Hollywood Elementary School Students May Get Tutoring Help

One of the new 2021-2025 Strategic Plan goals is to advocate for improving the quality of education and learning opportunities for our residents and community’s future.
The City Council has added $40,000 to the approved FY22 budget for potentially funding literacy programs for local students.
At tomorrow’s meeting, The DC Regional Director, Jax Chaudry, will present program information to Council and explain how The Literacy Lab program is implemented in schools and the costs associated with program implementation.
The Literacy Lab has been in contact with Hollywood Elementary School in College Park to discuss piloting a program at this school. 65% of students (278) attending Hollywood Elementary reside in the City of College Park, the most for any school serving College Park residents.
The Education Advisory Committee will meet on 7/19/2021 to review the Literacy Lab information and develop a recommendation to Council regarding financially supporting a pilot program of The Literacy Lab at Hollywood Elementary

Council to Discuss City’s options to Reduce Noise from Cars

The City has been receiving an increasing number of complaints about loud noise from vehicles on the City roads.
At this week’s meeting, the Council will discuss City’s options to reduce noise from cars.
Staff is recommending the following options
(a) Use City Code against loud noise coming from vehicles on the property: The City Code, Chapter 138, Noise, does not apply to moving vehicles. This Chapter, however, does and has been applied to noise generated by vehicles on an identifiable property. Under these conditions, a property owner is held responsible for noise from any source which violates the code limits, including loud vehicles on that property.
(b) Modified Exhaust:  Police will issue equipment repair orders when they stop a vehicle with a modified exhaust. These orders require the restoration of vehicle exhaust systems to factory specifications.
(c) Speed enforcement: Police also issue citations for speeding, which often occurs simultaneously when drivers are demonstrating loud exhausts. City automated speed enforcement cameras issue speeding citations,
(d) Premise checks of rallying locations: City Contract Police will continue to conduct high visibility premise checks at known rallying locations for modified vehicle groups within the City.

If you want to reduce the road noise in your car, you’re not alone. Most drivers experience road noise of some kind, whether it be in an old hot rod or brand new compact car. Since no two cars are constructed or driven the same way, no solution is perfect for every road noise problem. If you end up needing a new car, there are many options of vehicles and parts at Zemotor.

It can be really annoying to try and talk or carry on a conversation in a noisy car. Some vehicles are better than others. A Tesla is absolutely whisper quiet due to its electric motor; however, Jeeps and trucks are often very loud. The noise you hear in the cabin of your vehicle often comes from one of three different sources: the mechanical components of the vehicle, the wind, and the tires. If everything is mechanically good with your vehicle, then you can assume that most of the noise you are hearing may be coming from the other two sources.

When the tread of the tires makes contact with the road, you can hear the noise. The larger the tread of the tire is, the more air volume which ultimately means a noisier tire.

City Plans to Use $20 million of ARPA Funds

Congress has recently enacted the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), and specifically the Coronavirus Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (LFRF). They provided the City with significant funding to be used to help the City, its local businesses, families, and individuals recover from the major negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic

Based on the most recent information the estimated total funding for the City is $21.97 million. The FY2022 Approved Budget had estimated the total funding at $16.1 million based on the General Fund budget. 50% of the funding is expected to be received this month, July 2021, and the remaining 50% 12 months later, July 2022. The specific allowable uses of the funds have been generally established. The proposed uses of the funds in total are as follows:

Most of the recovery of lost revenue was earmarked in the FY2022 budget for transfer to the Capital Project Fund for use in existing projects; and provide for an additional $180,000 of budgeted expenditures in FY2022. The remaining amounts can be allocated for a wide range of uses as Council deems necessary.

Among the $5.8 million of CIP funds allocation, the staff is recommending to spend $614K for the Hollywood streetscape project, $250K for the CP Woods community building, $1.25 million on the pavement management plan, and another $1.25 million on the complete & Green streets project that fund the sidewalks.

The $9 million for grants and assistance is proposed to be allocated to several areas. These uses will require changes to existing programs or the development/creation of specific new programs. Currently, the staff is recommending the following areas for eligible entities:
1. Hotels & Tourism Industry
2. Restaurants
3. Local non-profit food banks and food delivery service organizations
4. Other local small businesses and non-profits
5. Additional funding of the City’s existing Business Façade and Improvement Grant program.

Th City Council will discuss these allocations at next week’s City Council meeting.

[City of College Park]

Community Meeting on Code Enforcement, Next Monday, 7:30

Community Public Safety Discussion
Monday, July 12, 2021, 7:30 p.m.

Our monthly community/public safety zoom meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m., Monday, July 12, 2021. Please join City Elected Officials, Police, Department of Public Services staff, and your neighbors from all around the City, for an informative monthly community meeting.

The main topic of this month’s meeting will be Code enforcement.

This community meeting will discuss City-wide crime statistics, recent incidents of public interest, neighborhood watch tips, and special public safety-related topics. This month, we will be joined by City Code Enforcement.

Use this link to participate by Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/96168994626
Join by phone: 301-715-8592, Meeting ID: 961 6899 4626, Password: 463081

City Appoints a Racial Equity Officer

In May 2021, the City Council authorized a Racial Equity Officer position to help accomplish the Strategic Plan goals of creating an inclusive community and addressing systemic racism. The Racial Equity Officer will facilitate City-wide race equity programs; review and provide guidance on personnel policies; identify institutional barriers that limit diversity; and serve as a liaison for the Restorative Justice Steering Committee and other community initiatives.

The City is proud to announce the appointment of its first Racial Equity Officer, David Madison Thornton. Mr. Thornton brings to College Park extensive experience as an EEO (Equal Employment Opportunities) Consultant, Trainer, and Investigator at various workplaces and municipalities across the country. He is also an accomplished public speaker, presenting at numerous conferences on a local, state, and national level. A native Ohioan, Mr. Thornton attended the University of Akron for his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. “I look forward to working strategically with Council, staff and residents to make the City of College Park an inclusive, equitable, and welcoming community,” said Mr. Thornton.

We are extremely excited to welcome Mr. Thornton to the City of College Park team on July 6, 2021.
[City of College Park]

NCPCA Returns to In-Person Meeting Tomorrow

NCPCA – It’s Your Neighborhood Association

In a sign of normalization since COVID pandemic hit us more than a year ago, the NCPCA is going to have its first public meeting tomorrow.

NCPCA Meeting: Thursday 7/8, 7:00-9:00 pm, In-person & Virtual Location: VFW 5051 Branchville Rd. Zoom information will be available on 7/8 — sent out to NCPCA distribution & posted on the NCPCA website (my ncpca.org).

Here is the draft agenda

7:00  Welcome & Review of procedures.
7:05   NCPCA officers’ reports & approval of May minutes.
* * * NOTE:  May Meeting minutes will be posted when available.
7:15   5G Tower coming to your neighborhood – Councilmember Denise Mitchell
7:35   Vote on by-laws referencing nominations and elections (see proposed and original texts below – Item #1).
7:45   Future of Stone Straw Property – discussion of motion made last month (see below – Item #2).
7:55   New Business & Future Agenda Items.
8:00   Break — snacks provided.
8:15   Parking Enforcement – demonstration of new monitoring equipment by Parking Enforcement Director, Jim Miller.
8:45   Announcements.
8:50   Clean up room.

Residents’ Requests to Park Prohibited vehicles

Three residents in north College Park have recently requested to park oversized vehicles at their homes. Under the current law, the vehicles are “prohibited” to be parked on City streets, however, the Mayor and Council can approve an exception to specific applications. The locations are listed below.
  • 9719 Narrangansett Pkwy
  • 9701 52nd Ave.
  • 5013 Delaware Street
You will have the opportunity to express your comments at a public hearing on July 20.  If you cannot attend the hearing, you can send your comments to the Mayor and Council at cpmc@collegeparkmd.gov.
Below is the link which will take you to all three requests and include the complete application, maps, and pictures.

City Council to Meet Tomorrow to Confirm the Termination of Natasha Hampton as City Manager

Tomorrow, the City Council will meet at a special session with a purpose to confirm and ratify the Mayor and Council’s termination of the employment of Natasha Hampton as City Manager, effective June 1, 2021.

The City Council packet on this item reads the following:

In January 2021 the City engaged Baker Tilly to facilitate the selection of a new City Manager after the prior City Manager had resigned. The City Council worked with Baker Tilly to review candidates and on May 4, 2021 announced the selection of Natasha Hampton to be the new City Manager. Subsequently, the City received information that was different from the information provided by Ms. Hampton. Over the next few weeks, the Baker Tilly consultant, the City Attorney, and the Mayor discussed these discrepancies with Ms. Hampton, her attorney, and officials with the City of Rocky Mount. The Council determined on May 29, 2021 that the issues and discrepancies justified termination for cause, but directed the City Attorney to offer a confidential settlement agreement in order to minimize disruption to the City and impact on Ms. Hampton. Ms. Hampton was informed of Council’s decision on May 29th and received a written settlement agreement on June 1, 2021. The offer from the City was not accepted, and the City did not accept a counter-proposal. City Charter §9-3 requires that the City Manager may be removed by a resolution approved by a vote of six members of the Mayor and Council.

Last week, the City made a statement on Ms. Hampton’s employment termination.

The City Council will return to the scheduled meeting on Tuesday, July 13

July 4 Fireworks Events

The City of College Park and the University of Maryland have announced that they will not host their annual Independence Day Celebration this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There are however a number of other places where you can watch fireworks!

City offices will be closed in recognition of Independence Day on Monday, July 5, 2021. Refuse and recycling will occur one day later than normal during this holiday week. Special Collections for brush and bulky items will only be scheduled for Friday, July 9 of this holiday week.

Fireworks Amnesty

Also, As you plan your July 4th celebrations, remember that injuries from fireworks are all too common and that ALL consumer fireworks are illegal in Prince George’s County. Turn yours in without fear of punishment through the fireworks amnesty program.

Hollywood Dog Park Ribbon Cutting – July 16

Friday, July 16, 2021 | 5:30 p.m.
51st Ave. between Indian Ln. & Fox St.
Save the Date for the Hollywood Dog Park Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Friday, July 16, 2021 at 5:30 p.m.!