KabirCares.org
Jan
19
2022

Opportunity to Give Input about FY23 City Budget

At last night’s meeting, Staff will provide a preview of the FY2023 budget cycle and review the City’s  Homestead Tax Credit Rate.
In FY 2023, Staff is projecting revenues at levels consistent with the current year. Staff Salaries in the proposed budget will include a 2.5% cost of living adjustment, as negotiated with the union plus estimates for merit increases where applicable. For the last several years, the City Council has maintained a cap of 0%.
With that, the City is providing the maximum property tax relief for homeowners. Staff is recommending to keep City’s Homestead Tax Credit Rate at 0% for FY2023. Staff is recommending the following FY23 budget calendar
(a) Friday, February 4 – Mayor & Council requests and residents’ suggestions for the FY2023 Proposed Budget are due.
(b) Friday, March 11 – FY2023 Proposed Budget & CIP published and posted on the City’s website.
(c) Saturday, March 26 – Budget Worksession.
(d) Tuesday, May 10 – Public Hearings on the Budget and Constant
( e ) Tuesday, May 24 – Adoption of FY2023 Budget and CIP.
Once the draft budget is released, we’re also planning to host a budget town hall to share the budget and get your input.
The City Council is also inviting residents to submit suggestions and recommendations to City staff for the FY2023 Budget.  Preparation is beginning on the Proposed Budget to be published in March 2022 for the City Council’s review and subsequent adoption. The deadline for submission is January 31, 2022. Form Link
Jan
18
2022

State Bill to Address Vehicle Racing on Neighborhood Streets

Does your neighborhood sound like the Indy 500 on a Friday night?

Many residents express growing concern over excessive vehicle noise and car racing on residential streets.

Since the COVID-19 lockdowns, an uptick in racing, street takeovers, burnouts, sideshows, and modified vehicle exhaust systems have caused College Park and many local communities to scramble to address this.

The excessive loud noise from these speeding cars has been a quality of life, health and safety issues.

Penalties for these racing are not good enough to deter such racing.

Thankfully, Del. Mary Lehman is introducing a bill on Thursday to raise the fines and points received for those arrested for vehicle racing (including motorcycles) and exhibitions.
HB102 – Vehicle Laws – Race and Speed Contests – Penalties

The hearing is on Thursday, January 20 at 1:00 pm in the Environment and Transportation Committee. Submitting testimony and signing up as witnesses will happen tomorrow. Below is the link for signing up to speak. You must do so between 8 am – 3 p.m. tomorrow (Wednesday).

https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/pubs-current/current-ent-faqs.pdf

If you do not want to speak, please email Del. Lehman at: Mary.Lehman@house.state.md.us

If you have further questions, you may also email her office.

Below is the bill itself: https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2022RS/bills/hb/hb0102F.pdf

There is an amendment that will be presented with the bill attached to this email..

The bill changes the penalties for participating in speed contests and exhibitions.

The bill will:

  • The points will increase to 8 for participating, 12 if someone is seriously hurt.
  • The participant’s car will be impounded.
  • The fine will be raised to $1,000.

Update [1/18/2022]: College Park City Council approved a letter of support for this bill at last night’s City Council meeting.

Jan
17
2022

Study to Address Flooding in College Park Neighborhoods

Post-rain flooding in the Calvert Hill neighborhood. Photo credit: Councilmember John Rigg

Several neighborhoods in College Park have been experiencing major flooding incidents following rain events. There is a very strong desire to understand and address stormwater concerns throughout the City.

Recent severe rain events in the Calvert Hills neighborhood have necessitated that Prince George’s County Department of the Environment (DOE) undertake a major stormwater improvements project along the Guilford Run Watershed.

Residents in other neighborhoods in College Park, such as Daniels Park, Cherry Hill, and College Park Woods areas, have also complained about post-rain flooding in those neighborhoods.

Flooding following rains at a house in north College Park Rain-related flooding at a house in north College Park

There have been many other nuisance complaints from our residents where stormwater runoff on properties and in the streets is swifter and is taking longer to recede.

Many of these flooding events have caused sewage backflows with damages to the properties. Aging WSSC stormwater mains are causing the situation worse.

The causes of these floodings could vary. Lack of efficient stormwater management is generally blamed, but there could be other reasons. The flooding in Calvert Hills and Old Town neighborhoods is thought to be caused by stormwater coming from the University area through Guilford Run under Route 1. Some stormwater outlets were also closed when Metro train tracks were developed contributing to these floodings.

Flooding in Calvert Hills. The photo was from Sept 2020 about 45 mins after the height of the flooding. The water had already significantly receded. Photo Credit: Councilmember Stuart Adams

For these reasons, the City Council has asked staff to prepare a scope of work for a City-Wide Storm Water Drainage study.

At tomorrow’s meeting, the City Council will discuss an RFP seeking proposals from professional and qualified stormwater engineering firms to perform a comprehensive stormwater drainage study using the EPA Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) application on its 12 sub-watersheds within the Anacostia River Watershed.

It is estimated that such a task may cost $600,000.

 

[City of College Park]

Jan
16
2022

City Tribute to Honor Dr. King’s Legacy – Tomorrow at 7 p.m.

Monday, January 17, 2022  |  7:00 p.m.
zoom.us/j/93074666175

The City’s Mayor, Council, Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Committee, and staff invite you to join us for a panel discussion honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Use the zoom link to participate, or view the broadcast on Comcast channel 71 or Verizon channel 25.

Jan
15
2022

North College Park Community Center Site Selection will Start this Spring

We’ve got some very good news about the much-anticipated North College Park Community Center.

The final process for selecting a suitable site for the proposed community center will start this Spring.

We’ve been told that the M-NCPPC has been already considering 6 sites for the center in north College Park.  These sites are all north of Greenbelt Road and South of the Beltway. Some sites have private owners while others would be joint-use facilities. All sites have the ability to construct, at minimum, a 12,000 square foot building and have major road access.

Community members partaking in activities at a community center | Photo By: Maple Grove Arts Center

The M-NCPPC has been working to select these sites as part of their Formula 2040 plan, which calls for a 12,000 sq. ft. community center in north College Park.

M-NCPPC confirmed its plan to build the community center at its October 2020 virtual community meeting on the Formula 2040 plan (please see below) in our area.

The community has also been very supportive to have a Community center in the northern part of College Park. This was reflected in the survey we took among the local residents.

The local residents and the local community association, NCPCA have been advocating for the center for many years.

For the past several years, College Park City Council has also been asking the M-NCPPC to build a community center in north College Park. A City-sponsored recreational study report also found that “a multi-use indoor facility/community center/senior center to be built in College Park was highly requested by survey residents“.

About 3 years ago, M-NCPPC also allocated $250,000 to do a feasibility study to bring an architectural/engineering firm to evaluate the sites for development feasibility, lead a community engagement process, develop test fits, create conceptual designs, and perform a cost projection. Thanks to District 1 Councilman Dernoga for securing the feasibility study money.

Currently, the M-NCPPC is in the final stages of an internal review of the request for proposals (RFP).  The next step is to procure a consulting firm.

The consultant team is scheduled to be on board in the first quarter of 2022. The community engagement will begin in the Spring and the project should be completed by the 3rd quarter of the year.

Due to the competitive nature of the ongoing negotiations with the property owners, these sites haven’t been shared with the community yet. The number of the proposed sites may increase as we bring a consultant on board for the feasibility study and they re-examine the existing pool of sites.

Once the final site is selected, the M-NCPPC will go into the construction phase. Unfortunately, the center’s construction budget hasn’t been funded yet!

In the meantime, PGC County Council Member Tom Dernoga has recently sent a letter to the College Park Mayor and Council asking us to help fund some portion of the cost to build the North College Park community center. Please see the letter below.

In his letter, CM Dernoga states that “success will be more likely and will occur sooner with City financial and planning collaboration”. According to staff, the City could commit ARPA funding (possibly from lost revenue recovered) to assist with the project.

College Park City Council will evaluate CM Dernoga’s request at the next Tuesday’s Council meeting.

Jan
14
2022

Great news! Additional COVID-19 Testing Site Opening in College Park

Starting Saturday, January 15
Thanks to MNCPPC, Express Healthcare will be able to expand its services to provide additional rapid and PCR testing in the community at:
Wells Ice Rink
5211 Campus Drive
College Park, MD 20740.
Testing will operate Monday through Friday 8:00 am-6:00 pm and Saturday & Sunday from 9:00 -7:00 pm. No appointment is needed. Drive-Up Only.
The opening of this site will assist in reducing traffic congestion on Baltimore Avenue and in the Lakeland community and provide additional testing in the community.
Jan
13
2022

Hollywood School needs HELP

Jan
13
2022

Tonight’s NCPCA Meeting – Meeting with CM Dernoga, City Budget List, and More..

NCPCA – It’s Your Neighborhood Association

Agenda Times & Topics (subject to change)

7:30 Welcome & Review of procedures.
7:35 NCPCA officers’ reports & approval of October, November, & December 2021 minutes.
2021 NCPCA Financial Summary Report (PDF File)
DRAFT October 2021 NCPCA Meeting Minutes
DRAFT November 2021 NCPCA Meeting Minutes
DRAFT December 2021 NCPCA Meeting Minutes will be posted when available.
7:45 County Councilmember Tom Dernoga addresses your issues including: home assessments, redistricting, community center, fireworks and drag racing.
8:30 Subcommittee on recruitment — 2-3 volunteers needed to implement members’ ideas, e.g., new signage, newspaper ads, etc.
8:45 Brainstorming session on 2023 FY Budget Wishlist.
9:05 NCPCA letter to MD Department of Assessments & Taxation and 21st delegation regarding questionable assessments and appeal process — possible motion.
9:20 New Business & Future Agenda Items.

Jan
12
2022

City Asks County to Build Sidewalks and Bike Lanes on Rhode Island Avenue North of College Park

Last week, I asked the Council to send a letter to Prince George’s County requesting funding for sidewalks and bike lanes on Rhode Island Avenue from Paducah Road to Sunnyside Avenue. This segment of Rhode Island Avenue is an essential link between the neighborhoods of the City of College Park and the commercial and business district in Beltsville. But unfortunately, it is lacking in proper shoulders, sidewalks, drainage, and bikes lanes.

Many pedestrians, walkers, and bicyclists travel this segment of Rhode Island Avenue every day for work, shopping, and exercise. The roadway in its current condition is not very safe for pedestrians. The shoulders of the existing roadway are narrow and overgrown. There is an inadequate separation between vehicles and pedestrians. Vehicles are required to cross the center lane when passing pedestrians.

The County initiated 3 related improvements for Rhode Island Ave. in 2003. the county was able to get the first phase completed around 2007, which involved signalizing the Edgewood intersection. Unfortunately, before it could move on to phase 2, the fiscal crisis interceded and many capital projects had to be deferred.

At this point, DPWT will be transferring control of Rhode Island Ave. in the City limits to College Park. This transfer will eliminate the need for the capital budget to upgrade phase 2 of the project. The part of phase 3 (up to Paducah) will also be taken over by College Park. College Park City Council will appreciate prioritizing what remains of phase 3 (Paducah to Route 1) in the upcoming capital budget program.

At last night’s meeting, the Council approved this letter to “support the extension of sidewalks and bike lanes along Rhode Island Avenue from Paducah Road to Sunnyside Avenue”. The letter recognizes that College Park is a walkable community and for this reason, we support the needed improvements to Rhode Island Avenue to enhance the safe movement of pedestrians between the neighborhoods and the commercial area.

The County’s budget process is well underway and it’s important we ask the County to add a budget for this important improvement. Please write to CM Dernoga (email: tedernoga@co.pg.md.us ), the County Council (email: clerkofthecouncil@co.pg.md.us), and the Acting DPW&T Director Martin Harris (email:  mlharris@co.pg.md.us)

Jan
11
2022

County to Distribute Free COVID Test Kits

Prince George’s County will begin distributing 25,000 at-home rapid COVID-19 test kits each week through libraries and community centers, beginning tomorrow, Wednesday January 12. Test kits are free and residents must show proof of County residency when picking up a test kit. One test kit, which contains 2 tests, will be distributed per person ages 2 years or older, while supplies last. Distribution times and locations are included in the flyer.
Nos complace anunciar que comenzaremos a distribuir 25,000 kits de prueba rápida de COVID-19 cada semana a través de bibliotecas y centros comunitarios, a partir de este miércoles 12 de enero. Los kits de prueba son gratuitos y los residentes deben mostrar prueba de residencia en el condado al recoger un kit de prueba. Se distribuirá un kit de prueba, que contiene 2 pruebas, por persona de 2 años o más, hasta agotar existencias. Los horarios y lugares de distribución están incluidos en el gráfico.
Jan
10
2022

Today’s Public Safety Meeting – Discuss Crime Trends with Your Police Officers

This evening at 7:30 pm, join City Elected Officials, Police, Department of Public Services staff, and your neighbors from all around the City, for an informative monthly community meeting. This community meeting will discuss City-wide crime statistics, recent incidents of public interest, neighborhood watch tips, and special public safety-related topics. Today’s meeting will focus on a discussion and review of the current crime trends and prevention. Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/96168994626 .

Jan
9
2022

COVID Testing Sites Around College Park

Prince George’s County has an interactive map showing COVID-19 test site locations around the County. The map shows private, county, and state sites, plus sites outside of the county as well.  The following sites are located close to College Park

Elaine Ellis Center of Health
10001 Rhode Island Ave., College Park, MD 20740
Appointment required. Spanish-speaking staff are available.
301-441-1605

Express Healthcare, LLC
4701 Melbourne Pl., College Park, MD, 20740

Home


Monday – Friday 8 am – 10 pm, Saturday – Sunday 9 am – 7 pm

Express Healthcare, LLC
6201 Greenbelt Rd., #M16, College Park, MD 20740
Berwyn Heights
Walk-Ins available

CVS
5910 Greenbelt Rd, Greenbelt MD 20770
https://www.cvs.com/minuteclinic/covid-19-testing
By Appointment Only

Express Healthcare
8500 Annapolis Rd., Ste. 200, New Carrollton, MD 20784
New Carrollton

Amazing Healthcare Clinic
Full Address 6801 Kenilworth Ave., Suite 300-S2
Riverdale, MD 20737

Jan
8
2022

10 Hospital-Based COVID-19 Testing Sites To Open Next Week

The State of Maryland is standing up 10 additional hospital-based testing sites, which are on track to be fully operational and open daily for walk-ups, with no appointment necessary, by the end of next week. In addition, the state is in the process of distributing 1 million at-home rapid tests through local health departments and is on track to get another 500,000 rapid tests in the next week. Details can be found here.

Jan
7
2022

Hogan Launches $248 million Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund

Yesterday, the State launched a new program, the $248 million Maryland Homeowner Assistance Fund. It will be administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to support mortgage relief, home repairs, housing counseling, and legal services.

 The State of Maryland will be distributing $248 million through the fund in the following targeted amounts:

  • Approximately $171 million to provide loans to assist homeowners who have experienced financial hardship with their mortgages and $34 million to provide grants to assist with property tax, homeowner association, and other types of delinquencies
  • $10 million for the WholeHome program to help homeowners with necessary repairs and energy efficiency improvements
  • $8 million for housing counseling agencies and $3 million for legal services providers to help homeowners navigate the foreclosure process
  • $22 million for program case management, administration, and marketing and outreach to ensure eligible homeowners, including minority populations and those in especially hard-hit areas, are aware of the relief.

More information is available here:

Jan
6
2022

This Saturday, at 10 am: Family Vaccination Day

Another free Covid-19 vaccine clinic is going to take place at Al-Huda School (5301 Edgewood Rd) this Saturday – January 8th at 10 AM. The clinic is open to all Maryland residents – adults and children 5+. 1st/2nd/booster shots available – Pfizer or Moderna, while supplies last.

Please use this link to register: bit.ly/FNVDUS2