4 Things to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccine

County Announces COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plan

This week, the County has announced its COVID-19 phased vaccine distribution plan. Further details are on the County’s COVID-19 vaccine webpage, health.mypgc.us/COVIDVaccine. This plan was developed based on guidance from the CDC and coordination with the State Health Department and is subject to change.

Helpful Resources on COVID-19 Testing

➤ The CDC’s online assessment tool can help you decide when to seek testing.
➤ Three rapid at-home tests have received approval and should be available early next year.
➤ To find a testing location near you, visit your state health department’s website.

What’s the local wait for a COVID-19 test? The time it takes to get tested and receive results can vary widely. If you’ve been recently tested for the coronavirus, let your neighbors know the length of your wait and any tips or resources that might ease the process.

Register Now for the Wizards Winter Reading Challenge

This winter, Prince George’s County Memorial Library System is teaming up with the Washington Wizards! We invite you to join the fun by participating in challenges for a chance to win prizes, and to explore the book, film, TV, and other resources that we have compiled for you and your family to enjoy.

Preregistration is now going. The challenge will run January 1-March 31, 2021. Complete and log activities including reading, watching Wizards games, attending virtual library programs, staying active, and engaging with the library and Washington Wizards.

Readers who complete the challenge will be entered into a raffle to win a variety of prizes such as a Wizards jersey, a Jr. Wizards Camp voucher, a Wizards bobblehead and so much more!

More here: https://pgcmls.info/wizards

Metrobus Resumes Fare Collection & Front-Door Boarding on Jan. 3

In case you missed it, starting Sunday, January 3, Metrobus will resume fare collection and front-door boarding as part of Metro’s pandemic recovery plan that aims to preserve service and transit jobs.

With nearly everyone wearing masks, shields for operators on every bus, and enhanced daily cleanings, front-door boarding is safe, expands our capacity for more riders, and helps us resume some normalcy.

According to Metro, the return of front-door boarding and fare collection is consistent with recovery efforts by major transit agencies across the country including Baltimore, New York, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Seattle, Denver, Houston, Portland, Oakland, and San Francisco.

As always, customers can use their SmarTrip card or exact change. For a faster, safer, contactless way to pay, you can also add SmarTrip passes to your Apple Wallet and pay using your iPhone or Apple Watch. (Payment support for Google Wallet on Android devices is coming soon.)

For more information, please visit here.

Virtual Q&A with Joshua Thomas

Please mark your calendar,
On Wednesday, January 13th at 7:30 p.m., please join for a virtual Q&A with Prince George’s County District 2 Board of Education representative Joshua Thomas.
The discussion will include plans for the upcoming school year.
To join, please visit the link: https://zoom.us/j/97952972640 or dial-in at 301-715-8592.
Sponsored by the City‘s Education Advisory Committee.

Council Approves Permit Parking on Beechwood Road

At last Tuesday’s meeting, the Council held a public hearing to get residents’ input about a proposed parking restriction on Beechwood Road in Oldtown College Park.

The City has received several complaints that non-residents are parking on the 4500 and 4600 blocks of Beechwood Road for extended periods of time which is negatively impacting the residents who live there.

It appears that additional parking is coming from construction workers at the Bozzuto project.

At the Public Hearing, residents spoke in support of establishing a Residential Permit Restricted Parking Zone to address these concerns.

The proposed zone would be enforced Monday through Friday from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm, with a 2-hour allowance for parking without a permit to allow for deliveries and short-term visitors. The proposal is to also allow the Council to reconsider permit parking after two years.

All City Offices will be closed for the Christmas Holiday and New Years Day

All City offices closed at 12 noon on today, Thursday, December 24 and will be closed all day on Friday, December 25, 2020 for the Christmas holiday.
Special collections will only be scheduled for Thursday, December 24, 2020.
In addition, all City offices will be closed on Friday, January 1, 2021 for New Years Day. Special collections will only be scheduled for Thursday, December 31, 2020.

Foreclosure Moratorium Extended

Vacant / foreclosed house – a source of concerns

Governor Hogan recently announced that the moratorium on foreclosures and repossessions will be extended until January 31, 2021.

Also, evictions remain suspended during the state of emergency for the State of Maryland. More information is available online here.

The Prince George’s County Council passed CB-16-2020 in June which prohibits landlords from increasing rent and prohibits charging late fees or penalties during the State of Emergency, which is still in effect, and for 90 days after the State of Emergency ends.

City to Ask an Executive Firm to Help Search New City Manager

Scott Somers

Our current City Manager, Scott Somers has resigned effective tomorrow, Wednesday, 12/23/20.

Staff published an RFP (Request for Proposal) for executive search services and received eight proposals. Staff and the Mayor and City Council reviewed the proposals and selected four finalists.

After interviewing and discussing the four finalists, Baker Tilly US, LLP of Tysons, Virginia was selected to conduct the recruitment for the next City Manager. Baker Tilly is a nationally recognized firm with a long history of service to clients located throughout the country.

The terms of the Agreement are continuing to be discussed with the Consultant.

At tonight’s meeting, the Council will consider awarding a contract to Baker Tilley US as Executive Search Consultant, in an amount not to exceed $24,500. The funds will be allocated from the General Fund, Professional Services account.

[City of College Park]

City Brings Energy-Efficient LED Lights to another City Street

New LED street lights on 53rd avenue

Last week, all existing traditional street lights were replaced with energy-efficient LED lights on 53rd Avenue from Lackawanna street to Edgewood Road.

For several months, the City has been working with Pepco to replace all 150 WATT High-Pressure Sodium (HPS) fixtures on 54rd Avenue with 150 WATT LED fixtures and adding an additional 150 WATT LEDs fixtures on all the utility poles that currently have no streetlight fixture. A total of 42 new 150 Watt LED fixtures were installed as part of this project.

LEDs are up to 50 percent more energy efficient than traditional sodium bulbs and can last 15 to 20 years. And there are other unexpected benefits. Better street lighting could potentially make riding public transportation easier by reducing the perception of danger, as well as improving visibility on roads. If any of these lights malfunctions or gets damaged, it may be fixed by a lighting repair services contractor.

That means more LED street lights can lead to better public safety!

Other local areas in the DMV region including Montgomery County and Takoma Park in Maryland and Fairfax County and Arlington in Virginia, have tested the technology. D.C. is hoping to convert all 75,000 of its warm, yellow streetlights to cheaper, more energy-efficient LED bulbs by 2022.

Traditional (left) and LED (right) street lights on a D.C street

Last year the City installed 16 new 150 WATT LED streetlight fixtures along Rhode Island Avenue, in Old Town, between Campus Drive and Calvert Road. The new LED streetlight fixtures on 53rd Avenue are the same as the ones installed in Old Town. The Old Town project took about 2 years to complete from start to finish.

The City is working with Pepco to replace traditional lights with LED lights on the city streets.

I want to thank our City engineer and Public Works staff for their important work on this project!

Let’s Help Feed Our Neighbors in Need

Many thanks to those who have contributed to the Food Drive organized by the Hollywood Elementary School Parents Teachers Association (PTA) and the North College Park Community Association (NCPCA) to benefit the College Park Food Bank. The drive will continue until this Wednesday. You can find food items to donate and the drop-off locations here.

Thanks also to the volunteers who have distributed groceries to our neighbors in need at today’s grocery giveaway event at Al-Huda School. Volunteers distributed 250 bags of groceries in the communities. Bags were also dropped off at the homes of several neighbors, who were not able to drive to the giveaway event.

College Park Woods Connector Trail is Now Open

The College Park Woods Connector Trail is finally open to the public.

The trail will serve as an important connection between West College Park with North College Park, as it connects the trail that goes up to Home Depot, and branches off to the North College Park Post Office. The trail continues on at least to Powder Mill Road, in Beltsville.

Please see the map below.

According to the project’s website, this important trail is a half-mile connector across the University of Maryland land between the neighborhood of College Park Woods and the Paint Branch Trail. This trail project will link a residential community in the City of College Park with the University of Maryland campus and the Anacostia Tributaries Trail System. It will increase bicycle safety by providing a car-free bicycling and walking alternative to busy Metzerott Road and an at-grade crossing of University Boulevard.

The project scope includes easements across public institutions and private property, a boardwalk across wetlands, wayfinding signs, and advanced-practice shared roadway markings.

Thanks to the County Council member Danielle Glaros, former Council member Eric Olson (District 3), the M-NCPPC, the City of College Park, and the UMD for making this trail a reality.

Eviction Prevention Partnership Grants

Eviction notice

If you know someone who is facing eviction due to nonpayments of rents, this should be helpful.
Through the Maryland Eviction Prevention Partnership, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is awarding federal Community Development Block Grant funding across local jurisdictions in Maryland to prevent evictions.
The DHCD had already distributed $2.2 million in Eviction Prevention Partnership grants to eight counties, part of a more than $20 million partnership with Maryland’s local jurisdictions.
Landlords and tenants should contact their local jurisdiction for more information.
This is in addition to the Assisted Housing Relief Program. Moratoriums on evictions during the State of Emergency are still in place.
[Source: City of College Park]

Drive Thru Grocery Giveaway – This Sunday

This Sunday, from 12 pm to 2 pm, there will be a Drive-Thru Grocery Giveaway event at the AlHuda School, 5301 Edgewood Road. Please see below for details and spread the word!