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Month: April 2020 Page 2 of 4

Council to Discuss Joint Development Agreement with the UMD for the City Hall Project

At tonight’s meeting, the City Council will review the approval of the Joint Development Agreement, Parking Agreement, and the Condominium Documents between the City of College Park and the University of Maryland concerning the City Hall Project. The Joint Development

Agreement and Parking Agreement contain the terms necessary for pre-development requirements and construction. The Condominium Documents include the Declaration of Condominium, Condominium Plat, and the By-Laws, and set out how the property will be owned and maintained. Specifically, we will review (a) contributions made by the parties and how the “Initial University Contribution” (“true-up”) and parking payment from the University was determined; (b) the ownership structure once the project is complete; building and plaza costs and each party’s proportional share; and use of the municipal parking garage. The Condominium Declaration is the preliminary version of the agreement because the “as-built” information is required to finalize.

The City cost of this project is approximately $19.6 million. The City will use $12.5 million using the money it borrowed in the fall of 2019 through a bond sale. The City has received approximately $850,000 in State grants, utilized General Fund savings, and will receive funds from the University of Maryland for the land contribution “true-up” ($2.3 million) and use of the municipal parking garage ($0.63 million). Approval of the Joint Development Agreement and Parking Easement provides the legal path for the University of Maryland to pay the City the costs associated with the land “true-up” and for its use of the municipal parking garage, totaling approximately $3M. The City will also use $3.1 million from its Reserves.

TODAY: Virtual Public Hearings on WSSC and M-NCPPC Budget

Today, Prince George’s County Council will host virtual public hearings on the fiscal year 2021 budget of WSSC (4:30 pm) and M-NCPPC (5:00 pm). You can sign up to speak here: https://bit.ly/2VHBzdJ

The recent briefing before the County Council suggested that WSSC line relocation cost in the beltway expansion project may hike water bills of the WSSC taxpayers. You can read more on this in my blog here: http://wp.me/pFRaB-6It

Furthermore, the M-NCPPC hasn’t started the feasibility study on the north College Park Community Center with $250,000 it allocated in Fy2020. Please ask to continue funding this study in M-NCPPC FY2021 budget.

WSSC Line Relocation Cost in Beltway Expansion Project may Hike Water Bills

Beltway Near College Park

On March 12th, WSSC briefed the Transportation, Infrastructure, Energy & Environment Committee of the Prince George’s County Council and the Transportation & Environment Committee of the Montgomery County Council regarding the potential infrastructure cost to WSSC from the beltway widening project.

Based on MDOT’s SHA Alternative 10 (the option SHA has identified with the greatest limit of disturbance), WSSC estimates infrastructure costs ranging from $1.3 billion (100 percent open-cut construction) to $2.0 billion (100 percent drilling and tunneling) not including overhead costs. Compared to work done by well drilling southampton, it is something much more complicated to plan since it relies on approval from various parties and it covers a larger area.

It is unclear how these costs will be shared between WSSC, SHA, and a third-party under a P3 program.

At the March 12 joint briefing, WSSC stated that ratepayers will be liable for these costs.

A 1958 memorandum of understanding between WSSC and the then-Maryland State Roads Commission states that WSSC is responsible for the cost of any water infrastructure relocation required by modifying or widening a state road. This MOU remains in effect.

When Governor Hogan announced the proposed I-495 and I -270 Managed Lanes Program nearly three years ago, he promised that the P3 project could be constructed at no cost to taxpayers, and he has repeated that promise numerous times. The private concessionaire, he said, would bear the costs and risks of constructing the new lanes, paying down those costs over time through toll collections.

The P3 proposal does not detail the costs of relocating affected utility infrastructure.

MDOT has conducted rudimentary cost estimates of utility relocations that greatly underestimate WSSC’s projections.

It remains unclear whether WSSC relocation costs will be borne by ratepayers or the P3 concessionaire.

The prospect that WSSC ratepayers could face significant increases in our water bills to cover these P3-associated costs is unacceptable. We should not be responsible for the cost of these private toll lanes in any way.

If MDOT proceeds with the project and WSSC remains responsible for any associated relocation costs of its water infrastructure, the Prince George’s County council should refuse to fund any WSSC Capital Improvements Program that includes such costs and associated rate increases.

 

City Council Approves Construction Budget of the New College Park Woods Club House

At last week’s meeting, the Council approved an amendment to the contract with Broughton Construction Company for the scope and design of the College Park Woods Clubhouse, for an increase in cost of $445,106, bringing the total cost of the updated Design Build Contract for the College Park Woods Clubhouse to $999,776. When  working in a project as serious and expensive like this is, experts have recommended to read all sort of  information form post like this one named What to Consider When Choosing a Garage Door Installation Company.

Clubhouses aren’t always for golf courses as shown by this superyacht marina clubhouse situated adjacent to the Zenith Saint Petersburg stadium in Russia. The architectural concept is formed by the prevalent wind direction and the Voronoi principle creating a unique and striking design. The clubhouse comprises a restaurant/bar which may include items like the ones here, concierge services, changing/showers as well as a bar and restaurant.

Second floor offices allow staff to view the entire marina. When designing this type of house You also need to consider the size and shape of the room when making styling decisions, so for example round rugs work very well in lots of rooms as they are so symmetrical, but for more challenging rooms you need to really think about what will work best.

On August 19, 2019 the City awarded a design-build contract valued at $554,670.36 to the Broughton Construction Company. The contractor’s initial bid was based on an anticipated simple design with off-the-shelf materials. Consequently, the RFP referenced that “the new design shall be compatible with the residential nature of the surrounding neighborhood, with more premium sash windows and a less utilitarian presentation.”

Several factors have contributed to these expanded costs such as the design expanded from 2,200 sq/ft to 2,400 sq/ft. Storefront window aspects were added to the front and rear of the new building and they are being quoted by experts like Maverick Windows operating in Houston.

Gender-neutral restroom stalls were added along with a pitched flat roof, with a high open ceiling versus a gable roof. A retractable wall separator was added. If you would like to make upgrades or repairs to your roof, contact clearwater roof repair specialist for assistance.

Shoppers College Park to Offer Special Hours for Senior and At-Risk Residents

Good news! Starting next week, Shoppers College Park has agreed to start special hours for seniors and at-risk residents at its store. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation, these exclusive hours will run every Tuesday and Thursday from 7 am to 9 am.

The notices at the Shoppers College Park store read:

“Help Us Help Our Neighbors. Each Tuesday and Thursday. 7 am – 9 am. We ask for your help to try to avoid shopping during these short windows of time and reserve them for our senior citizens and other at-risk members of our community. We appreciate your patience and support as you help us with this temporary request.”

Recently, the College Park City Council sent a letter to UNFI, the parent company of Shoppers College Park store, asking them to start special shopping hours at the Shoppers College Park store.

In addition to Shoppers, there are a number of grocers in the area that already have special hours for seniors. The list includes Giant, Safeway, Whole Foods, Target, Costco, Sam’s Club, Aldi, Trader Joe’s and Walmart. Please see the flyer below for details.

Thank you UNFI, and the management and staff at the Shoppers College Park store for offering these special hours. A special hour will help our senior and at-risk residents to conveniently and safely shop during this pandemic period.

Pepco and Energy Assistance Programs

Pepco is suspending service disconnections and waiving new late payment charges at least until May 1 and will be working with customers on a case-by-case basis to establish payment arrangements and identify energy assistance options. Customers wishing to contact Pepco and enter into an installment plan can call them at 202-833-7500 and follow the prompts below on their automated system, or visit their website at www.pepco.com.

More information on Pepco’s services during the pandemic as well as Energy Assistance Programs for Maryland/Prince George’s County residents can be found here:

City Asks Shoppers College Park to Start Senior Hours

Thanks to my Council colleagues for approving this letter to Shoppers College Park asking them to start special shopping hours at the Shoppers College Park store. Shoppers College Park store is probably the only store in the area that doesn’t have such special hours for our senior residents. A special hour will help many of College Park’s seniors to conveniently and safely shop during this pandemic.

In addition to this letter, our Council also agreed to send a letter to merchants like Costco, to help community organizations like Meals and Wheels College Park in getting the much-needed grocery items for the daily meals they prepare and deliver for the residents in need in College Park and the surrounding areas.

 

In Social Distancing, Prince George’s Residents Falling Behind in D.C. Region


Social distancing numbers compiled at the University of Maryland indicate Prince George’s residents are falling behind in the Metro D.C. area.

Many of our county residents, especially those living in low-income neighborhood are forced to work in essential businesses, such as grocery stores, pharmacies, etc.  Thus we’ll most likely never get the same level of social distancing index as other affluent communities in the area. That said, many of us are fortunate enough to stay home and telework. Those of us who fall in this non-essential category should try our best to practice social distancing to the fullest extent. This will go a  long way in improving our county’s social distancing index.

On a positive note, Metro D.C. residents are doing better at it than almost any state in the country, and Maryland is not far behind.

The numbers were compiled by the University of Maryland’s Maryland Transportation Institute. They can be viewed here.

Using privacy-protected data from cell phones along with information from the government and healthcare industry, researchers are giving a “social distancing index” score to every state and county in the U.S. Essentially, a score of zero represents no social distancing, 100 is perfect social distancing.

As of Wednesday, Maryland has an index of 80, better than the national average of 76.

CountySocial Distancing  Index% Staying HomeTrips per person% Out-of-county tripsMiles traveled per person
Arlington83611.74413.7
Montgomery83551.71910.6
Fairfax83551.72810.1
Howard83541.73411.4
Anne Arundel82521.82811.7
Washington, D.C.81582.33514.4
Prince George’s79511.83412.1
Baltimore79501.93311.5
Frederick, MD774522613.6
Maryland80501.92911.8
Nationwide764622114.5

Temporary Drop-Off Location at Public Works for Bulk Trash and Electronic Recycling

Bulk Trash and Electronic Recycling
While collections are suspended due to the COVID-19 situation, Public Works will have a roll-off container in the public parking lot next to the Food Scrap Drop Off at Davis Hall (9217 51st Avenue) for residents to bring their bulk trash during business hours: 8:00 am – 3:00 pm Monday – Friday, proof of residency is required. There will also be a drop off box for electronic recycling at the entrance to Davis Hall.

Yard Waste 
During April only, soft yard waste and woody yard waste will be collected on your regularly scheduled trash collection day.

All materials must be properly prepared for collection. No large pick-ups at this time.

How to properly prepare your material for collection:

  • Separate soft material from woody material.
  • Use paper yard waste bags, the beige yard waste cart, or personal reusable containers* for either type of material. *Personal containers must have a yellow City yard waste sticker.
  • Bundle and tie woody yard waste with string or biodegradable strapping (if not placed in a container). Bundles should be less than 5 feet long and weight less than 75 pounds.
  • Place at the curb by 7:00 am on your scheduled day.
  • Do not use plastic bags, or City issued refuse or recycling carts, or it will not be collected.

[City of College Park]

College Park and Berwyn Heights Have 34 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases

Yesterday, for the first time, the Maryland Department of Health shared data showing where coronavirus patients live by ZIP code.

According to the published data, College Park and Berwyn Heights, which share Zipcode 20740 have a total of 34 confirmed COVID-19 cases. The number of cases appears to be the second-lowest among what other neighboring towns have. The area bounded by the Zipcode 20781 (parts of Hyattsville, Edmonston, and surrounding areas) appears to have the lowest number of cases – 29.

Please see the list of confirmed COVID-19 cases, by ZIP code. Among the neighboring towns, the area with ZIP code 20706 (Lanham, etc.) has the highest number of cases – 120. Our neighboring areas with Zipcode 20705 (Beltsville etc.) have 73 cases.

Some of the Silver Spring towns have also been hit hard by COVID-19. Zip 20783 (Langley Park, etc) has 97 cases, whereas Zip 20901 (Takoma Park, etc.) has 73.

Among the counties in Maryland, Prince George’s has the highest number of cases – a total of 2,205. A total of 362 residents died in Maryland since the outbreak last month. Maryland has a total of 8,225 active cases so far.

ZIP CodeRepresentative City/Town
(Some ZIP code areas may include areas outside of the City listed below. Please click on the link on the respective City to see the actual geographic area)
# COVID-19 Cases
20740College Park, Berwyn Heights34
20705Beltsville, Calverton73
20783Adelphi, Langley Park97
20770Greenbelt45
20706Lanham, Seabrook120
20784New Carrollton74
20785Landover98
20737Riverdale43
20781Hyattsville, Edmonston, Tuxedo29
20782University Park, part of Hyattsville76
20903Hillandale, Silver Spring50
20901Takoma Park73

More data is available on the state Department of Health website.

Please note that: case counts per zip code area may be impacted by multiple factors including test availability and may not be an accurate indication of the concentration of positive cases in that area. Case rates per 100,000 residents is a more accurate indication of the concentration of positive cases in the area but it also is impacted by many factors including testing availability. What is clear, is that COVID-19 is present throughout the county and in every municipality. DO NOT assume that a lower case count or rate in your community means you are not at risk. It remains of the utmost importance, that no matter where you live in the county, you must maintain social distancing and all other recommendations regarding preventing the spread of COVID-19.

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