As another year passes and we embark upon a new one, I thought I would drop a note to share some important events in our neighborhood as well as my activities as your Councilmember that occurred in 2016. I also want to take this opportunity to ask you how I can be of service to you in 2017.
On the Council, I supported the fiscal year 2017 budget that does not ask for an increase in any tax, fees or fines from residents. We were also able to lower the City’s Homestead Tax Credit Rate from 4% to 2%.
Back in the summer, we added new services at the Davis Hall location to better serve the residents of College Park. With this service added, residents will not need to go to City Hall for essential services, such as getting parking passes, zoning permits or pet licenses.
As you recall, a few months ago, we ran a survey in the community about the idea of building a community garden in North College Park. Among the top choices, many survey responders wanted the community garden next to the dry cleaner at the corner of Rhode Island Avenue. If everything goes well, residents will be able to buy plots in the coming Spring.
In this year’s budget, we added $25,000 for an additional crosswalk RRFB signal at the Indian Lane / Fox St intersection of Rhode Island. With this one, residents can cross Rhode Island Avenue in north College Park at four locations.
We also allocated funds to run a study to improve the City’s police and public safety programs. In the current budget, we allocated funds for additional beautification/landscaping in the City, additional streetlights to improve public safety, and a new communication coordinator position to better inform our residents.
The much-awaited construction work for the Hollywood Gateway Park at the southeast corner of Route 1 and Edgewood Rd. is expected to start early this year. We have approved the final design and acquired the necessary funds for the construction.
As you’ve probably noticed, the Duvall Field concession building and the surrounding recreation plaza are being rebuilt, and the work is expected to be finished by Spring this year. We’ll then move to the next phase which is expected to include reconfiguration of the fields, better lighting, and modernization of the playground.
In early May, we started the Bike Share program in the City. The program started with 14 bike stations – two of them are in North College Park, one at the Lackawanna and 53rd Avenue intersection, and another at the Hollywood commercial district.
We also expect to complete the first phase of the streetscape design of the Hollywood streetscape project this year. These improvements could include street furniture, a pedestrian area with lights, better sidewalks, bicycle facilities, and roadside plantings. I testified at the Maryland State budget hearing in Annapolis to advocate for the construction funds of the project.
Last year, we completed work for the Aging-in-Place task force, which I was a part of. The task force explored ways that the City can help senior residents to remain in their own homes as part of our community as they age. Recently, the City Council formed a Seniors Committee, to further implement the task force’s recommendations for our seniors.
Last Fall, we opened City’s first Senior Center in North College Park, at the Youth and Family Services building at 4912 Nantucket Road. Seniors now have the opportunity to meet and have activities at this facility twice a week, every Wednesday and Friday, from 10 am to 12 pm.
Just like the past several years, I organized three neighborhood cleanups with about 50 residents in various parts of the district. I also helped organize the Good Neighbor Day beautification projects, and the National Night Out event in north College Park.
As you may already know, I write a daily blog where I cover events taking place in College Park. In case you didn’t get a chance, please visit my blog at www.KabirCares.org. The blog gives important updates on recent developments, crime maps, and analysis of current events and announcements. I believe you will find the blog useful.
I hope to stay engaged in the neighborhood matters this year as I did in the past year. Let’s keep in touch and please let me know how I can serve you better in the new year!