Sustainable Agriculture Tuesdays” Lecture Series

Are you interested in topics relating to sustainability in the food system? Curious about the role of agriculture in environmental, social, and economic issues? You are invited to the Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) for Sustainable Agriculture Tuesdays. Join the conversation in person or you can stream the lectures online.

Council Poised to Adjust Fees for Some City Services

At tomorrow’s meeting, an rdinanceo will be introduced to amend certain fees as described in Chapter 110-1 of the City Code. The proposed changes include: (1) Increase the administrative cost of Business License fees for the businesses in the Downtown CP Management Authority, from 2% to 10% (2) Increase 1st/2nd & subsequent Impound Redemption fee of dogs / animals from $ 25 / $50 to $50 / $100. (3) Increase Microchip placement fee from $30 to $50. (4) Increase the reinstatement fee of Garbage, Rubbish fees from $50 to $75 (5) Increase Immobilization fee of vehicles from $35 to $100. The public hearing on the ordinance will be scheduled for March 12, 2019. 

According to our staff, most of those recommendations relate to increasing fees just to cover the direct cost of services and not overhead costs. All the current fees charged for services have cost recovery rates less than 100%, meaning that the cost of providing the service exceeds that fees charged. It also means that the General Fund subsidizes every service to some extent. Of the fee-based services analyzed, most services (30) have very low-cost recovery rates, from 0% (no fee charged) to 41%. The remaining services (11) had cost recovery rates from 50% to 94%.

Another factor Staff reviewed was what surrounding cities are charging for the same service.

Staff has also noted a few other issues for consideration in setting an appropriate fee or cost recovery level including:

– Legal restrictions – state/federal law may mandate specific fees to be charged or prohibit fees entirely for certain services.

– Economic barriers – it may be desirable to establish fees at a level that allows access to services for lower income persons that they might not otherwise be able to afford.

– Community benefit – if a fee-based service benefits the community as a whole it may be appropriate to subsidize a portion of that fee. Many public health programs have low-cost recovery levels.

– Service driver – related to community service, the issue of who is the recipient of the service versus the service driver should be considered. As an example, code enforcement activities benefit the entire community, but the service is driven by a business owner or individual that violates city code.

– Managing demand – elasticity of demand in setting fees for certain services where increasing the price results in a reduction of demands, and vice versa.

City to Rent UMD Facility During City Hall Construction

The new City Hall project will require vacating and demolishing the existing City Hall. Construction is planned to start in January 2020. The City could vacate City Hall before January in order to enable the project to move forward sooner. Staff has examined two primary relocation options during the construction of the new City Hall (a period of 24 – 30 months): renovating and using existing space in other City facilities; or locating adjacent to the Department of Public Services (DPS) at 8400 Baltimore Avenue.

The University of Maryland owns the DPS building and DPS moved there to enable the University to build a childcare facility at 4601 Calvert Road. Approximately 4,200 square feet is available, and can be configured to accommodate Administration, Finance, Parking, and Human Resources.

The Planning Department would be located in existing space within the DPS offices. All other departments would not be impacted. The University has offered an $80,000 allowance (the University would pay for up to $80,000 of work) to improve the existing space so that it meets the City’s requirements.

This work would include removing walls, creating new offices and open space, installing cashier windows, and providing new paint and flooring. The University has also identified office cubicles that can be provided to the City. The annual rent for year 1 is $79,268 and for year 2 is $81,646.

The City would also be responsible for its share of operating expenses. The cost would be covered in the City Hall CIP account.

Early Gardener Special – 25% off SMARTLEAF® Compost!

Calling all gardeners – get the City’s screened SMARTLEAF® Compost for 25% off now through April 30, 2019!* 

For a limited time only, the City is offering our top-grade screened compost for only $21/cubic yard – 25% off its regular price of $28/cubic yard!
You must pick-up your purchase at the Department of Public Works (9217 51st Avenue), Monday through Friday, between 7:30 – 11:45 a.m. and 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. The Department will be open on Saturdays in April from 7:30 a.m. until noon.

For more information about the City’s SMARTLEAF® compost, visit www.collegeparkmd.gov/compost or call 240.487.3590.

*Discount is for pick up only. While supplies last. City residency is not required.

Call for Artists!!

Second Public Forum to Get Residents’ Input on Extending Council Term to 4 Years

The City has established a Charter Review Commission (CRC) to hear from our residents on the benefits and concerns associated with changing the length of the term for elected officials from two to four years, and on the benefits and concerns related to staggering those terms or having them run concurrently. The Commission’s second Public Forum will be held on Monday, March 11, 2019 at Davis Hall, 9217 51st Avenue. If you prefer to submit your comments in writing, please visit www.collegeparkmd.gov/CRCcomment. For more information, contact the Office of the City Clerk at 240.487.3501.

Winter Weather Notice for February 20, 2019

[From City’s Department of Public Works]

Due to the expected winter weather, the City of College Park will delay refuse and recycling collection today.

Today’s collections (College Park Woods; Crystal Springs; Patricia Court; area north of MD 193, west of Rhode Island Ave, and east of Baltimore Ave) will be picked up on Thursday, and Wednesday’s collections (Cherry Hill; Autoville North; Sunnyside; area north of MD 193 and east of Rhode Island Ave) will be picked up on Friday.

Because of the Presidents’ Day holiday, collections were already shifted forward by one day; Monday’s collections that were scheduled for today have been picked up. With snow projected to begin accumulating between 3:00-5:00 a.m. today morning, Department of Public Works crews will begin snow and ice operations tonight in preparation of the storm, and will continue throughout its duration.

The decision to delay refuse and recycling collection allows our crews to effectively clear the roads of snow and ice, and will help ensure the safety of our staff and residents.

Four to six inches of snow and ice are projected for today; please help our crews and snow plows clear the roads by parking in your driveway, or on the same side of the road as your neighbors. For more information including parking guides and shoveling tips, visit www.collegeparkmd.gov/snow.

Announcing College Park Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Neighbors Helping Neighbors of College Park is a new non-profit organization that takes requests for assistance from seniors living in College Park and matches their needs with volunteers who have signed on to help.

The types of requests that volunteers can help seniors with are typically:

1. Transportation to medical appointments or dental appointments to other local clinics like dds new york.

2. Driving seniors to shop for groceries, to pick up pharmaceuticals, or to attend religious services.

Friendly home visits to the house-bound by a volunteer.

3. Assistance in the home to move objects or help the senior perform other light household chores.

4. Volunteer assistance for snow shoveling or raking leaves.

To request assistance, seniors should call 301-222-3434 and leave a recorded message that includes their name, phone number, address and the nature of their request. The coordinator or a volunteer will call them back to make sure that the request is properly recorded, and will then solicit volunteers to meet that need.

Those interested in volunteering should call 301-222-3434 and leave a recorded message with their name and phone number or email. Additional information is available at www.NHN-CP.org. Volunteers must complete training and appropriate background checks. Those signing up to volunteer will be informed of upcoming training opportunities.

Please help us spread the word about this great organization to seniors who might benefit from service or to those who might volunteer to provide service to their neighbors in College Park. You can direct them to http://www.NHN-CP.org for more information.

New Dockless Bikeshare, E-Scooter May Come to College Park

The Council will discuss a new bike share/scooter program, and a pilot scooter program. Since the original launch of mBike in 2016, Zagster has introduced a new bike share service model, Pace. Pace uses “lock-to” technology that allows the bike share to operate as a dockless, as opposed to our current station-based, system. These lock-to vehicles avoid the pitfalls of free-floating dockless systems by requiring users to lock their bicycles to a Pace or public bike rack at the end of their ride.

By allowing riders to use public racks as well as official stations, the reach of the bike share system is greatly extended, and users have greater flexibility in where they end their trips. In addition to a new bike share system, the City also has the option to introduce electric scooters into our mix of shared mobility devices. See Attachment 2 for a sample image of the type of scooters proposed.

Several vendors made proposals to the University and, to a lesser extent, the City, to bring scooters to the community. These operators typically provide scooters at no cost and collect all rider revenue. Other city and university communities that have introduced scooters have seen high ridership numbers due to the popularity of these devices for short trips.

Bus Stop Relocations at College Park Metro

[ From Maryland Purple Line ]

Effective March 18, 2019, the College Park Metro Bus Loop access will be closed long-term for Purple Line construction. The existing 5 bus stops within the bus loop will be relocated to the southbound right-hand lane of River Road. Additional bus stops may be added at a later date; at that time a revised notice will be provided. See illustration below for long-term bus stop locations. 

Please note that the right-hand southbound lane along River Road will have buses queue up at the temporary bus stops between 5 a.m. and 11 p.m.
As work continues, we will strive to keep you informed of the progress of this exciting project. For information on construction activities, schedules and other updates, please visit www.purplelinemd.com/construction. For immediate construction concerns, please email us at outreach@pltcllc.com or call the construction hotline at 240-424-5325.

All activities are subject to change due to traffic, weather or emergency situations.

City Scholarships to UMD Summer Youth Camps for Rising K-12 City Students

City of College Park Scholarship Application to a University of Maryland Summer 2019 Youth Camp is available here: https://www.collegeparkmd.gov/DocumentCenter/View/1305/Summer-Camp-scholarships-2019_Fillable The application deadline is March 11, 2019 by 5:00 p.m. This application also has a non-comprehensive list of available summer camps at the University of Maryland, along with instructions as to how to find more camp offerings. This is not an application for a summer camp, only an application for the scholarship. For questions, please contact Latisha Moore at the City’s Department of Youth, Family and Senior Services at (240)487-3552 or lmoore@collegeparkmd.gov.

Join Citizen’s Police Acdemy Session # 44

By participating in the Citizen’s Police Academy you are exposed to various officer related training and become familiar with the Prince George’s County Police Department.  Please see below the class announcement, instructions, and nominating form. 

Tomorrow’s NCPCA Meeting, Budget Priorities, Picnic and More..

Here is the agenda of tomorrow’s NCPCA meeting As usual, the meeting will take place at 7:30 pm at Davis Hall.

7:35  Compassion & Choices.  Mr. Robert Landau will present info about efforts to promote ‘Death with Dignity’ and change Maryland law.  Read more at https://compassionandchoices.org .

7:55 NCPCA Bylaws & Membership Dues.  The following were discussed on Jan. 10.  Formal motions will be accepted today for vote on March 14.  NCPCA Bylaws are at https://myncpca.org/legal .

1.  Change to Article 1 Name.  The following text is proposed for addition to the Bylaws, after the current text:  NCPCA is incorporated in the State of Maryland as North College Park Citizens Association, and uses that name for all tax and legal purposes.

2.  Change to Article IV Membership Section 3.  The following text is proposed for deletion:
The Association may, in addition to dues, assess an annual mailing fee to cover the cost of sending the newsletter and other communications by postal mail. 

3.  Dues.  Dues of NCPCA shall be $10 per year, starting on June 1 and ending on May 31, 2020.  Note:  Dues must be paid before the NCPCA officer elections on June 9, 2019.

8:10  NCPCA Picnic Update.  Marci Booth will present the latest information about planning for a picnic event in Spring, 2019.

8:20  NCPCA City Budget Priorities.  The list of City budget priorities was sent by email and will be posted with brief recap at the meeting.  The current list follows below.  We will add additions and then participate in a fun exercise to identify our priorities.      A summary will be presented at the end of the meeting.

Parent’s Night Out

Parent’s Night Out

Friday, February

156:00 to 9:00 p.m.

College Park Community Center

5051 Pierce Avenue

Spend an evening at a local restaurant while your 6-12 year old child has fun at the Community Center!
Bring this flyer in to Hard Times Cafe (4738 Cherry Hill Road) during the event time frame to get 20% off food only.
PGParks Ticket #: CPKCC-SPEC-GA-20190215$6 per child for residents of Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties; $8 for non-residents
Limited to 20 children total between 6-12 years old. Bring valid parent drivers licenses and child’s birth certificate to register with M-NCPPC. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED

47. Presented by the City of College Park’s Recreation Board and Prince George’s County Parks and Recreation.

Residents will be able to vote early and vote at all polling stations

At this week’s meeting, the Council discussed several election-related matters with the Board of Election Supervisors.

Starting from this year’s City election in November, the Council wanted to make a couple of changes

(a) Early Voting: Early Voting is planned for the College Park Community Center on Sunday, October 27 from 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. The cost for Early Voting is primarily for staffing the poll. The estimated cost is $2,500.

(b) Stamp Union Poll: Adding a poll at Stamp Union will necessitate extra equipment and extra poll workers. There is no fee for the use of the space, but the City will pay for parking spaces for the poll workers and 4 additional spaces for voters. The estimated cost of adding a poll at Stamp Union is $10,600.

Residents will also be able to vote any of these three polling stations on the November polling date. Currently, District 1 and 4 residents can only vote at Davis Hall, and District 2 and 3 residents can vote at the City Hall.

( c )Additional Election Supervisor: The BOES has asked Council to consider adding an Election Supervisor when the new appointments are made in March. At this week’s meeting, a charter amendment could be introduced in Special Session. Election Supervisors are compensated. Adding a Supervisor is estimated to cost $360 in an election year.