2) Community / senior center (3) Duvall Field improvements (3) feasibility study concerning building codes (4) Pay As You Throw and bulk trash study (5) Stormwater issues and drainage (6) Parking study (7) Business recycling program (8) Business recognition program (9) Improvements of Farmers MArket.

As I noted to the Mayor and Council earlier, it’d have been better if the Council made an effort to incorporate residents’ input about the list we worked on. We should have given the residents an opportunity about how they want to spend their tax dollars on items they think most or least important to them. For example, the matter of extending Council term to 4 years may not be as important as other items in the list, such as adding more amenities (senior/community center), or Duvall Field reconstruction. The decision of prioritizing the list was a significant one, as the City will be spending staff time and budget money according to the top priorities set at the retreat. It’s our general practice to seek residents’ input before we make major decisions.


Congratulations to all Winners and Nominees from the Spencer Harris Awards!

The annual City of College Park Spencer Harris Awards ceremony recognizes the hard work and exemplary service of our Department of Public Works (DPW) employees. The awards ceremony also recognizes safe driving by City staff.

Named after Spencer Harris, a DPW employee who brought excellence to his position and dedicated almost twenty years to the department, the namesake award is given to a DPW employee who has gone above and beyond the call of service.

Thank you and congratulations to all winners and nominees for your hard work, dedication and exemplary service!

[Source: City of College Park]


North College Park Crime Map – January 16 – 20, 2018

Address Type
9700 Blk Narragansett PKY Theft from auto
9800 Blk 53RD AVE Stolen Veh
9100 Blk Baltimore AVE Theft
5200 Blk Edgewood RD Stolen Veh

Community Meeting to Discuss Bozzuto Development

The District 3 councilmembers are holding a meeting for their constituents in the City Hall Council Chambers Wednesday night at 7 pm. They have been kind enough to invite any members of the College Park community who would like to attend.

The Bozzuto team will make a presentation and there will be plenty of pictures. The tax incremental financing (TIF) will also be discussed. I encourage you to take this opportunity to some of your questions by the parties involved.


Council to Discuss Public Safety Report

Over the past year, the City engaged the consultant group the Police Foundation to assess the public safety situation in College Park and explore ways to improve it. The comprehensive review conducted by the Police Foundation assessment team consisted of examining the current contracts and memoranda of understanding for policing services in College Park; analyzing available crime data, calls-for-service records, and other resources provided by the City and the law enforcement agencies with jurisdiction in College Park; and, gathering input from law enforcement representatives, College Park and Prince George’s County government officials, business and neighborhood leaders, and community members through surveys, interviews, focus groups, and town halls.

The assessment team used the information to evaluate four options:
(a) remaining with the current policing structure;
(b) modifying the City’s existing relationship for officers and additional services with the PGPD;
(c) entering into a new contract with another local police department within Prince George’s County and
(d) establishing a standalone College Park Police Department (CPPD).

The report concludes that College Park should consider remaining under the current policing structure in the short-term, with the long-term goal of establishing a standalone College Park police department in the future. Developing a CPPD would unequivocally provide the strongest solutions, because it would not require the City to rely on another entity or department for policing services. Additionally, having a police department staffed by employees working for the city and wholly committed to College Park would directly benefit community members and merchants and provide them a dedicated set of officers with whom to build relationships and to partner create public safety together.

The report recommends having the City its own police department as a long-term goal, the City can spread out the start-up costs across multiple budget cycles, and apply for State and federal law enforcement grants to cover some cost. It also recommends creating a committee of City officials and business and community leaders to develop a long-term plan in establishing City’s own police department.

At tonight’s meeting, the Council is expected to discuss the various recommendations in the report and a plan to implement them in the short and long run.


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.


Crime Solvers Poster/Citizen Robbery


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.


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).

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