Pepco Seeks $43.3 Million Rate Hike



Pepco has asked Maryland regulators Wednesday for a $43.3 million rate increase that would boost the average electric bill by $4.80 a month for residential customers in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. Please read here for more. On Wednesday, December 4th Pepco filed with the Maryland Public Service Commission a request to increase distribution rates annually by $43M. Within the filing is a request to increase monthly maintenance and distribution rates for street lighting by more than 12 percent. The increase applies to both overhead and underground fed lights and to incandescent, mercury vapor, high pressure sodium, induction and LED. The PSC has designated it as case 9336. Parties wishing to intervene in the rate case have 30 days to notify the PSC. The pre-hearing conference has been scheduled for January 7, 2014 in Baltimore. On a related note, Pepco also filed their annual request to the PSC to adjust one-time rates for street lighting installation, removal or upgrade. It has been refiled twice, most recently on December 5th. Under the proposal, Pepco would increase the one-time contribution in aid of construction cost for induction lights to nearly $3,000. The filing also proposes to replace a removal cost for all lights with separate removal rates for high pressure sodium. This means there would no longer be a rate for the removal of mercury vapor or incandescent lights. Last December the Montgomery County Department of Transportation mandated that Pepco cease the conversion of mercury vapor lights to high pressure sodium which carry a higher maintenance rate and are have been deemed obsolete by many jurisdictions.

College Park Community Foundation to Hold its First Winter Gala Next Weekend

College Park Community Foundation Winter Gala

The College Park Community Foundation invites you to celebrate with its first ever grant recipients sand learn about their projects, next Saturday, December 21, 2013 from 7pm to 10pm.

The event will take place at The Marriott Inn & Conference Center, University of Maryland University College, 3501 University Blvd, East · Hyattsville, Maryland 20783 USA.

Individual tickets available here for $30.

The College Park Community Foundation Winter Gala will include the presentation of College Park Community Foundation 2013 Grants, silent auction with gifts charitably contributed from around College Park and prize raffle.

The recipients of three grants include: The University of Maryland’s Office of Community Engagement, the College Park Arts Exchange and College Park Woods Neighborhood Watch.

The grant to the Office of Community Engagement will help fund their ongoing partnership with Paint Branch Elementary School, in particular preparing students to perform well on required standardized tests.

The grant to the College Park Arts Exchange will support their new Adult Choir. The Choir will explore a variety of songs, from popular music to classical, with offerings from The Beatles and Queen to Vivaldi and Mozart.

Finally, the College Park Woods Neighborhood Watch, for updating and distributing a neighborhood guide to residents.

Congratulations to all three groups!

For more information, please contact Richard Morrison at richard.morrison@gmail.com.

City’s New Website Goes Live

College Park's New Website

College Park’s New Website

The City’s new website has finally gone live. Please check the new website here: http://www.collegeparkmd.gov

The City Council and the staff have been actively working on the new website early this month. It later gave the contract to a contractor called Revize.

The new website has an improved navigation feature and the better integration with the social media and other services the City provides.

My thanks to City’s IT staff and leadership for making this excellent transition possible.

College Park Academy 2014 Enrollment Begins

The College Park Academy has recently opened its 2014 enrollment. The application deadline is January 31st.

As you know, in order to provide a rigorous college prep middle and high school for local students, the partnership of the University of Maryland and the City of College Park has launched the College Park Academy. Qualified students will be able to earn college credits while in high school, including up to 25 UM credits.

We intend it to be one of America’s top college prep schools, preparing its students for the top colleges and universities.

A public school, the College Park Academy opened this fall for 6th and 7th graders at St. Mark’s on Adelphi Road. The permanent location will be in College Park.
Spaces will be available for next fall’s 6th grade.

The deadline to apply is Friday, January 31, at 5:00pm, but I encourage you to learn about CPA now.

Now is the time to start thinking about fall 2014. If you are interested in applying for your child, please fill out the form by clicking here and CPA will send you updated information.

Feel free to contact Allison Johnson at 410-841-3141 if you have any questions

Tonight’s NCPCA Meeting: FBI and College Park Academy Relocation and Annual Potluck

NCPCA - It's Your Neighborhood Association

NCPCA – It’s Your Neighborhood Association

Today is the second Thursday of the month and thus the day for North College Park Civic Association’s December meeting. We have 2 important items in the agenda, plus a potluck at the end of the meeting. So please join.

The meeting will start with a discussion on the possible FBI Relocation to Greenbelt. The Greenbelt Metro parking lot may become the new national headquarters of the FBI. Mr. Garth Beall, representing the Greenbelt Metro developer, will discuss planning strategies in response to Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for relocation of the FBI to Greenbelt Metro. Copies of RFEI will be available at the meeting.

Members will also discuss the possible relocation of College Park Academy to north College Park. As you know, the Academy is currently located in Hyatsville, ljust outside of College Park and has been looking into a number of possible sites within College Park to relocate. Al Huda School is one of those locations as it may soon move to a new location in Howard County. Representatives from the Academy will be at the meeting and discuss their relocation search. They will most likely ask NCPCA to approve a resolution and expression of support for this use.

The meeting will end with potluck. Please bring a dish to share.

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

College Park Swears In a New Council – A Tribute to Mr. Catlin and Mr. Afzali

The new 2014-2015 City Council took oath of office last night. Two of our colleagues – Bob Catlin (Dist 2) and Alan Hew (Dist 4) had their last day on the Council. In their seats, we had two new Council members, PJ Brennan (dist 2) Alan Hew (Dist 4), who are active in the Berwyn and Autoville neighborhood.

In today’s post, I want to highlight two of my colleagues (now ‘past’), Mr. Afzali and Mr. Catlin and want to thank them for their many years of service for our city.

Mr. Afzali got to Council when he was only 25 and became the youngest Council member in City’s history. By getting elected at that age, I think he has set an example and inspiration for city’s younger residents to get involved and run for public office.

Mr. Afzali has been very passionate on the Council to talk about the issue in his district and more importantly about the City. We will sure miss those passionate and often entertaining discussion on the Council.

Mr. Afzali started the College Park Tour where local elected and community leaders attended monthly events at City’s local restaurants and helped promote local businesses. He was also instrumental in starting the Downtown Farmers Market and promoting local businesses in downtown College Park.

Mr. Catlin is a mentor and personal trainer on the Council for me and for many of colleagues. I consider Mr. Catlin as a source of an extraordinary wealth of knowledge about our City. He is truly a living Wikipedia of City of College Park.

Many times during my term, I asked him questions about the City,and I got answers before I could get them from anywhere else. He has also helped a lot in responding to questions residents have asked on this blog.

Without Mr. Catlin, the new Council will really be losing a huge institutional knowledge.

Mr. Catlin cared much about the development projects in the City. He has been very independent minded when he voted on many issues on the Council. On many occasions, he voted against the majority of the Council and I think this is a good example we can all take as Council member. It’s easy to go with the flow, but often it takes courage to cast that lone vote.

I wish Mr. Afzali and Mr. Catlin the best. I hope they will stay with us for many days, months and years to come. Because College Park really needs them.

North College Park Crime Report – December 1 – 8, 2013

Please see below last week’s crime report and let us know if you have any questions.

[mappress mapid=”150″]

Stolen Veh






[12/05/13]15:0016:105000 Blk FOX ST,
















[12/05/13]17:1819:309300 Blk CHERRY HILL RD


Theft from Auto






[12/03/13]03:2304:259300 Blk CHERRY HILL RD
[12/04/13]06:0106:475000 Blk STEWART CT,
[12/04/13]06:5407:51HAMPTON INN COLLEGE PARK,
[12/04/13]16:0517:2710100 Blk 52ND AVE,


Council Approves Bike Share Program in College Park

In last Tuesday’s meeting, the Council voted to approve the Bike Share program in College Park. The program will be jointly funded by the City and the University of Maryland. The Council also approved a memorandum of understanding between the City and the UMD.

According to the MOU, the funding received by the Parties, plus other sources of funds received by the City, will allow the University to install four (4) bikeshare stations and will allow the City to install six (6) bikeshare stations.

Additional stations may be added to the Project by the University or the City, subject to that party providing the funds for installation and operation.

The City and the University have determined that, to maximize the benefits of their respective grants and to achieve their respective bikeshare program goals and the purchase, installation and operation of bikeshare stations and bicycles, it is
appropriate to coordinate their efforts; and the Parties have reached an agreement to coordinate their efforts, as set out in the MOU.

The term of this MOU shall be five years from the effective date. The City will install the stations using the funds provided through the Bikesharing Grant Project administered by the Department and funds received from another source by the City. The bikeshare stations.

The City and the University will jointly select a contractor to install and maintain the said bikeshare stations. The City and the University of Maryland will pay the installation cost of their respective bike share stations with the exception of the Ritchie Coliseum and Lot 3 bike share station sites. The University will seek Facilities Council approval for the installation of the City bikeshare stations to be located at Ritchie Coliseum and Lot 3.

Presuming approval is granted, the City will be responsible for any and all installation, improvement, maintenance, capital and operating costs associated with the Ritchie Coliseum and Lot 3 bike share stations. The City will also pay the one-time launch costs. Operating costs incurred through the contractor shall be divided pro-rata between the City and the University on a per dock basis.

The City and University may develop a joint project name, logo, color scheme and any other branding specifications for use with the project.

The Parties anticipate that the Project will generate revenues from subscription and user fees and advertising and sponsorship proceeds. Subscription fees are those fees paid by subscribers with addresses in the City or on the campus of the University or who have memberships affiliated with the University of Maryland.

Usage fees are the fees attributable to bicycles rented in (trips initiated from stations in) the City or on the campus of the
University. The City and the University agree to share the net proceeds, after deducting all costs of the Program, on a per dock basis. The Parties recognize that operation of the Program, including but not limited to actual usage of each bikeshare station and related operating costs, may require renegotiation of division of proceeds, and agree to undertake such negotiation on a good
faith basis.

The City and the University agree to share information and to work jointly to file periodic reports pursuant to the requirements of their respective Bikesharing Grant Project Agreements. They will attend periodic meetings, no less than quarterly, to review performance of the goals of the Program. The Parties agree to cooperate in publicizing the Program.

The University will, subject to funding, to develop a marketing plan for the Project, which shall be provided to the City for its approval prior to implementation.

Winter Clothing Drive, 2013

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.

You can drop off your donations at the Pizza Roma store at the REI / MoM shopping center (from today to 20 December). Also, 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 12).

We’ll be accepting any winter warm clothing, such as coats, sweaters, jackets, pants, gloves / mittens, hats and scarves, etc. Please make sure the items are clean, have no stains, extreme wear, holes or tears.

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

Winter Clothing Drive Flyer 2013

East Campus Town Center Plan Moves Forward

2012 Proposed East Campus development plan. In the new plan, the proposed hotel is 12 stories tall and stretches along Route 1

Yesterday, a scaled back plan for the new East Campus Town Center at the corner of Route 1 and Paint Branch Pkwy has been approved. See more about the news here.

The development will include a 300-room hotel, 10,000 sq ft of conference place, retails and other amenities.

The project, initially conceived as a 22-acre town center development, has been impacted by the economic downturn and market changes. The university has since decided to redevelop larger portions of its campus as part of a “systematic project-by-project development strategy”.

More Neighborhood Watch Training Opportunities

Neighborhood Watch

Neighborhood Watch

The City is offering more FREE training opportunities in the new year next month. The training will prepare you to be a volunteer on your block. The City Public Safety Officer will be presenting Neighborhood Watch volunteer training on the following dates:

01/09/2014 7 p.m.
02/01/2014 9 a.m.
03/06/2014 7 p.m.

All at the City Hall. Attendance of one date only required. This is also once in a lifetime requirement.

Block Captain training will be presented at a later date for those who have completed basic training and wish to serve as block captains.

Please call 240.487.3585 to reserve a place in one of these sessions. Please consider alternate dates in case your first choice is filled.

WSSC Water Main Replacement Work in North College Park Starts Next Monday

WSSC Work map on 51st avenue

WSSC Work map on 51st avenue

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) is planning to begin working on the subject water main replacement project this coming Monday. The contractor is planning to begin working on 51st Avenue in the Hollywood Subdivision. They plan to saw cut the pavement and perform test pits.

The contractor was given the Notice To Proceed on November 12, 2013 and is expected to complete the entire project by October 2014, weather permitting. The affected streets in north College Park include: 51st Ave and  Edgewood Rd,

This project is necessary because the water mains are nearing the end of their useful life. Providing a reliable supply of safe drinking water at affordable rates continues to be our highest priority; but after more than 90 years of service, WSSC is facing the same problem confronting water providers across the country: decaying pipes and valves. The water mains within the project area were originally installed in the 1920s, 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. These mains will be replaced with new ductile iron pipe which will greatly reduce the frequency of water main breaks, while providing the same high-quality water that WSSC has always provided its customers.

The majority of work is expected to be conducted during weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. WSSC will work closely with the residents and regulatory agencies to deliver a high-quality project on time and on budget, while minimizing disruptions to traffic and the environment. Water service may be interrupted while the new main is tied in with the existing main, however this will be limited to a few hours at a time. Residents will be notified in a timely manner before any service interruption.

To receive an e-mail or text message alert when your water service is disrupted, you can register for WSSC’s Customer Notification System (CNS). Visit WSSC’s home page at www.wsscwater.com and click on the CNS logo on the left-hand side to sign up. The service is FREE but your standard text messaging rates do apply.

If you have any questions about this project (BR5432A12) or need additional information, please contact at 301-206-8818 or by e-mail at CWheade@wsscwater.com. However, if you experience a water or sewer emergency, please call our 24-hr hotline at 301-206-4002.

College Park Removed from County’s Draft Priority Investment District List

College Park has recently learned that it is not listed anymore on the County’s draft 2035 development priority list.

Prince George’s County is in the process of updating its General Plan, and has presented a draft of Plan Prince George’s 2035 (available here – www.planpgc2035.com).

The City and the University of Maryland participated in several of the County’s General Plan update presentations and forums. The City initially learned that the Priority Investment Districts, or the PID, Diagnostic Index process, which the County Park and Planning division conducted, found College Park to be in the highest performing category.

The City was hopeful that downtown College Park would be designated as a Priority Investment District. However, the City has recently learned that, instead of being included in PID, College Park has been folded into a larger Primary Employment Areas or PEA that does not recognize the unique potential and opportunities for partnership that College Park has to offer the county.

In last night’s worksession, The Council decided to send a letter to County’s Planning Board to designate College Park as a PID in the first five years following General Plan adoption, in addition to the other PIDs (Prince George’s Plaza, Largo Town Center, and New Carrollton).

The draft letter, which the City will consider sending jointly with the University of Maryland, asks the Planning board to consider a number of potential benefits the City has to offer. They include

(1) Five Purple Line stations are proposed in the College Park area that will join Metrorail, MARC, and several bus providers to provide unparalleled transit opportunities and connectivity.

(2) The College Park/Riverdale Park Transit District Development Plan (TDDP) is in the process of being updated using current best practices to promote a mixed-use environment near the Metro Station and M Square.

(3) A new 270-room conference hotel including ballrooms, meeting rooms and “innovation studios” is planned for the former East Campus site and will be a game changer for College Park.

(4) The city and university, through the College Park City-University Partnership, have adopted a vision for the future of College Park as a sustainable top 20 college town by 2020 that includes diverse businesses from high-tech startups to community retailers, and a range of housing options from single-family residences to high density housing that thrives near livable, walkable commercial centers.

(5) College Park, encompassing the Metro station and town center area along US Route 1, is well suited and positioned to become a regionally competitive complete “Downtown” and an economic generator for Prince George’s County 5. College Park, as a PID, could meet the county’s challenge of providing centers with a balance of jobs and housing as the short term focus in College Park would be to attract additional housing so employees can live near their work. This matches up with market studies that show a demand for multifamily housing consistent with national trends.

(6) College Park offers an unprecedented opportunity to coordinate land use planning and development with a municipality who is ready and able to marry staff and resources towards a common goal.

Metropolitan Development – In Pictures

North College Park Crime Report: November 23 – 30, 2013

Please see below last week’s crime report. The Cherokee St. incident happened at the Ferris Manor apartment complex. Victim returned home and observed that unknown suspect(s) had broken into the residence by the rear sliding glass door with a hammer. Once inside suspect(s) stole a Play station game system, laptops and some cash.

Please let me know if you have any questions.
[mappress mapid=”149″]

Breaking and Entering Residential





[11/25/13]23:2201:229630 Blk MILESTONE WAY
[11/29/13]20:5622:344700 Blk CHEROKEE ST
[11/29/13]22:3123:459100 Blk ST ANDREWS PL,







[11/26/13]14:3115:113600 Blk METZEROTT RD

Theft from Auto






[11/28/13]11:1911:579100 Blk 48TH PL,
[11/29/13]14:5815:529600 Blk MILESTONE WAY
[11/30/13]07:2908:559400 Blk LIMESTONE PL
[11/30/13]13:0714:139308 Blk 49TH AVE, PP

Commercial Robbery






#L1332815:1918:099300 Blk CHERRY HILL RD,