SMARTLEAF Wood Mulch Available for Sale

Wood mulch is available for sale from the College Park Department of Public Works. SMARTLEAF® (screened compost) is also available, while unscreened compost is unavailable. Hours for pickup are Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The next weekend hours will be all four Saturdays in April (4th, 11th, 18th, 25th) from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. There are no Sunday hours.

Deliveries of both compost and wood mulch are still suspended. We will not resume deliveries until there is no more threat of snow and we can remove the snow plows and salt spreaders from our delivery trucks. Unfortunately, we can not tell you exactly when that will be, but we are guessing it will be sometime in late March or early April. You will receive an email as soon as we can start scheduling deliveries.

The price for wood mulch is $9/yd3, while SMARTLEAF compost is $23/yd3.

Registration Now Open for 2015 Good Neighbor Day

The local residents and the UMD community members are invited to join the community for Good Neighbor Day 2015 – a day of service and partnership between the University, the City of College Park, and the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC). The organisers focus on clean-up efforts that contribute to a great quality of life for all College Park residents and celebrate being a good neighbor, every day of the year. – See more at: http://vpaf.umd.edu/gnd/

North College Park Crime Map: February 16-23, 2015

Fortunately, things were relatively quiet last week – with only one theft incident. Please let me know if you have any questions. Thank you.
[mappress mapid=”212″]







[2/19/15]THEFT13:2914:049100 Blk BALTIMORE AVE,


Registration is Open for the 2nd Annual College Park 5K Race!

Runners, families, and running families are invited to join us on Sunday, May 10 at 7:30 a.m. to run or walk the five kilometer course, which starts and ends in the Hollywood Shopping Center on Rhode Island Avenue. The race features a separate start for parents with strollers as well as families racing with children.

For new and lapsed runners, or anyone interested in meeting their neighbors, CPCF is coordinating several Couch to 5K groups, with meet-ups available during the day as well as the evening. Groups will start convening in Mid-March, and you can opt-in to a group during the race registration.

Early bird registration is just $20 (including parents with strollers), or $45 for a family ticket, good for up to three teens or adults. Early bird registration ends March 15. Children 8 and under are free to run. Prizes will be awarded to the top 3 runners in each group, and all paid participants will receive a t-shirt.
To find out more or register for the event here.


Council to Support Ethics Bill on Financial Disclosure

At tonight’s Council meeting, the City Council will consider approving a letter of support for HB 584, Ethics Law- Financial Disclosure Statement by Elected Local Officials of a Municipal Corporation – Confidential Information.

Legislation enacted by the Maryland General Assembly in 2010 requires local ethics ordinances to be at least as stringent as state law. This includes a requirement for the submission of detailed financial disclosure forms, which may sometimes deter new candidates from seeking local office and influence current elected officials to decline to seek reelection.

HB 584 would make some of the information disclosed by elected officials confidential and not subject to disclosure, including some information concerning relatives of elected officials,interests in specified real property or business entities, and information concerning specified employment or indebtedness.

This issue is a priority for the Maryland Municipal League, and the First Reading of the bill will be on March 3, 2015 in the Environment and Transportation Committee.

Council to Weigh In Referendum Requirements for Charter Amendments

At tomorrow’s Council meeting, the City Council will consider approving a letter of support for HB 682, Municipalities- Charter Amendments -Referendum and Signatures Required for Petitions.

HB 682 would allow the City Council to submit to the voters a proposed charter amendment for a binding vote; and would allow the Council to lower from 20% to no lower than 5% the required percentage of qualified voters necessary to petition a proposed charter amendment to a referendum or to initiate a proposed charter amendment.

The State Constitution sets the minimum threshold for citizen petitions at five percent. In 1955 a statute increased the percentage to 20 percent, which is current law.

In College Park, the voter rolls include many people (particularly former students) who have moved away from the City but have not changed their voter registration. Therefore, the 20 percent requirement becomes a much higher actual percentage of voters who currently live in the City and are available to sign a petition.

HB 682 would allow municipalities to lower the required percentage. It would also allow municipalities to send charter amendments to the voters for a binding referendum. The bill sponsors include Delegates Peiia-Melnyk, Barnes, and Frush.

Groups Announce College Park Book Festival 2015

Once again, the College Park Community Library and the College Park Lions Club will be hosting the annual College Park Book Festival. Please mark your calendar and see below for details.

Council Asks MD Governor to Continue Funding Revitalization Programs

At last week’s meeting, the City Council approved a letter supporting the Governor’s fiscal year 2016 request to continue funding the program along with Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) other core neighborhood revitalization programs.

These programs include: Neighborhood Business Works and the Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund.

Since 2002, Community Legacy has contributed to the more than $1 billion in development activity that is transforming US Route 1 from an auto-dominated thoroughfare into a series of vibrant, walkable nodes. With further redevelopment planned along this corridor and other neighborhoods, particularly the College Park Transit District, the City expects to continue leveraging funds from these vital programs to promote transit-oriented development, create employment opportunities, and provide a range of housing.

The City has a successful history with the Community Legacy program, as it has received 12 grant awards since its inception including the following noteworthy examples:

  1. Gap financing for property acquisition to develop a $20 million mixed-use project housing 369 students near the University of Maryland.
  2. Gap financing for property acquisition to construct a 290-space parking garage in Downtown that will serve upcoming redevelopment efforts.
  3. Funds for the demolition of three blighted buildings that were in highly visible locations on Route 1 and nuisances to their neighborhoods.
  4. Funds for interior and exterior tenant improvements that have helped two businesses open, including the only independent coffee shop on Route 1.

Like College Park, many local governments lack the financial resources to prevent decline, much less to revitalize themselves into thriving communities and thus the continued funding of the programs are a necessity.

City to Partner with UMD Department on City’s Sustainability Efforts

The City has been in discussions with the University of Maryland’s Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability (PALS) program since January 2014. In May 2014 the City Council authorized staff to identify resources, such as the PALS program, to assist with the City’s sustainability efforts.

PALS is administered by the National Center for Smart Growth. It is a campus-wide initiative that harnesses the expertise of UMD faculty and the energy and ingenuity ofUMD students to help Maryland communities become more environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable. PALS is designed to provide innovative, low-cost assistance to local governments while creating real-world problem-solving experiences for University of Maryland graduate and undergraduate students. College Park would be the second jurisdiction to participate in the PALS program.

A  professor running the program came to this week’s worksession to talk more about the program.

The City and PALS staff have identified four courses / projects for the spring 2015 semester:

  • Improving Solid Waste Management Practices;
  • College Town: how the University and City can enhance urban life and the University;
  • Greenhouse Gas Inventory; and,
  • Making Place: Public Art and Design.

Staff from Administration, Planning, and Public Works will be liaisons for the courses. PALS charges $5,000 per course, but is charging the City for only three ofthe four courses.

The City will sign an MOU with the University of Maryland, subject to approval of the City Attorney, to participate in the PALS program.

City Announces 2015 Summer Camp Scholarship

Summer camp 2015 scholarship

Summer camp 2015 scholarship

Like last year, the City pf College Park is providing scholarships to College Park students so that they can attend summer camps at the University of Maryland.The deadline is March 10.

The City will be paying upto $500 to each student.

Applications are available online at www.collegeparkmd.gov. and at Youth and Family Services 4912 Nantucket Rd, College Park and City Hall – 4500 Knox Rd, College Park

For more information call 240-487-3550 or email phenderson@collegeparkmd.gov

Please let me know if you have any questions. Details are in the flyer (please click the image on the left).

Duvall Field Project Gets Expanded Scope

Last summer, the City Council awarded two contracts for the replacement of the concession / restroom building at Duvall Field in order to preserve State of Maryland funding that was nearing expiration. The State approved these contracts and a Notice to Proceed was issued in November 2014. Subsequently, a developer contribution was received that provides matching funds for the use of previously encumbered Program Open Space funding.

This additional funding will enable the current scope of work to be expanded to include improvements to the plaza area and walkways surrounding the concession building. A change order for additional design, engineering and construction management services is needed to accommodate this expanded work.

The original contract in the amount of $44,990 was limited in scope to include the minimum work necessary to accommodate a new pre-engineered building provided by others. The scope of work included a site plan, demolition plan, sediment control and storm water plans and coordination with the building manufacturer.

The proposed new work includes developing design alternatives for an enhanced plaza area and walkways along with preparing the final design plans and permits. Additional landscaping, lighting and other site amenities are also part of the scope. Construction administration was not part of the original contract but is now being included. CPJ’s cost proposal is for $44,918 and $35,606, respectively, for a total additional amount of $80,524.

Staff from the Departments of Planning, Public Works and Engineering reviewed the proposed changes and find them reasonable and acceptable.

Duval Field Feb 17 2015

City to Start Searching for a New City Manager

Our current City Manager Joe Nagro will be retiring at the end of June, 2015. The City has published and distributed a Request for Bids to hire an Executive Search Consultant. All bids are due to the Director of Finance by 2:00p.m. this Friday.

The Mayor and Council must decide on a process to select the winning bidder and hire a search consultant. The last time the City hired a search consultant was at the end of 2001, when a national search was conducted for a City Manager.

City records show that Mayor Brayman guided the process for evaluating the bids. Each Councilmember was asked to evaluate each proposal and rank the bids in order of their preference. There were six bids and the selected consultant fulfilled his responsibilities and then, within two years, honored his guarantee and did a second search for expenses only (not charging a second fee).

For the current search, Staff recommends that

  • Mayor and Council should appoint a chairperson to lead the process of selecting the consultant.
  • Council should decide if the entire Council will serve as the selection committee or if a smaller group will do the preliminary work and bring only finalists to the full Council.
  • It is the City’s practice to have the Director of Finance open all bids and complete a bid sheet including pertinent details and conformance with bid requirements.
  • Criteria for ranking must be determined so everyone is evaluating the bids similarly.
  • References should be checked on top 2 or 3, the selection is made from the list and the contract is signed
  • A basic time line for picking the consultant and awarding the contract should be discussed in order to keep the process moving.

At tonight’s worksession, the Council will discuss these recommendations.

North College Park Crime Map – February 6-15, 2015

[mappress mapid=”211″] Assault






[2/13/15]ASLT16:3717:204900 Blk BLACKFOOT RD,

Detect CO – Know When to Go

According to the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department, cold temperatures increase the risk of exposure to carbon monoxide (CO) due to use of heating equipment.

CO Poisoning Prevention Tips

  • Install a 10-year tamper proof with hush feature smoke alarm and CO detector on each level of your home and near sleeping areas, and make sure it is more than 5 feet from fuel-burning appliances to prevent false alarms.
  • Ensure that fuel-burning appliances are properly installed and working according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Inspect these appliances for adequate ventilation.
  • Do not burn charcoal inside your house, even in the fireplace.
  • Do not use gasoline-powered generators inside of your house.
  • Keep chimneys clear of animal nests, leaves and residue to ensure proper venting.
  • Do not block or seal shut exhaust flues or ducts for appliances, such as water heaters, ranges and clothes dryers. If It Happens to You
  • Never ignore your CO detectors if it sounds.
  • Operate test/reset button.
  • Determine if anyone in the household is experiencing symptoms of CO poisoning such as a headache, nausea, drowsiness or confusion. Call 911.
  • Open doors and windows, or exit your home. Leave the CO alarm where it is.
  • If you have an alarm with digital display, emergency responders can determine the highest level of CO present and decide how to treat victims.
  • Do not return to your home until the emergency personnel have arrived, the home is aired out and your CO alarm returns to normal operation.

Black History Month at College Park Community Library

February is Black History Month

Maryland National Capital Parks and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) has many activities planned during the month including an African American History Tour for ages 50+ and a Black Heritage Festival for all ages.  Both events take place on Saturday February 21.  See blackhistory.pgparks.com for more information on all the events this month.

Check out your Community Library for books about and by African Americans like-

Juan Williams’ biography of Thurgood Marshall.  Read about Marshall as the lawyer who successful before the Supreme Court in Brown v Board of Education and went on to become the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court;

Maya Angelou’s memoirs- I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, The Heart of a Women and Wouldn’t Take Nothing For My Journey Now– full of eloquent prose and raw emotion;

A classic collection of poetry by Langston Hughes- Selected  Poems.

And for the young readers from the Famous American series, read about the Voice of Freedom, Sojourner Truth.