KabirCares.org
Jun
6
2020

Mosquito Spraying is Cancelled for the Season

The City received notification from Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) Mosquito Control Section that they will not be conducting the adult mosquito control spray portion of their program this season.

The Department of Public Works staff contacted our local County mosquito control representative at MDA to inquire further about the cancellation and was told budget constraints and COVID-19 are the primary reasons for the program changes. The mosquito control section is not permitted to hire summer staff, which assist with the adult spray portion of the program. They anticipate being able to conduct larviciding activity in areas of known standing water until they exhaust their supply of insecticide; they have not been authorized to purchase more product.

Residents can still report high populations of mosquitos via MDA’s online form here.

[City of College Park]

Jun
5
2020

Council to Discuss and Adopt Resolution following Homicide Incident of George Floyd

At the last City Council meeting, I asked my Council colleagues to adopt a resolution renouncing systematic racism following the brutal homicide of George Floyd. We hope to adopt this (draft) resolution at the next Council meeting. I’m also working to host a (virtual) listening session to get your ideas on how we can improve race relations in College Park. I’ll let you know once this is finalized.
========================

RESOLUTION OF THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF COLLEGE PARK RENOUNCING SYSTEMIC RACISM AND DECLARING SUPPORT OF BLACK LIVES

WHEREAS the Mayor and Council acknowledge that certain public policies have created wide disparities of well-being and opportunity among Black people in College Park and throughout the United States; and

WHEREAS many of these policies and actions have led to systemic racism in our community and country; and

WHEREAS the enormous consequence of systemic racism in our community and across the country is that opportunities for employment, housing, safety, wealth, education, health, and other conditions of life quality have been denied or diminished for Black people; and

WHEREAS Black people are rightly outraged by this country’s devaluation of Black life and humanity; and

WHEREAS Black people have been targeted, profiled, injured and murdered by law enforcement throughout this country at inexplicable rates, and

WHEREAS The City of College Parks is comprised of 15% Black residents; and

WHEREAS these residents deserve justice, fair treatment, and recognition of their valuable contributions to our community without fear.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of College Park must explicitly, directly, consciously, and painstakingly seek out and confront systemic racism; and it is further

RESOLVED that the City of College Park will examine our history and all current policies and programs for evidence of disparate impact based on race and ethnicity, and it is further

RESOLVED that we will determine if any of our actions, deliberate or unintended, create barriers to equal participation and opportunity for Black people in our community; and it is further

RESOLVED that the Mayor and Council will actively involve and learn from Black people so that we can collectively create policies and practices eliminating barriers to participation, equality, and opportunity; it is further

RESOLVED that the Mayor and Council believe that Black Lives Matter.

ADOPTED by the Mayor and City Council of the City of College Park, Maryland, at a regular meeting on June 9, 2020, and effective immediately.

Jun
4
2020

Boards and Committees Application Deadline Extended

Volunteers Wanted
Are you interested in serving on a City Advisory Board?
Applications extended to August 1, 2020
Serve your community, lend your talents, and meet your neighbors. The following advisory boards have vacancies:
  • Advisory Planning Commission -1 Vacancy (District 1 or 4)
  • Animal Welfare Committee – 4 Vacancies (District 2, 3 or 4)
  • Bee City USA – 9 Vacancies (all Districts, or someone who works in the City)
  • Board of Election Supervisors – 1 Vacancy (at large)
  • Committee for a Better Environment – 13 Vacancies (all Districts)
  • Education Advisory Committee – 2 Vacancies (District 1 & 2)
  • Ethics Commission – 1 Vacancy (District 4)
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Committee Between 1 – 5 vacancies (District 3 and 4)
  • Noise Control Board – 1 Vacancy (District 2)
  • Recreation Board 2 Vacancies (District 1 & 2)
  • Seniors Committee – 2 Vacancies (any District)
  • Veterans Memorial Committee – Up to 7 Vacancies (2 members from District 2; 1 member from Districts 3 and 4 all districts)
Interested in volunteering? Please complete and submit an application to jsmiller@collegeparkmd.gov or to your to your City Council representative by August 1, 2020.
For detailed information on City advisory boards, please click here.
For additional information regarding vacancies, please contact the City Clerk’s office, your City Council representative or visit our website at www.collegeparkmd.gov/186/Boards-Commissions
Jun
3
2020

Metro Suspends Service Due to D.C. Protests

The information below was sent to us from WMATA early this week. The advisory will end by the end of this week:

In the interest of public safety and in light of an announced 7 p.m. citywide curfew in the District of Columbia, all Metrorail and Metrobus service will end earlier than normal today, Monday, June 1. The rail system will close one hour early, at 8 p.m., and Metrobus service will end two hours early, at 9 p.m.

Customers are advised of the following service changes:

Metrorail will close at 8 p.m. (one hour early). Last trains will depart downtown transfer stations at that time. Inbound service (toward downtown) will end earlier than 8 p.m. Please adjust your travel. Alternate transportation will not be provided.

Metrobus service will be suspended systemwide at 9 p.m. Buses that are scheduled to begin service at or after 9 p.m. will not operate. However, buses that are already in service at 9 p.m. will continue operating to the end of the line before going out of service.

MetroAccess will not begin any new trips (i.e. “outbound” service from customers’ residences) after 9 p.m. Customers with existing reservations will be contacted by the MetroAccess service center.
These changes apply to Monday, June 1, only. Metro will announce any additional adjustments as necessary.

As a reminder, current Metro service levels are reduced and capacity is extremely limited due to the Covid-19 pandemic and social distancing guidelines. Customers should consider alternate travel options whenever possible and use Metro only if necessary for essential needs.

Jun
2
2020

Primary Election- How to Vote Today?

​Hopefully, most of you have received your “vote by mail” ballots for TODAY’s June 2, 2020 Primary. There are three safe, convenient ways to vote:

1. Mail in your ballot so it is postmarked today, Tuesday, June 2.
2. Drop off your ballot at a voting site by 8 PM today at the drop boxes at the 4 election sites below. College Park Community Center is one on the list.
3. Vote in person by 8 PM today.

​College Park Community Center
​5051 Pierce Ave.
​College Park, MD

​City of Bowie Gymnasium
​4100 Northview Dr.
​Bowie, MD 20716

​Southern Regional Technology & Recreation Center
​7007 Bock Rd.
​Fort Washington, MD

​Kentland Community Center
​2413 Pinebrook Ave.
​Hyattsville, MD

WE’RE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO PRACTICE SOCIAL DISTANCING AND VOTE!!

Jun
1
2020

What are Re-opening and What Remain Closed in College Park?

On Thursday, May 28, Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced she will be lifting the stay-at-home order and will begin an incremental, modified Stage One re-opening for Prince George’s County effective today, Monday, June 1. Please see that list in the flyer at the end of this post. City also issued a statement about its own reopening status. Combining both statements, here is the list highlighting what is opening, and what is remaining closed in College Park.

Businesses

Bagels and Grinds in College Park

Bagels and Grinds in College Park

Restaurants may open with outdoor dining only with no more than six (6) people seated at a table. Tables must be at least six (6) feet apart and no more than 50 people will be permitted at the restaurant regardless of space. Employees must receive health screenings prior to their shifts and CDC guidelines must be adhered to. All employees must wear face coverings and restaurants must have hand sanitizer and appropriate hand-washing facilities available;

In College Park,  Bagels & Grinds will open its patio starting Monday, June 1, and will be able to accommodate about 20 outdoor seats. You can see here a more detailed list of restaurants that may be open starting today.

Retail stores may reopen with curbside pick-up only;

Barbershops and hair salons may reopen for hair services by appointment only with one (1) customer per 200 square feet, use of PPE by employees and customers, and the following of CDC guidelines. Customers will not be allowed to wait inside the establishment for their appointment;

Childcare facilities may reopen for essential employees and employees who are returning to work. Face coverings and gloves must be worn by all employees, social distancing and CDC guidelines must be adhered to;

Car washes may reopen with automated systems – drivers and passengers must remain inside the vehicle at all times;

Manufacturing may reopen with appropriate social distancing, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and the following of CDC guidelines;

Face coverings must be worn inside all businesses and businesses must continue to enforce social distancing. If you choose to go out, please keep in mind the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and remember to wear a face maskstay at least six feet apart from other people, avoid mass gatherings and wash your hands for 20 seconds regularly.

The City encourages restaurants to open with outdoor seating and will work with businesses and property owners to facilitate increasing space for seating, including, where feasible, to use part of the street right-of-way.

Houses of Worships

Houses of worship may reopen for gatherings of ten (10) people or less or continue virtual services;

Farmers Markets

Farmers Markets may reopen for carry-out only and must maintain proper social distancing, face coverings, and the following of CDC guidelines;

Parks and Playgrounds

County Parks, golf courses, and tennis courts remain open with appropriate social distancing measures in place; basketball courts, playgrounds, fitness facilities, and pools will remain closed

City playgrounds, fit lots, and ball courts will remain closed

Offices:

Prince George’s County Government buildings remain closed to the public and employees continue to telework.

All City buildings and facilities remain closed to the public. This includes City playgrounds, fit lots, and ball courts.

City staff in all departments will continue to process and respond to email and phone calls remotely. For contact information for all departments, please visit the City’s website. Many of the City’s services can still be conducted online or via phone.

City Services:

Seniors Transportation Services remains in service by appointment only for essential trips (medical appointments or medications which are vital or to purchase items that are essential for subsistence within the next 7-14 days only). Please call 301-345-8100 to make an appointment.

May
31
2020

New Neighborhood Signs in Sunnyside and College Park Woods

Congratulations to our Sunnyside neighbors on having this wonderful new sign at the entrance of their neighborhood. A couple of months ago I had the opportunity to ask our Public Works to replace the old sign at the end of Odessa Rd. Based on the consultation with the neighbors and the City Staff, we decided to post this new sign at this new location at the entrance of the neighborhood. Thanks to our Public Works staff for doing a great job!

Additionally, Public Works Staff installed College Park Woods Community Gateway Sign – in the median island on St. Andrews Place. In addition, Electric LED lighting has been installed in the Woods median island for nighttime illumination of the gateway sign.

May
29
2020

Today – FREE Food Distribution

Today, Friday, May 29th, Beltsville Seventh-Day Adventist Church will distribute groceries-to-go beginning at 12:30 p.m. The food distribution event will provide non-perishable groceries, one box per car. Each box is estimated to feed a family of four for two days. Seventh-Day Adventist Church is located at 4220 Ammendale Road in Beltsville.

May
28
2020

City May Eliminate Parking Permit Fees in Residential Neighborhoods

A parking sign on a College Park street

At this week’s meeting, the City Council introduced an Ordinance to eliminate residential parking permit fees.

Residential permit parking zones have proven to be the most effective means to reduce overcrowded parking in neighborhoods due to non-residents taking parking space from residents and their guests.

Historically, residents have often resisted the establishment of residential permit parking zones due to the annual $10 fee per vehicle. A common opinion is that a resident should not have to pay to park on the street where they live. By eliminating permit fees, some neighborhoods may wish to be included in a residential permit zone to alleviate parking competition on their streets.

Right now, except where otherwise established by Council action, the default number of residential permits issued per address is 5 annual permits, and 2 visitor/guest permits.

The elimination of annual residential permits and visitor permit fees would reduce revenue by approximately $25,000. It is not proposed to eliminate monthly parking permit fees such as in the municipal garage monthly on-street zones.

That said, there are possibilities to make some savings – in other ways, namely through the proposed license plate reader and online registration.

License plate reader used by the University of Maryland Dept of Transportation

License plate reader used by the University of Maryland Dept of Transportation

The FY21 capital improvement budget includes the purchase and installation of License Plate Recognition (LPR) equipment. This will allow migration to residential permit zone vehicle registration by the license plate.

Online registration is also being implemented. These changes will reduce the operational cost of the residential parking permit program by eliminating mailing and physical hangtag permit costs. This will help offset the lost revenue if fees are eliminated. The annual cost of postage and hang tags is approximately $18,000.

In the interim between the adoption of this ordinance and implementation of residential permit zone permitting by online registration, all current annual and bi-annual residential parking permits will be extended without payment of additional permit fees.

[City of College Park]

May
27
2020

City to Give $1.45 million Additional COVID-19 Economic Assistance to Residents, Small Businesses

At last night’s Council meeting, the Council approved additional economic assistance programs, totaling up to $1,450,000, to assist families, senior citizens, and other individuals, and small businesses and non-profits impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funding for all, but the Modified Business Assistance and Façade Improvement Program, is reimbursable through the CARES Act, that the Congress approved recently.

The proposals include:

(1) Small Business Assistance Grants Program – $1,000,000
This fund will assist small businesses (and non-profits if allowed by CARES Act funding requirements) with 25 or fewer full-time equivalents (FTEs), with direct economic support for costs of business interruption caused by required closures, voluntary closures to promote social distancing, or affected by decreased customer demand due to COVID-19. Program sunsets December 1, 2020.

Up to a maximum grant of $15,000 (each business/owner) is available. Upon approval, the grant will be paid in 3 installments, 30 days apart, with the first paid upon approval at 50%, the second at 25%, and the third at $25%. 2nd and 3rd installment payments contingent upon submission of required documentation of continuing operations of the business. The program ends on December 1, 2020.

Commercial business (and non-profits if allowed by CARES Act funding requirements) with no more than 10 outlets are eligible.  The businesses may not be part of a national franchise, and with a physical presence in the City of College Park. They must have 25 or fewer FTEs with operating business as of January 1, 2020. Vape, liquor, and tobacco businesses, or age-restricted businesses ineligible, if applicable per law. City elected officials are also not eligible.

(2) Emergency Financial Aid to Families, Senior Citizens, and Other Individuals – $200,000
This fund will provide financial assistance to families, senior citizens, and other individuals who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Financial assistance may be provided for eligible expenses, such as rent/mortgage payments to avoid eviction/foreclosure; unforeseen funeral costs; utility payments; and other emergency needs as deemed necessary.

(3) Additional Funding for Non-Profits – $100,000
This fund will provide additional funding of $20,000 each to Meals on Wheels and the College Park Food Bank.

(4) Modified Business Assistance and Façade Improvement Program – $150,000

Eligible business/owner can receive up to a maximum grant of $15,000. Funding for all, but the Modified Business Assistance and Façade Improvement Program, is reimbursable through the CARES Act.

Additionally, City is considering to roll out an additional fund of $200,000 on Business Promotional Assistance – with economic support or costs of business interruption caused by required closures, voluntary closures to promote social distancing, or affected by decreased customer demand due to COVID-19 by attracting/incentivizing customers to patronize local businesses. Program sunsets December 1, 2020. Staff recommended delaying implementing this program until additional details are developed.

Programs will sunset on December 1, 2020.

May
25
2020

THANK YOU – To Those That Served, and are Serving

Today is Memorial Day.

Due to the restrictions placed on community gatherings due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the City is unable to hold this year’s Memorial Day event at the City’s Veterans Memorial.

At last week’s City Council meeting, the Mayor and Council decided to make a proclamation to honor all those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms, extend gratitude and appreciation for members of our Armed Forces past and present, and offer this proclamation as a token of our respect from a grateful City.

Though we’ll not be observing the annual event, we must never forget those who have sacrificed their lives to maintain the security of our great nation and the liberties we hold so dear and thank them for defending our freedoms; and we wish also to express our gratitude to their families and thank them for their sacrifices.

We also want to say thank you to all of the front-line essential workers – nurses, health care professionals, police officers, firefighters,  grocery store workers, teachers, school support staff, all of the other public employees working hard on our behalf during this difficult time.

Due to Memorial Day, all City facilities are closed today. All refuse and recycling collections will slide forward one day. For example, today’s regular collections will be collected tomorrow, etc. Special collection appointments will only be made for Friday of this week.

May
25
2020

Council to Ask Federal Support To Reopen And Rebuild Local Economies

At tomorrow’s Council meeting the Council will consider approving a resolution in support of the fair, direct, federal emergency support to reopen and rebuild local American economies. The resolution says America’s cities and towns, like College Park face unprecedented threats due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic emergency. Municipalities are essential to America’s economic recovery and without funding support for local governments, municipalities may go from being a critical part of the economic solution to becoming a major obstacle to long-term stabilization and recovery.

America’s cities and towns will experience budgetary shortfalls of up $134 billion in the fiscal year 2020 alone, and the negative effects of the pandemic emergency on local communities will continue long after this year. Three million critical municipal worker jobs are at risk, threatening cuts to basic community services, including 9-1-1 response, sanitation, and maintenance. The City has been part of the emergency response and now calls on Congress to build a united national partnership for a safe, healthy, prosperous life. College Park has projected approximately $2 million in revenue loss due to the pandemic, while expenditures have increased.

College Park calls on Congress to allocate fair and direct federal support to all of America’s communities, regardless of population size. The resolution says the funding must be flexible and address not only the additional expenses incurred by communities to respond to the pandemic emergency, but also the dramatic budgetary shortfalls resulting from pauses in commerce, tourism, and other economic engines. Local governments, like College Park, will ensure federal funds are immediately used to rebuild and reopen the national economy. Funding will keep middle-class workers employed and critical services operating.

May
24
2020

City to Support Bill Asking for Federal Support for Local Municipalities

At this week’s City Council meeting, the Council will consider adopting a resolution in support of the bill H.R. 6175, The REHAB Act – for a fair, direct, federal emergency support to reopen and rebuild local emergency support to reopen and rebuild local American economies.

The REhab act would provide federal tax incentives for affordable housing, mixed-use development, and private infrastructure in urban centers and activity centers such as College Park.

The Act would support the following:
 Focus incentives on the rehabilitation of existing assets near public transportation, which will also
support smarter local public investment strategies.
 Include infrastructure upgrades in eligible project costs.
 Encourage investment in affordable housing in walkable communities.
 Encourage greater density and retrofitting of existing housing.

 

May
23
2020

Council Makes Proclamation on this Year’s Memorial Day

Due to the restrictions placed on community gatherings due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the City is unable to hold this year’s Memorial Day event at the City’s Veterans Memorial.

At last week’s City Council meeting, the Mayor and Council decided to make a proclamation to honor all those who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms, extend gratitude and appreciation for members of our Armed Forces past and present, and offer this proclamation as a token of our respect from a grateful City.

May
22
2020

City Cancels this Year’s 4th of July Event

At this week’s Council meeting, the City Council decided to cancel this year’s Fourth of July celebration, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The City continues to monitor the situation and will cancel or modify other upcoming events as necessary to protect the health and safety of participants and staff.

City events that have been canceled include Brunch with Bunny, Spring Egg Hunt, Memorial Day Tribute, 75th Anniversary Parade and Festival, and the new Lake Artemesia Concert Series (a mutual decision between Berwyn Heights and College Park). Plans for the City’s Night at the Movies events are currently on hold. There is an option to do a drive-in style movie if the Recreation Board, Mayor and Council, and City staff feel comfortable moving forward with that option.

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