The College Park City-University Partnership (“CPCUP”) announced this week a new Home Ownership Program to increase the number of University of Maryland employees living in the community they work, as outlined in the University District Vision 2020.
The CPCUP Home Ownership Program offers $15,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance to full-time, benefits eligible University employees who purchase a home in College Park.
Additional home ownership incentive programs, such as the Maryland Mortgage Program or its “You’ve Earned It” initiatives, and the City of College Park’s $5,000 Home Ownership Grants, may be coupled with this program, if the homebuyer is eligible.
CPCUP thinks that this program is designed to increase homeownership in College Park, incentivizing employees of the area’s largest employer to live near work, reduce commutes, contribute to our local community both day and night, and boost our local economy. These are goals outlined in the University District Vision 2020 – a shared Vision of the City, University and Partnership for College Park to be a top 20 college town by 2020.
The program is made possible through a Community Legacy grant from Maryland’s Department of Housing and Community Development and a matching grant from the University of Maryland
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With the Gazette shutting down, I came across a lively discussion on our list-serve about having a City -wide newsletter. The City Council discussed the topic last year as part of the overall discussion on City’s communication strategy. I pulled some data staff presented at time and thought will be helpful in guiding our current discussion the newsletter.
The City currently pays approximately $35,000 annually ($1,500 per issue) to the Gazette for layout, design and printing of the Municipal Scene, which is published on the second and final week of the month as a full-page color insert. The City Clerk’s office submits copy to the Gazette four days prior to publication which allows us to include timely information. The agreement with the Gazette includes space for the weekly City calendar.
The Gazette is delivered to all single-family residences in the City (and beyond, to the entire northern P.G. County) and copies are also placed at various locations. The Municipal Scene content includes summaries of Council actions, City events, program announcements and hearing notices.
Please see below a chart summarizing how the newsletters are produced and delivered in our neighboring cities.
All of our neighboring municipalities produce city newsletters. Laurel and Bowie provide them electronically and hard copies at certain locations, although Bowie is now considering mailing its newsletters to residents. The other municipalities mail their newsletters. Two of the cities provide the newsletters every month, while the other cities send them every other month or quarterly. Two of the newsletters are four pages, and the rest are between 10 and 24 pages.
Greenbelt and Hyattsville pay for space in a local newspaper to provide City-created news information in that paper. Each also mails a newsletter to residents (quarterly for Greenbelt, and monthly for Hyattsville). Bowie produces a 16-page newsletter (Bowie Spotlight) six times a year; a 12-page seniors newsletter every month; and a Recreation newsletter every month. Takoma Park mails a 12-page monthly newsletter to all residents (single-family and multifamily). It is edited by an outside contractor, and the total cost is about $75,000. Laurel produces two 10-page quarterly newsletters and a Parks and Recreation newsletter twice a year. Only the Parks and Recreation newsletter is mailed.
College Park has about 5000 single family houses. New Carrollton currently spends $35,000 / year (same as College Park’s annual budget with the Gazette) to print and deliver to 5000 houses and businesses. Thus if we decide to print and deliver to all of City’s single facility houses, cost will be comparable to what we’re currently spending on the Gazette. If some residents / businesses opt not to have the print copy (as it will be emailed also), the newsletter budget should even go down.
Maryland’s transportation chief Pete Rahn has reportedly recommended his boss MD Governor Mr. Hogan to approve the Purple line, if the cost is lowered, the Washington Post is reporting.
The low cost proposal would include reducing the number of stations and run the trains less frequently. Supporters of Purple line think these options will impact negatively on the ridership and economic development.
Hogan is reviewing the options, the pros and cons, and will make the decision sometime this month, the Post reported.
School is almost finished and summer is here – at least it feels like it! We have some great programs for Father’s Day Weekend and throughout the summer! Don’t miss our summer sale in the Museum Shop – 15% off your entire purchase from June 19 – July 3!
Part I – Egg Drop Challenge
Saturday, June 20 at 12 Noon
FREE admission for contestants!
Regular admission applies for “Support Team”
Participate in the first of three Engineering Challenges!
Design your own contraption to protect a large egg and bring it to the museum to see how it performs! At high Noon, challengers drop their device from the museum’s mezzanine (a 20 foot drop). Points will be awarded based on egg survival as well as lightness, ease of operation and creativity. Prizes will be awarded!
Devices must not use glass or any other material that poses a safety hazard. They must allow for easy insertion and removal of the egg. Devices that are smaller than 5”x5”x5” will receive bonus points. Grade A Large Eggs will be provided the day of the contest.
Questions? Please call the museum at 301-864-6029 or email by clicking HERE.
Paper Airplane Day
Sunday, June 21
Noon – 4 pm
Free with museum admission
Show us your paper airplane making skills! Build a paper airplane and test it to see how well it flies. Compete in our annual paper airplane derby at 3 p.m.
1,000 cranes for the College Park Aviation Museum!
Starts Sunday, June 21
Noon – 4 pm
Free with museum admission
The ancient Japanese legend of a Thousand Paper Cranes ensures that the person who folds a thousand origami cranes will receive eternal good luck. Our Biological Flyers of College Park Exhibit has encouraged us to look beyond planes at our flying friends and how their bodies are shaped for flight.
Help bring luck to the College Park Aviation Museum, and our local Biological Flyers, by folding paper cranes in the museum. We will keep offering visitors the chance to make cranes until we reach 1,000! Instructions and origami paper will be provided.
Neighborhood Watch is a safety program for citizens by citizens to watch for and report suspicious and criminal activities. It’s a great way to get in touch with your neighbors. Please sign up for a FREE training course. There is one tonight and one this Saturday.
What: NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH BASIC ACADEMY TRAINING
When: THURSDAY, JUNE 11, 2015 – 7:00 P.M. TO 10:00 P.M.
SATURDAY, JUNE 13, 2015 – 9:00 A.M. TO 12:00 P.M.
Where: LOWER LEVEL CONFERENCE ROOM, CITY HALL, 4500 KNOX ROAD
To register for one of these sessions, or for more information, please contact Public Services at 240-487-3570 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Starting next week, changes will occur to select areas of the refuse/recycling/yard trim collection routes in College Park. Public Works has gone door-to-door and left a doorhanger explaining the changes to those homes and businesses affected by the revised daily collection routes. Not all residents will be affected by this change. The changes are being made to some portions of the current Wednesday route ONLY.
The following areas are changing to MONDAY collection:
- Autoville South neighborhood
- Autoville North neighborhood
- Cherry Hill neighborhood
- East side of Rhode Island Ave from Branchville Rd to Geronimo St
- 9400 block of Rhode Island Ave (east side only)
- 9400 block of 50th Pl
- 9400 block of 51st Ave
NOTE: If you put your carts out on Huron St, your collection day will remain Wednesday.
The following areas are changing to TUESDAY:
- Sunnyside neighborhood
- 5000 block of Edgewood Rd (EVEN NUMBERS ONLY – odd numbers remain on Wednesday)
- 5000 & 5100 block of Nantucket Rd
- 5000 block of Niagara Rd
- 5000 block of Ontario Rd
- 9900 & 10000 block of Rhode Island Ave
- 9900 & 10000 block of 51st Ave
Please view the revised collection map to see if your collection day is changing. If you’re still unsure whether you will be affected by the change, or have any other questions, please call or email Public Works with your address: 240-487-3590; email@example.com.
The meeting will start with the Annual election of officers for NCPCA. Members will elect the next Members officers for next year.
After the election, members will hear a presentation on the Water Line Replacement Project in our neighborhood. Representatives from WSSC will provide information about the upcoming water line replacement project in the Daniels Park area.
Members will then hear from a presentation from the Branchville Fire Department. Representatives will provide an overview of the history of the Branchville fire house, fire safety tips for warm weather, and concerns the fire company has about potential impacts of the proposed the Branchville Crossing development.
Finally, Eric Olson, the Executive Director of the City University Partnership (CPCUP) will provide an update on what the CPCUP is currently working on for College Park.
As always, the meeting will start at 7.30pm at Davis Hall. See you all there.
Here is the letter on the Rt. 1 undergrounding we’ll consider approving at tomorrow’s meeting. We’re truly disappointed that the undergrounding is not going to happen after spending $150,000 of our residents’ tax dollars
Acting Administrator State Highway Administrator
707 North Calvert Street Baltimore, Maryland 21202
Re: Reconstruction of US 1
Dear Mr. Simmons:
In a letter dated May 18, 2015 to Mayor Fellows, SHA explained that a letter of commitment from the City of College Park to fund the undergrounding of utilities was needed by June 8, 2015 in order to maintain the current project schedule. This request was made at the same time meetings were being held between SHA, Senator Rosapepe and Mayor Fellows in order to more fully understand the design elements of the project as well as issues surrounding construction funding and timing. In fact, the city is still engaged with SHA on these matters and looks forward to a presentation to the City Council on August 5, 2015.
The City is surprised and disappointed that we have been given this deadline without having the underground design completed and the opportunity to explore funding through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) discretionary grant program. When the city executed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with SHA last August, it was our expectation that aerial and underground plans would be designed concurrently and would be able to be compared side by side. Work on these plans by KCI Technologies did not begin until December 2014 and the only meeting to discuss these plans (30%) with the city was held on March 31, 2015 at city staff’s request. The City is in receipt of documentation showing that 33% of the work associated with the project was completed at the end of February even though invoices received and paid by the city through April total only $51,273 or 17% of the estimated cost of these services.
It is distressing to learn now that a decision on funding undergrounding utilities must be made before the design process is completed and in order to engage utility companies in the design process. This was certainly not the city’s understanding when the MOU was signed and there is nothing in the MOU language that would indicate this to be the case. Under the circumstances, however, the city must ask that SHA terminate the undergrounding design and incur no further financial obligations under the MOU.
It has always been the City’s goal to obtain the best possible outcome for this project, and we sincerely believe that placing the utilities underground would help to make the reconstruction of Route 1 an exceptional complete streets project that all stakeholders could be proud of. We will continue to work with your staff to ensure that this is a model project, even without undergrounding, that addresses the multi-modal needs of the community and enhances the sense of place along the corridor.
Andrew M. Fellows
Please see below last week’s crime map and let me know if you have any questions.
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At 7PM Friday , June 19 law enforcement officials from the University of Maryland Department of Public Safety (UMPD), Prince Georgeʼs County Police Department (PGPD), and Maryland-National Capital Park Police will team up with local youth for a basketball tournament at the College Park Community Center (5051 Pierce Ave. in College Park) as the feature event for the Centerʼs popular Extreme Teens program. The first game will feature community youth playing alongside police officers on mixed teams.
During the event, PGPD COPS Officer Jaron Black and UMPD Lieutenant August Kenner will address youth on law enforcement-related topics. The halftime show will feature giveaways and skill drills for youth of all ages. The game will also feature a guest appearance by Sonia Chase, UMD alumni, former WNBA player and CEO of Chase Your Dreams Inc. a basketball instruction company that helps players to develop elite basketball skills and prepare them for next-level opportunities!
The event is part of a series of basketball games that takes place quarterly. The CP Dream Team program, designed to decrease crime by encouraging youth to engage in positive behaviors through mentoring and education from police officers.
The C.P. Dream Team has benefitted in its design and implementation from the support of former Assistant Chief of Police for Prince George’s County Police Department Kevin Davis and Chief of Police of UMD Public Safety Department, David Mitchell. These games have been possible thru the collaboration from the leadership of the participating law enforcement agencies, Park & Recreation, as well as from the leaders in College Parkʼs Lakeland neighborhood where the Dream Team’s target population resides. The program was designed by four law enforcement officials with experience in community/police basketball programs at the core of the Dream Team’s planning committee.
Event sponsors include the Embry Center for Family Life, a community-based non-profit housed in Lakeland, the Office of Community Engagement, University of Maryland Department of Public Safety, Maryland Athletics, the Prince Georgeʼs County Police Department, Maryland National Capital Park Police, and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.