City Mourns Shooting Victims at Memorial

I joined my Council Colleagues, Mayor and the College Park Community at large last night at the memorial for the shooting victims at UMd’s Memorial Chapel. [Courtesy of the Diamondback]

2 Students Shot Dead in West College Park

Police is saying a University of Maryland student shot two housemates, one fatally, in an off-campus residence and then killed himself.

The shooting happened at around 1 a.m. Tuesday in the 8700 block of 36th Avenue in Crystal Spring, College Park.

Police did not release the names of any of the students involved in the shooting, but all three were male.

Police say one of the men set a fire in the basement of the home early Tuesday, and when his housemates confronted him he shot them. The injured student is expected to survive.

Last Week’s Crime Stats: Quiet North, Armed Robberies Near UMd Campus

Please see below last week’s crime report (for the period of Feb 3- 9, 2013) for north College Park. Thankfully, things have been very quiet last week, except 3 theft from auto incidents, one on 51st avenue and two on Cherry Hill Rd. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thanks.

[mappress mapid=”102″]
Date of
Time of

02/05/20132228THEFT FROM AUTO9700 Blk 51ST AVE
02/06/20131557THEFT FROM AUTO9300 Blk CHERRY HILL RD
02/08/20131157THEFT FROM AUTO4700 Blk CHERRY HILL RD

The downtown College Park was not so lucky last week. Friday night about 10:30 p.m. a female student was robbed at gunpoint in a parking lot. Her wallet and gift cards were take. Last Tuesday, at 1:30 a.m., a masked man robbed a woman along Paint Branch Parkway, off campus. Police have made arrests in some cases. Three men are in custody, after police say the trio beat and robbed a man in front of a Baltimore Avenue café. Police in College Park are beefing up security at the University of Maryland.

Read more: http://www.wjla.com/articles/2013/02/university-of-maryland-police-increase-security-after-armed-robberies-on-near-campus-85072.html#ixzz2KbG2WTml

Family Fun Bowling Bash, Today

AMF College Park lanes

The College Park Recreation Board is organizing a “Family Fun Bowling Bash” event today at the AMF College Park Lanes, located at 9021 Baltimore Avenue, College Park, MD

The event will start at 1:00pm and will continue until 4:00pm.

The AMF now has Duckpin and 10 pin Bowling! A limited number of lanes also have gutter guards.

No reservations required! Cost $5.00 per person, which includes unlimited bowling from 1:00–4:00 p.m., shoe rental, soda and pizza. This will last only for the first 100 residents from College Park. After that, the price will be $10.00 per person.

For More Information please call the Department of Public Services at 240-487-3570

Take a Ride on this DC to College Park Street Car

You will need to go back 50 years in history to take this amazing trip on a street car from DC to College Park. Thanks to Matt Johnson of the GreaterGreaterWashington who has recently discovered this video on YouTube. At 11:20, the streetcar begins running on what is now the College Park Trolley Trail, and it continues on what is now the trail until the end of the film. Enjoy your ride!

Greenbelt Sector Plan Moves Forward

The County’s District Council met in a worksession this week and agreed to approve Greenbelt Sector plan.

We’ve been told that the District Council went into a “Committee of the Whole” and voted unanimously to approve the Sector Plan.

We know there were amendments made, but we don’t know yet what amendments.

As far as the issues that are important to North College Park, the box with the language about specifics about the height of the building was taken out but language about flexibility on the heights was included.

The District Council still have to put the changes in the form of a motion and pass it formally at the next District Council meeting, so at that point we’ll know exactly what all the amendments were.

At our last worksession meeting, we passed the letter to support relocation of the FBI to Greenbelt. We added language that we look forward to working with the FBI and the developer to ensure that the development meets those concerns. We also found out that the Four Cities letter has not yet been drafted.

I will keep you posted as I find more information. In the mean time please attend next Thursday’s NCPCA meeting at Davis Hall, where we will discuss further the FBI development at Greenbelt. The developer’s attorney Mr. Garth Beall will be present at the meeting.

City to Help Businesses to Improve Their Properties

The Council discussed commercial tenant program again at last Tuesday night’s worksession.

The City staff continues to work on guidelines for the commercial tenant improvement program, an incentive for improvement to commercial properties funded through a $75,000 grant from the State Department of Housing and Community Development. City staff has drafted a set of guidelines to establish eligibility and a structure for the program.

The Council reviewed these guidelines at the January 18, 2013 worksession and had questions about whether the applications would be received on a rolling basis or annually with a specific deadline. After speaking with the University of Maryland Small Business Development and Technology Center (SBDTC), the staff recommends taking applications on a rolling basis, because small businesses often have difficulty controlling the timing of improvements or when they are able to and interested to start up in a new location and also managing their employees and is when using tools like paystub online could be really useful for payroll and other managements tasks.

Although the staff originally proposed scoring the applications on a number scale from 0-100, because the applications will not be judged against each other, grants will be awarded to any applicant that meets certain criteria, as long as there is available funding. If an application is denied, the applicant has 30 days from the date of receipt of notice to submit a letter to the City Clerk requesting a review by the City Council, which would review the application within 30 days of receipt in an executive session.

As noted before, the program is meant to reimburse qualifying new or expanding tenants for leasehold improvements or build-out, which may include upgrades, repairs or replacements to HVAC by a Charleston HVAC technician, mechanical, commercial plumbing serviced by our partner plumber in Sydney, electrical, windows, doors, green initiatives, flooring (like the ones being provided by this site http:s//resin-flooring-contractors.co.uk/), and interior demolition. If your property is connected to the sewer system, you may also check if a sewer line repair in Woodinville, WA or drain cleaning in Akron is necessary. Otherwise, those who have septic tanks may hire a professional to conduct septic system inspections and a residential septic tank cleaning. And if you suspect that you have water leaks but can’t find the source, then you may consider hiring a plumbing professional who specializes in leak repair services.

The program will target businesses that College Park residents have, through the resident survey and other forums, indicated a preference for (e.g., full-service restaurants, coffee shops, and apparel stores), or that have been identified as market voids in the Route 1 Retail Market study. Some businesses (for example fast casual or fast-food restaurants, electronics stores or book stores) will be eligible on a case-by-case basis.

In order to be eligible, a business must be a locally-owned small business, with at least 50% local ownership and no more than 20 outlets, with no more than 5 outside of the Baltimore-Washington metopolitan area. Applicants must submit a business plan, financial information, and a pro-forma analysis, which will be reviewed by the City staff and staff of the Maryland Small Business Development and Technology Center (SBDTC). Applicants must also have at least a 3-year lease and must have the written consent of the property owner.

The City and SBDTC will work with the business owners to ensure that the grant recipients are prepared to operate successfully and utilize the grant funds most effectively. Priority will be given to target business types, expanding businesses, and businesses willing to cover at least 50% of the total improvement costs themselves. Businesses in any part of the City may apply, but businesses in Downtown College Park, the Berwyn Commercial District and the Hollywood Commercial District will be given priority and scored higher.

The maximum grant amount will be $25,000 and the grants will be capped at 50% of the total improvement costs. Grant funds will be disbursed upon inspection and approval of all completed improvements, receipt of invoices, and the issuance of a Use and Occupancy permit.

City to Improve Two Streets with Green Streets Green Job Grants

Green streets Green Jobs

In last night’s Council worksession, the Council agreed to award a contract to LIDC for consulting services under the Green Streets – Green Jobs grant in the amount of $35000.

In February 2011, the City was awarded a $35,000 Green Streets-Green Jobs grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust to develop green infrastructure plans for 2 streets in College Park.

The goal of the Green Streets – Green Jobs program is to increase attention to watershed protection through best practices in storm water management.

The streets include Lackawanna Street between Narragansett Parkway and 53rd Avenue with an amount of $18,500 and Rhode Island Avenue between Greenbelt Road and Tecumseh Street with an amount of $16,500.

The LackawannaStreet project tasks includes review of previous concept plans and reports, engineering and drainage analysis, preparation of preliminary details, storm drain profiles and cross sections and preliminary cost estimates.

Possible green street improvements may include rain gardens and bioswales, use of pervious pavement, and other techniques designed to minimize runoff and improve the quality of stormwater that drains into the watershed.

Challenges Ahead in FY2014 City Budget

City Budget

At tonight’s work session, the Council will discuss budget guidance and schedule for City’s FY2014 budget. The process began at the end of last month with distribution of budget worksheets to City department heads.

The Council budget worksessions will be on April 13 and 20 (if needed) with the budget ordinance introduced on April 23. The FY 2014 budget must be adopted by July 1st. The City Manager’s requested budget will be distributed to the Mayor and the Council by Friday, March 29. The budget ordinance will be introduced at the regular Council meeting on Tuesday, April 23.

The City is expecting a lower revenue budget this year as the total tax assessments have gone down by 10.64% compared to the FY 2013 assessment. In order to adjust the declined revenue, City’s various departments will be asked to budget for a 0% increase, for the first time in recent years, when they consistently received increases in their budget amounts.

The City will also be engaged in negotiation for a new collective bargaining agreement for certain employees of the Public Works department on the annual Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA). A 2% COLA was approved in FY2013.

The City is hoping to avoid using unassigned reserve to balance the FY2014 budget. Last year, the amount of unassigned reserve was $146,211.

The Council members have been asked to submit their wish list by Friday, February 15, so that departments will have ample time to price out the items. If you want me to include any item to our wish list please let me know soon.

City and UMd Join Hands to Improve Public Safety in College Park

Over the past few months, the City of College Park and the University of Maryland and other stakeholders in the Prince George’s County and the State of Maryland have been working to create and implement an integrated and comprehensive community development strategy for the University District around College Park.

Led by MD State senator Jim Rosapepe, the initiative was the work of a committee (CPCUP) that included Mayor Andy Fellows, Council members Fazlul Kabir and Stephanie Stullich, City Manager Joe Nagro, and Public Services Director Bob Ryan, PG Police Chief (Dist 1) Major Robert Brewer, County Council member Eric Olson, Renee Battle-Brooks from the State’s Attorney’s office, UMd V.P. for administrative affairs Rob Specter, UMD Police Chief David Mitchell, and UMd Director of Student Conduct Andrea Goodwin from the University.

Committee members will be at the City Council meeting tomorrow night to present and discuss their proposals.

The public safety initiative is part of a larger City-University partnership program that aim to improve K-12 education, public safety, transportation, housing/development and sustainability. The group’s work on education resulted in College Park Academy, which is set to start in Fall 2013.

The primary goals of the safety committee are the following:

  • Extend the University’s Student Code of Conduct and UMDPS’ concurrent jurisdiction to the entire City of College Park.
  • Provide UMPD with additional staff to patrol 3 additional student-dominated neighborhoods: Lakeland, Crystal Springs and the high rise student apartment buildings west of Route 1 and south of University Blvd. Determine additional actions if any, based upon an assessment of need
  • Expand security camera coverage in the City as quickly as resources become available.
  • Expand City noise enforcement capability.
  • Provide resources to create, track and share public safety metrics that would enable us to evaluate the effectiveness of the various initiatives. These metrics should enable us to effectively compare ourselves to peer college towns generally, and cities of choice within the metropolitan area.

In addition to these initial goals, the committee will work on a few other long term initiative:

  • Use “Safety Ambassadors” to expand the effectiveness of police throughout the City of College Park by increasing the visibility of safety efforts and expanding the reach of police. Safety Ambassadors would not be sworn officers; they would be uniformed public safety officers who do not carry a gun or a badge.
  • Initiate additional programs which deter risky behavior, encourage a healthy life style and make excessive drinking socially unacceptable.
  • Encourage landlords to cooperate with the City and the University to assure that tenant behavior meets City and County regulations.
  • Explore City contracting with UMPD as well as County police. Revisit, again, the idea of the City having its own police force.
  • Enforce alcohol and other laws and regulations more effectively. Focus on business properties and residential properties which serve as “party houses.”
  • Integrate the sworn officers (including UMPD, PGPD and City Contract Officers), safety ambassadors, 911 dispatchers and new cameras into system that is effective and efficient.
  • Consider extending current UM technology to other District residents such that they can interact personally and directly with the 24 hour dispatch system operated by the UMPD.

NCP Crime Stats: Jan 27 – Feb 2, 2013

[mappress mapid=”101″]
Date of
Time of

01/28/20131804THEFT FROM AUTO4800 Blk ERIE ST
01/29/2013439B & E, RESIDENTIAL9700 Blk 51ST AVE
01/29/20131446B & E, RESIDENTIAL9300 Blk CHERRY HILL RD
01/30/20132233THEFT5000 Blk APACHE ST
02/02/2013200THEFT9500 Blk BALTIMORE AVE
02/02/20131418THEFT9800 Blk RHODE ISLAND AVE

Car-Seat Check Event, Opportunity at Citizens’ Police Academy

Car-Seat Check Event
Laurel Volunteer Fire Department
Thursday, February 14, 2013
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
7411 Cherry Lane
Laurel, MD 20707
Appointments are not necessary.
Inspections take approximately 30 minutes per car seat.
 Your car seat should already be installed in your vehicle;
 Car seat technicians will check for recalls, ensure your seat is correct for your child and that the harness and vehicle installation are correct;
 You will be involved in the safety check;
 Please have your vehicle and car seat owner’s manuals with you if available.
 For More Information, Please Call Kids In Safety Seats (KISS) @ 800-370-SEAT

Citizens’ Police Academy
The Training and Education Division is now accepting applications for the next Citizens’ Police Academy class, Session #32. The scheduled start date will be Monday, March 25, 2013. Each District station will be allotted seven (7) spots. If you have any questions or are interested in attending, please feel free to contact POFC Black via email (jjblack@co.pg.md.us) or call 202-669-7800.

NCP Crime Stats: January 20-27, 2013

Please see below last week’s crime reports, which include a number of thefts from auto on Route 1. Please let me know if you have any questions.

[mappress mapid=”100″]
Date of
Time of

01/20/20131149THEFT10250  Blk BALTIMORE AVE
01/25/20131243THEFT3700 Blk METZEROTT RD

Police-Residents “Dream Team” Goes in Action, Tonight

Police plays with community members at College Park Community Center

Come out and see the C.P. (Community / Police) Dream Team in action tonight at the College Park Community Center.

The team will play basketball together to show the community relations between law enforcement agencies and the local residents. The team’s slogan says: “Together, we are an Unstoppable Force – for Good!”.

The game will start at 7:30 pm at the community center, located at 5051 Pierce Avenue.

The game happens first Friday of every other month. The next game will be on April 5th.

Please join event for a great game, give-aways and free food.