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Information Session for College Park Academy Parents

Old Friends School - proposed site for College Park Academy

The City of College Park will be hosting a meeting for parents interested in applying to send their children to the College Park Academy.

When: Tomorrow Monday, December 17, at 7:00 pm.

Where:  the College Park City Hall.

The school administration thinks it needs more time to satrt the school at the Calvert Road location this year. Thus it is planning to start the school temporarily at the St. Mark the Evangelist, located at 7501 Adelphi Road in Hyattsville.

More information about the Academy can be found here – www.collegeparkacademy.com

Upcoming Leaf Collection and Trash Pick up Schedule

Leaf Collections

Public Works has updated the schedule for our leaf collection activities. Please see below the updated leaf collection schedule.

December 20 and 21, January 3 : Rhode Island Avenue West side
December 21 and 27, January 4: Rhode Island Avenue East side

All leaf collection notification signs have been posted for the areas being serviced next week, 12/17.

Also, please note that tere has been a change to the trash and recycling collection schedule for the week of December 24! The City will be closed December 24th and 25th, so trash/recycling collection for the week will be shifted TWO days and there WILL BE NO SPECIAL OR BULK PICKUPS THAT WEEK:

Monday routes: Wednesday pickup – 12/26
Tuesday routes: Thursday pickup – 12/27
Wednesday routes: Friday pickup – 12/28

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Success Stories: Surveillance System in College Park Crime Fighting

Recently, we had a great discussion among our neighbors on the need for License Plate Reader (LPR) at the Edgewood and Rhode Island Avenue intersection. One concern some residents had about their privacy, as these cameras will be taking license plate numbers of vehicles that cross this intersection. Even though the data captured by the system will be destroyed after 30 days period and they will only be used by the police to capture criminals, I thought it’d be a good thing to present the use of surveillance systems which are already used in downtown College Park.

Accordingly I asked our Public Service department to provide surveillance data in fighting crime in downtown. The report that our staff provided has been redacted to attempt to exclude any information which could identify individuals or specific properties which were targets of crimes.

According to the data, between 6/22/11 and 11/13/2012 , 11 (surveillance) incidents helped the Police to make arrests and 48 incidents aided Police investigation. Pleases see the details of these incidents below.

Tonight’s NCPCA Meeting – Potluck, Sector Plan, Legislative Update

NCPCA - It's Your Neighborhood Association

Today is the second Thursday of the month and hence the time for our December and last monthly NCPCA meeting.

The meeting will start with an update on College Park Farmers Market. These are resident efforts to improve markets in our City.

There will be a legislative update with our special guests state Delegate Joseline Peña-Melnyk and County Councilmember Mary Lehman

It’s the NCPCA ‘Pot Luck’ Holiday Dinner…So Please Bring a Dish and a Friend!

There will also be an important discussion on Greenbelt Metro Sector Plan. This update will review the recent meeting to change the proposed Sector Plan.

As usual, the meeting will take lace at Davis Hall at 7:30. See you all there.

City Announces 2013 Community Services Grant

college park sign

The City has recently announced our 2013 College Park Community Services grant application. The due date is December 18 at 5:00 pm

The purpose of the City of College Park Community Services Grant is to provide opportunities for community-based programs and projects within the City of College Park.

Supporting community activities enhances the community as a whole. Thus the City will provide grants to fund programs and activities that promote enhanced community opportunities for its residents. The maximum community services grant award per organization for fiscal year 2013 is $2,500. Community services grants are only awarded to organizations, not to individuals.

By their grant-funded programs and activities, successful applicants will address as many of the following core values as possible:
a. Serve to maintain, improve and enrich the quality of life in the City
b. Celebrate, respect and build upon the legacy and ideals of the City
c. Seek to enhance the cultural, artistic, recreational, social or environmental vitality of the City
d. Provide a positive impact on the City and/or its residents
e. Address identifiable community needs
f. Complement City policies identified in the City’s Comprehensive Plan, Housing Plan or other stated program goals
g. Create community enhancement models that can be replicated by other organizations within the City
h. Collaborate with other organizations where possible
i. Secure additional funding from sources other than the City grant

Here are more:
Grant Application

Grant Criteria

Hold Harmless Agreement

Council Seeks Change in Policy to Convert Multi-family Housing to Student Housing

College Park Waiver District

In tonight’s Council meeting, the Council will consider approving a letter to the 21st District Delegation supporting a revision to a Bill in the Public Local Laws in Maryland titled “Prince George’s County School Facilities Surcharge – Exemption.”

The original Bill (Senate Bill 582) was passed in 2007.

The purpose of this bill was to allow an exemption from the school facilities surcharge in Prince George’s County for certain multi-family housing designated as student housing, in order to encourage more student housing projects in areas close to the District.

In a discussion during a previous worksession, the Council decided it would be useful to take another look at the waiver districts to see if it is appropriate to continue to provide waivers for multi-family student housing projects in these areas.

The current waiver areas include (please see the map):

  • the East Campus project and the part of Old Town just south and east of Fraternity row,
  • the entire campus of the University of Maryland, the area just southwest of the corner of Campus Drive and Mowatt Lane,
  • the Lakeland area south of Berwyn House Road and west of Rhode Island Ave.,
  • the Branchville area west of 48th Ave. and between Route 193 and Greenbelt Road, and
  • the Autoville are north of Route 193 up to the Mazza Grand Marc development, east of Autoville Road.

The Council will consider sending a request to the District 21 State Assembly delegation to remove the Lakeland, Old Town, East Campus, and Autoville areas from the fee waiver area.

City to Replace Narragansett Pkwy Guardrail

Narragansett Pkwy Guard Rails

In tomorrow’s Council meeting, Council will consider awarding a contract to Long Fence Co., Inc., in the amount of $144,618.09 to replace the wooden guardrail along Narragansett Parkway with a new wooden guardrail.

Council has set aside $140,000 of speed camera funds to replace this guardrail, and the other $4,618.09 will come out of the City’s Capital Improvement Program for guardrail replacement. This guardrail is rotting and cracking and in need of replacement.

Long Fence Co. was the lowest bidder by over $20,000, and the City staff conducted a reference check and found that the company has done quality work in the past.

Although it would be cheaper to install a metal guardrail, residents in the area have expressed that they would like to keep the wooden guardrail because of its appearance and character.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Winter Clothing Drive

Winter Clothing Drive 2012

It’s that time of year to clean out your closets and pass along your gently used winter clothes to local families and seniors in need. If you plan to come to this Thursday’s NCPCA meeting at Davis Hall, you can drop off your donation items in the donation bin there (Meeting starts at 7:30pm on December 13). You can also drop off your donations at the Pizza Roma store at the REI / MoM shopping center (from 10 to 21 December).

Also, if you know any family or someone who is in need of winter clothes, please let us know.

For more information, please contact me or Kennis Termini at 301-474-1249 (email: kennis.termini@yahoo.com ). Details below:

NCP Crime Stats: December 2-8, 2012

Please see below last week’s crime stats and let me know if you have any questions. Thank you.
[mappress mapid=”92″]

Date of
Incident
Time of
Incident
Incident
Type

Location
12/02/201243THEFT FROM AUTO9600 Blk BALTIMORE AVE
12/02/2012233ASSAULT ( Adult)9100 Blk BALTIMORE AVE
12/02/2012757THEFT FROM AUTO10000 Blk BALTIMORE AVE
12/02/20121141THEFT FROM AUTO5000 Blk BRANCHVILLE RD
12/04/201217THEFT10200 Blk BALTIMORE AVE
12/05/20121002THEFT9600 Blk MILESTONE WAY
12/05/20121640THEFT4900 Blk ERIE ST
12/07/20121234THEFT FROM AUTO10100 Blk BALTIMORE AVE

Help for Residents with Disability

City can install a handicapped parking sign for residents with disability in front of their houses

Recently, I was asked by a resident to provide information on City services for residents with disability. The resident in this case was having issues with parking in front of his house. He is also having problems with his weekly trash pick up. I was asked if someone can pick his trash up from the yard instead of him having to get someone to put it on the street. Finally, the residents needed other help – such as in leaf raking and snow plowing etc.

These questions led me to contact our staff and here is what I’ve got. I thought I should share this with you all, in case you know a neighbor in need of such services.

On parking, the resident can call contact Jim Miller, our Parking Enforcement Manager, to arrange for the installation of a sign. It is important to know that the sign will not reserve a place just for him, but will allow any vehicle with a disabled person tag or permit to park there. Jim’s contact is here: Jim Miller, Parking Enforcement Manager, E-mail: jmiller@collegeparkmd.gov, Phone: 240-487-3520

On trash pick up, the resident can contact Loree Talley or Paula Greene at Public Works regarding backdoor pickup of trash and recycling. Here is Loree’s contact information: Loree Talley 240-487-3593; ltalley@collegeparkmd.gov. Loree and Paula can also be contacted directly at 9240-487-3590 or publicworks@collegeparkmd.gov. Once they are contacted, the Public Works will send a form for special back door trash pick up.

On other services, such as leaf raking and snow cleanup, I know a few volunteers who can help. I also know a few students who can do this kind of service to earn their community services hours. Please have them contact me, I can arrange a free service for them. We can also hook them up with our Youth and Family Services to provide other services. Please let us know what kind of services they really need.

Hope this helps.

Is College Park Academy Moving Out of College Park?

Old Friends School - proposed site for College Park Academy

Recently a news on the UMD paper The Diamondback has made quite a stir among residents and Council alike about the relocation of College Park Academy.

We haven’t discussed this latest development at the Council recently. Thus the news caught many of us off-guard.

It’s true that the school’s board of directors are planning to move the school to Hyattsville, but I think and hope that it’s rather a temporary measure. I’ve heard that the move is only for 1 or 2 years. Also, I don’t think the school is moving mainly because of the concerns from a section of the residents. There could be other reasons,such as lack of time for renovation and build-out of the new school extension.

Even the school moves out of the College Park temporarily, I haven’t heard that the name of the school will change from ‘College Park Academy” to something else.

In terms of reaction from the residents, we’ve received emails from both sides. I’ve heard that there is a fairly large number of residents who support the school at the proposed location. If the concern is due to size of the school, we can perhaps solve that by having the middle and high schools at two locations in the city. This is, in fact one of the proposals we discussed in the council a few months back. One issue we’ll need to look at cost of operating two schools instead of one.

I personally think the school is extremely important to our city and its students, given the lack of middle and high schools in the city. It’s a great initiative by the City-University partnership. The Council allocated 80,000 in the FY2013 budget to support the school. We’ll continue this support as long as it serves College Park’s students.

NCP Crime Stats: Nov 25 – Dec 1, 2012

[mappress mapid=”91″]
Date of
Incident
Time of
Incident
Incident
Type

Location
11/25/2012657THEFT FROM AUTO9150 BALTIMORE AVE
11/25/2012832THEFT FROM AUTO4709 CADDO ST
11/25/2012914THEFT FROM AUTO4709 CADDO ST
11/25/20121545THEFT FROM AUTO9530 BALTIMORE AVE
11/27/2012749THEFT5101 BRANCHVILLE RD
11/27/2012857THEFT FROM AUTO9314 CHERRY HILL RD
11/28/20121529THEFT4720 CHERRY HILL RD
11/28/20121603THEFT9530 BALTIMORE AVE
11/28/20122010THEFT8200 BALTIMORE AVE

City Receives $75K for Launch of Commercial Tenant Improvement Program

7/11 Store on Edgewood Road

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development recently announced a total of $5.5 million in Community Legacy program awards to municipalities and community groups around the state for revitalization projects. Community Legacy provides flexible funding to local governments and community development organizations for essential revitalization projects in existing communities through activities that expand neighborhood business and job development, homeownership investment, and commercial revitalization.

As one of this year’s awardees, the City of College Park received $75,000 in grant funds for the formation of a Commercial Tenant Improvement Program that aims to attract high-quality tenants to fill vacant retail spaces. The program will offer reimbursable grants for leasehold improvements in the amount of 70 percent of the total improvement costs with a maximum of $25,000 per grant. In step with one of Community Legacy’s traditional, core goals to provide assistance to small businesses, the Commercial Tenant Improvement Program will target locally-owned and independent businesses that fill a void in the City’s retail environment such as an apparel store, coffee shop, full service restaurant, or health club.

Previous awards received by the City of College Park include $75,000 in February 2012 for the strategic demolition of blighted buildings on the Route 1 Corridor and $100,000 in October 2010 for the construction of the Hollywood Gateway Park at the intersection of Baltimore Avenue and Edgewood Road.

Community Legacy provides resources to assist local governments to do comprehensive community revitalization initiatives. It is a flexible resource to fill key funding gaps not being met by other State or local financing and to position older communities for increased private investment. The purpose of the City’s application is to provide an important tool to attract the type of retailers that many residents desire, reduce the number of vacant retail spaces, and fill gaps in the retail environment.

The City’s program will provide matching grants to small businesses for the costs associated with leasehold improvements including HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and windows. Grants will target locally-owned and independent businesses, specifically businesses that fill a void in the City’s retail scene. Applications to the program will be reviewed by staff members of the Department of Planning, Community & Economic Development in conjunction with the Maryland Small Business Development Center. Applicants will be required to provide detailed business plans, financial documentation, and lease terms. Funds are anticipated to provide assistance to approximately six to ten businesses.

The City Council will discuss the draft guidelines in the first January worksession. Once that is finalized, the City will have an application available and businesses may apply immediately. We ‘re hoping that the businesses should be able to apply by February.

We have not had a program similar to this in the past. This will be a new program that exists in other places around the Country, but not College Park.

County, MD Officials React to FBI Relocation News

FBI - J. Edgar Hoover Building in D.C. (credit: Wikipedia)

Yesterday, the General Services Administration (GSA) issued a RFI (Request for Information) to relocate FBI headquarters from its current location in J. Edgar Hoover Building (JEH) building to a possible location “within the National Capital Region (defined as the District of Columbia, Montgomery and Prince Georges counties in Maryland; Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties in Virginia, as well the independent municipalities within each of these counties)”.

You can read the entire RFI here on GSA’s website.

The news made several County and MD officials thrilled and excited. They all think Maryland, in particular Prince George’s is an ideal place for FBI to relocate.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker made this statement on the news:

“With more land available for development at its 15 Metro stations than any other jurisdiction in the Metropolitan area, Prince George’s County has identified several locations that would be ideal for the new FBI home. Each of the locations provides outstanding access to Metro, major highways, room for growth, and a highly educated workforce. I am confident that both the GSA and FBI will recognize that our unique and superior attributes match their requirements as well as their wants and needs.”

MD Congressman Steny H. Hoyer (MD-5), U.S. Senators Barbara A. Mikulski and Ben Cardin (both D-MD), and Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards (MD-4) also reacted positively. Here is what they said:

With a significant portion of the federal workforce living in Maryland and ample land available near Metro stations, it’s clear Prince George’s County is the right choice for the new headquarters. The project would bring thousands of jobs to the County, boost our local economy, and generate additional revenues for our community. As the process continues to move forward, we will be working closely together to advocate for bringing this project, and the new economic opportunities that will accompany it, to Prince George’s County.”

Seniors at Spellman House Largely Unhappy – Survey Finds

Spellman House senior home in College Park

In tomorrow’s woksession, the Council will discuss the College Park 2012 survey that the City conducted among the seniors living at Attick Towers and Spellman House at the end of May.

Total number of units in Attick Towers is 108 and 141 in Spellman House. Staff distributed one survey per unit/household in each building.

This year, 31 percent (44 respondents) of Spellman House households responded to the survey which is a 35 percent decrease from 2011 when 68 residents of Spellman House households responded to the survey. The number of younger residents and residents living in the building for 1 year or less responded less often.

The percentage of respondents experiencing maintenance problems decreased in all categories except for electricity problems which increased by 83 percent from last year to this year. Among the respondents who called for repairs, the length of time taken for emergency maintenance and repairs in the category of 6-24 hours taken increased from 6 percent in 2011 to 21 percent in 2012.

The percentage of respondents very satisfied and somewhat satisfied with how well the repairs are done decreased between 2011 and 2012 (from 95 percent in 2011 to 86 percent in 2012). Feelings of safety in Spellman House decreased from 2011 to 2012. Specifically, in their units, in the buildings, parking lot and in the overall neighborhood. In 2012, fewer respondents stated that management took action if residents broke the rules than in 2011 (from 16% to 10%).

This year, respondents reported less of a problem with pest control (bedbugs, rodents, and other insects), but reported a greater frequency of noise and behavior problems. In 2012, fewer respondents stated satisfaction with the upkeep of the common areas of the building (dissatisfaction rate jumped from 5% to 22%).

The percentage of respondents that strongly agree or somewhat agree that management provides enough information about the rules of the lease decreased from 95 percent in 2011 to 60 percent in 2012. Respondents’ satisfaction ratings with management decreased between 2011 and 2012.

Respondents in 2012 are less likely to recommend their building to a family member or friend based on survey results.

Staff is recommending Council to invite to management from both Attick Towers and Spellman House to attend an upcoming City Council worksession to independently review survey results and continue to conduct resident survey for both buildings.