May
9
2016

Food Trucks May Soon Be Seen in College Park Downtown

At tomorrow’s City Council meeting, the Council will approve a resolution supporting aa letter inviting food trucks in downtown College Park.

College Park Ventures is preparing to submit an application for a food truck hub license to the Prince George’s County Department of Permitting, Inspections and Enforcement (DPIE) for the former Little Tavern site at 7413 Baltimore Avenue.

Recent county legislation allows food truck hubs to be located within a one-quarter mile radius of a Metro or MARC station with an approval of the property owner or on M-NCPPC property. Other locations require authorization by resolution of the County Council. If located within a municipality, a letter of support from the municipality is required.

The proposed College Park Food Truck Hub property is owned by the University of Maryland College Park Foundation (UMCPF) which has provided a letter of permission for use of the property.

County Resolution CR26-2016 supporting this location is scheduled to be acted upon on May 10, 2016. The DPIE application indicates that up to four trucks operating between the hours of 11:00 am – 9:00 pm from Monday through Sunday are being requested.

The City recently entered into a license agreement with UMCPF regarding maintenance and use of the subject property for parking and installed meters for five parking spaces. Use of the property for four food trucks would preclude the ability to have any on-site parking. The effect of the food truck hub on this agreement needs to be explored with the UMCPF.

There will potentially be a loss of revenue from meter fees and citations associated with the five on-site parking spaces.

I’ve also requested information about the possibility of including food trucks to our two farmers markets. I’ll keep you posted if there is any progress.

College Park Hubs

May
8
2016

Group to Host Composting Workshop

WORKSHOP: Composting In Your Backyard Sponsored by College Park Committee for a Better Environment (CBE)
WHEN: Saturday, May 14, 2016, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
WHERE: Old Parrish House, 4711 Knox Rd., College Park
PARKING PERMITS: We’ll supply one when you arrive at the location.

This one-hour workshop will focus on the basic principles of aerobic composting in your backyard. After the presentation, FREE compost bins will be given—while they last—to College Park residents who have registered for the workshop. (See below for registration information.)

OUR WORKSHOP LEADER: The presentation will be given by Ben Fischler, who has been composting his family’s yard debris and kitchen waste for 35 years. Over the last three years, while working to create local community-composting options in Prince George’s County, Ben has participated in detailed training about composting and is licensed by the Maryland Department of Agriculture in compost-facility operations.

REGISTRATION: If would like to attend this workshop, please RSVP to janiso@erols.com or leave a message at 240-888-6972. Also let her know if you want a free compost bin.

May
7
2016

City Wants to Hear from You About the Tax You will Pay Next Year

In the next fiscal year (starting July 2016), you will be paying more tax on your property. The increase is due to the fact that the triennial assessment of our properties is expected to go up. We plan to keep the tax rate the same – 33.50 cents per $100 of your property.

Our municipal tax rate is the third lowest from the bottom. Please see this chart showing how much we pay to the City (see slide 15)

Here is the official notice that has been published about the tax rate and the public hearing that will take place this coming Tuesday at 7:30 pm.

The Mayor & Council of the City of College Park, proposes to increase real property taxes.
1. For the tax year beginning July 1, 2016, the estimated real property assessable base will increase by 4.7%, from $2,198,756,013 to $2,302,813,683
2. If the City of College Park, Maryland maintains the current tax rate of $0.3350 per $100 of assessment, real property tax revenues will increase by 4.7% resulting in $348,593 of new real property tax revenues.
3. In order to fully offset the effect of increasing assessments, the real property tax rate should be reduced to $0.3199, the constant yield tax rate.
4. The City is considering not reducing its real property tax rate enough to fully offset increasing assessments. The City proposes to adopt a real property tax rate of $0.3350 per $100 of assessment. This tax rate is 4.7% higher than the constant yield tax rate and will generate $348,593 in additional property tax revenues

A public hearing on the proposed real property tax increase will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 in the Council Chambers, College Park City Hall, 4500 Knox Road, College Park, Maryland. The hearing is open to the public, and public testimony is encouraged.

Persons with questions regarding this hearing may call Stephen Groh, Director of Finance, at 240-487–3510 for further information

May
6
2016

Proposed Pedestrian Bridge Between Greenbelt and College Park Not Moving Forward

The much-discussed pedestrian overpass between College Park and Greenbelt is not going to happen, at least for now. Teh College Park City Council approved a location just south of Public Works property. Unfortunately, teh Greenbelt City Council decided not to build the overpass.

The Prince Georges County Planning Board approved the Greenbelt Station DSP resolution on April 14, 2016. This resolution approves Greenbelt Station with conditions but removes the condition for the pedestrian overpass. The Planning Board decided not to require the bridge since the municipalities involved (City of Greenbelt and the City of College Park) could not agree upon a location for the bridge. The City of Greenbelt opposed any pedestrian bridge, as did the applicant. The County Attorney ruled that since the cities could not agree on a final location, the condition requiring the overpass was not fulfilled and therefore could not be imposed.

The decision is rather unfortunate, because residents of both cities will lose an important connectivity option.

Our staff talked to Greenbelt staff numerous times. Staff also agreed on a recommended location based on these conversations. However, even though Greenbelt staff agreed with the location we recommended to the City Council, the City of Greenbelt’s Council voted that they simply do not want the pedestrian overpass period.

May
5
2016

Community Cleanup, Saturday, May 21

Please mark your calendar. I’m organizing a community cleanup on May 21. Please see below for details. May_21_2016-_Cleanup

May
4
2016

City Plans to Add More Security Cameras

At last night’s Council meeting, the City Council discussed a plan to add more security cameras throughout the city.

The City is planning to apply for grant money to buy five cameras. There of them are planned to be in north College Park. They will be at (1) Duvall Field on Trolley Trail Hiker/Biker Trail (2) Rhode Island Ave (Trolley Trail) @ Lackawanna Street and (3) Lackawanna Street and 53rd Avenue (Greenbelt Metro Station access)

The City is also planning to add two additional cameras in mid-town. They will be at Lakeland Road @ 48th Avenue and Berwyn House Road @ midpoint between Baltimore and Rhode Island Avenues c.

The City has invested in security camera systems using both grant funds and City funds. A Notice of Funds Available was issued during the week of April 25th by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) for FY17 grants. An application for a Phase 7 project has been prepared and will be submitted to GOCCP this summer.

To date, the City has installed 54 fixed (CCTV) and Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) cameras and 14 License Plate Recognition (LPR) cameras. There are 20-PTZ cameras and 7 LPR cameras distributed about Old Town, Calvert Hills, and Baltimore Avenue in Lakeland. These 27 cameras are monitored by UMPD Police. The 25 CCTV, 2-PTZ and 1-LPR cameras installed in the municipal garage are recorded on a server in City Hall. The remaining 1-CCTV, 6-PTZ and 6-LPR cameras are divided between College Park Woods, Hollywood, Berwyn and Lakeland. These store recorded video on-site. Each of these cameras has internet access to allow for downloading of data for police investigations.

The City executed a five year maintenance contract in 2013 with Hitachi (AVRIO), the City’s security camera installation and maintenance contractor, for $171,817. This contract will expire in 2018.

Representatives from Hitachi were at the Council worksession and demonstrated the operation of the most recently installed security cameras.
The City has invested $893,658 in installation costs for security cameras. Most of these funds ($728,353) were provided by GOCCP grants. A five year maintenance contract (2013-2018) cost $171,817. Air cards annually for internet access cost $4,800. The average annual cost of electricity over the last four fiscal years (FY13-FY15) is $4,500.

May
3
2016

College Park Bikeshare to Launch Tomorrow

College Park Bikeshare is going to be launched tomorrow. I took these pictures at the Lackawanna / 53rd ave location, just at the entrance of Greenbelt Metro path in north College Park. This station will be one of the 14 stations in the city. There will be another location on Rhode Island Avenue near the MoM/REI shopping complex. Please check http://zagster.com/mbike for more information.

Greenbelt station 1

Greenbelt station 2

May
2
2016

College Park 2017 Budget for Community Review

2017 Budget for Residents Review p1
2017 Budget for Residents Review p2

May
1
2016

Clavert Hill May Get a Community Garden

At next Tuesday’s Council worksesion, the City Council will discuss a proposed Calvert Hills community garden at the WMATA property, which sits just inside the City’s southern boundary, near the corner of Albion Road and Rhode Island Ave.

The area is located just south of where the Metrorail Green Line enters an underground tunnel. It is relatively open and gently sloping, but is enclosed by existing trees and vegetation. Access would be through the Trolley Trail right of way and a path that would need to be created from the trail to the garden.

This would always be a walk-in (or bike-in) garden as there is extremely limited parking on Albion Road and Rhode Island Avenue in that vicinity. Due to the long distance from the nearest water main or fire hydrant, this location is unlikely to be able to provide users with a convenient water supply.

Gardeners must be willing to provide their own water and transport it from Albion on foot. As part of the Cafritz development, the Trolley Trail will be graded and paved. Staff has requested the timetable for this work from the developer. Staff thinks construction and delivery of materials to the site will be challenging.

In addition, WMATA authorization for occasional access by small trucks onto the property to deliver supplies to the garden area is needed, as well as the ability to build a pathway from the Trolley Trail to the garden. Currently, construction activity of the stormwater facility and townhomes at the adjoining Cafritz property is generating significant dust that is incompatible with gardening.

License Terms WMATA has offered a no cost, four-year License term to the City. The use authorized by the License is to perform “Garden Work”, which is defined as the installation and maintenance of Licensee’s community garden. It is not clear whether this includes a fence.

WMATA has reserved the right to terminate the License during the fall or winter (outside of normal gardening season) with 60 days notice. At termination, the City would be required to remove all garden supplies from the property. The City would be required to maintain certain insurance levels and name WMATA as an additional insured on the City’s policy.

The License may prevent building a pathway to the garden. Amendments to the proposed License Agreement should be negotiated to clearly allow access for the initial construction, installation of a fence, occasional access by small trucks to deliver supplies. Based on prior experience, staff thinks negotiation of these revisions may require several months to be approved by WMATA.

Construction would likely require an additional allocation to the City’s Sustainability Initiatives CIP fund, with a total of $4,000. The Council will discuss whether to authorize staff to pursue an agreement with WMATA for the garden, but defer implementation at this time.

Apr
30
2016

Group Announces Memorial Day Celebration

When: Mon, May 30, 11:00 AM
Where: Corner of US Route 1 (Baltimore Avenue) and Greenbelt Road
What: The annual Memorial Day ceremony will be held at the College Park Veterans Memorial at the corner of US Route 1 (Baltimore Avenue) and Greenbelt Road at 11:00 a.m. This year we will be reading the names of those from College Park who lost their live in service of defending our country.

Before the start of the program, attendees can submit the name of those who are important to them and who also lost their live in service of defending our country. These name will be read during the program.

Attendees are encouraged to bring pictures of family members who served or are serving in the armed services. Old or damaged American flags will be collected to be properly disposed of by the American Legion. Parking will be available courtesy of the AMF Bowling Alley at 9021 Baltimore Ave.

Follow the event on Twitter: https://twitter.com/VMCOFCP

Apr
29
2016

It’s Tomorrow – Maryland Day, 2016

Apr
28
2016

North College Park Crime Map , April 16 – 26, 2016

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

 

Date Time Address Type
4/25/2016 5:36 PM 9600 Blk MILESTONE WAY, MD 20740 Stolen Vehicle
4/25/2016 3:52 PM 4700 Blk CHERRY HILL RD, MD 20740 Theft
4/4/23/2016 7:15 PM 9600 Blk MILESTONE WAY, MD 20740 Theft
4/20/2016 7:22 PM 4700 Blk CHERRY HILL RD, MD 20740 Theft
4/19/2016 12:56 PM 4700 Blk CHERRY HILL RD, MD 20740 Theft
4/24/2016 3:08 PM 9500 Blk BALTIMORE AVE, MD 20740 Theft from Auto
4/20/2016 8:37 PM 9000 Blk 50TH PL, MD 20740 Theft from Auto
Apr
27
2016

College Park’s Bikeshare to Launch Next Week

bikeshare2

invitation

Apr
26
2016

Primary Today – Please Vote!

primary-elections

Today is primary election day. No matter which party you belong to, please come and vote.

Polls are open now until 8 pm.

North College Park residents have three polling locations

  • Hollywood Elementary School
  • College Park United Methodist Church and
  • Church of the Nazarene

Please check your voter’s card or the Board of Elections website here if you are uncertain of your polling location

Apr
25
2016

Celebrate Arbor Day, 2016

arborday2016

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