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City may Assist More Hotels and Restaurants using ARPA Grants

The Hospitality and Hotel industry in College Park suffered severe economic calamity during the Pandemic. Loss of revenue from room occupancy, conferences and food sales displaced workers and reduced many services offered by the hotels and restaurants.

The Mayor and Council approved the use of ARPA Funds to assist College Park Hospitality and Hotel industries recover from financial hardship caused by the Covid-19 Pandemic. To date, using ARPA funds, the City has issued 86 grants to Families and Individuals totaling $125,718.06, and 49 grants to Businesses for a total of $1,212,657.00. These allocations were made by authority and permission from the City Council at the implementation of our $2,500,000 ARPA funded Small

Business and Hotel Hospitality grant program. Additionally, the City made a $3,000,000 ARPA Grant to the Community Preservation Trust and The College Park City University Partnership (CPCUP). To further assist the hospitality industry, staff recommend the following RPA fund allocations to the following applicants:

(a) $300,000 to The Hotel/Southern Management Companies

(b)  $150,000 to Cambria Hotel/Southern Management Companies

(c) $350,000 to GrillMarx UMD Restaurant

At tomorrow’s meeting, the City Council will discuss the allocation of the proposed grants.

Not Too Late to Ask for Funding for North College Park Community Center

If you haven’t had a chance to ask the M-NCPPC to fund the design and construction of the North College Park Community Center, you’ve until next Tuesday, November 1st, to do so. A community center in north College Park will add a fantastic amenity for our residents of all ages. Our residents pay a lot of taxes to M-NCPPC (almost the same amount as we pay to the City), and we must ask them to spend equitably to benefit our residents.

Written comments will be accepted via mail, fax, or email and can be submitted to one of the followings:

  • Email: PublicAffairs@ppd.mncppc.org
  • Mail: Peter A. Shapiro, Chair, Prince George’s County Planning Board, 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772
  • Fax: Chair Shapiro, 301-952-5074

Here is a sample letter you can send. Please feel free to use or edit this template letter

Dear M-NCPPC Chair and Commissioners

I ask you to fund the design and construction of the North College Park Community Center in the M-NCPPC’s fiscal year 2024 budget.

A community center in north College Park will add a fantastic amenity for our residents of all ages. The North College Park Community Center project has been in M-NCPPC’s long-range Formula 2040 plan for many years.

I thank M-NCPPC for funding the feasibility study in the current budget. The project team has been working with the community to find the best location for the center. The feasibility study is expected to be completed in October when the project will be ready for design and construction.

The City of College Park and the State of Maryland have committed to investing in the design and construction of the center. With these partnership opportunities, I ask the MNCPPC to include funding for the design and construction in MNCPPC’s FY 24 budget.

Sincerely Yours

<< Name >>
<< Address >>

On a related note, last week, the College Park City Council sent a letter to the M-NCPPC asking them to fund the design and construction of the North College Park Community Center. In the letter, it states, “The Council requests that M-NCPPC include capital funding for a Community Center in north College Park in anticipation of the completion of the feasibility study this fall. The City is committed to partnering with the Commission to ensure this facility moves forward to completion, and therefore has programmed $1.5 million in the our own five-year Capital Improvement Program (FY2023-2027) for construction.”

City Plans to Host about 20 Events Next Year

The primary purpose of City hosted events is to build community through inclusive activities that appeal to a wide range of residents and community interests.

This year saw the addition of the successful and popular Friday Night Live concert series held at City Hall Plaza from May through September.

Another new event, the Classic Rock and Car Show, was held in August at City Hall Plaza and brought 30 Classic Cars, 300 classic car enthusiasts, live music, and BBQ to Downtown College Park.

The City was able to bring back College Park Day this year. City staff estimated that approximately 11,000 were in attendance throughout the six-hour event. The City held its first Fourth of July parade on Rhode Island Avenue. More than 500 people participated through 54 groups and approximately 3,000 attended the event.

Unfortunately, due to the pandemic’s effect on supply, the City and University were unable to host our annual Fourth of July fireworks event this year. In 2023, staff thinks it will pose major challenges for staff to host two events on the same day. One of the persistent challenges with the Fourth of July fireworks event is that the event is known throughout the community’s as UMD’s fireworks event and not the City’s. A possible option could be that the University fully supports the event, and City staff would focus on the parade and possibly an event afterwards (if Duvall Field is available and not under construction). Another possible option might be for the City to partner with the City of Greenbelt, which also hosts a fireworks event. Approximately $218,000 is budgeted for all events in the current fiscal year’s budget.

At next week’s meeting, the Council will discuss the annual events hosted and organized by the City.

Latest Status of City’s Capital Projects

The following City of College Park projects are funded through grants and the general fund. Detailed information about them can be found on the City’s website – www.collegeparkmd.gov/252/Projects.

Hollywood Streetscape Project under construction

75% complete. Milling of roadway completed, with asphalt paving scheduled to begin November 2.

Rhode Island Avenue Bike Lanes Design plans and specifications

100% complete. City Council awarded a construction contract on September 13, 2022, and requested an additional design for vertically buffered lanes.

Duvall Field Design plans

60% complete and under review. A community meeting was held on July 26 and City Council reviewed on September 6, 2022. Further review by City Council will be scheduled.

49th Avenue Sidewalk

Construction is completed, and grant closeout is underway.

Hollywood Road Sidewalk

Design plans and bid package are 90% complete and under review by the state. Construction bids will be solicited after state approval.

Cherokee Street Sidewalk

City Council award of the construction contract is pending County Notice to Proceed under the CDBG grant.

Veo Parking Hubs and Bike racks

Finalizing locations and scope of work to solicit contractor bids for installation.

North College Park Community Center Feasibility Study

M-NCPPC Feasibility Study for site selection is underway. Test fits and conceptual design plans were prepared for two sites, and a virtual community meeting was held on October 17. A poll during the meeting indicated a preference for the Hollywood Shopping Center location.

In Pictures – Trader Joe’s Grand Opening

College Park Certified Silver Level by Sustainable Maryland

College Park once again received a Sustainable Maryland Award recognizing the activities the city is taking to incorporate green practices throughout College Park.

The city’s score on Sustainable Maryland’s point-based system increased this year to 580 points, which makes College Park one of the higher rated municipalities in the state.  College Park is now rated Silver by Sustainable Maryland. Points are awarded based on the activities the city undertakes to be more sustainable.

City staff, committee volunteers, and residents all contribute to a greener College Park.  In coming years the city can build on this success to become greener.

You can read the city’s press release about the award.

And, you can read a summary of the City of College Park’s sustainability actions and certification report.

City will Ask M-NCPPC to Fund NCP Community Center, Pedestrian Bridge, and More..

At tonight’s meeting, the City Council will consider approving a letter to Park and Planning Commission asking to fund several projects in College Park. The requests include:
(a)   The Council requests that M-NCPPC include capital funding for a Community Center in north College Park in anticipation of the completion of the feasibility study this fall.
(b)   To fund a pedestrian bridge from the Paint Branch Playground to the trail on the western side of the river. This small connection will greatly enhance access to the playground, frisbee golf course, the Aviation Museum, Junior Tennis Champions Center, and other amenities.
(c)   To fund needed renovation and equipment replacement for the Hollywood Park, the Lakeland playground, and the College Park Community Center in Lakeland. M-NCPPC has funded much-needed improvements to the College Park Woods playground, but the gazebo is not ADA accessible, and we request funding for that work.
(d)   To fund trail lighting in high-traffic areas of the trail system in College Park, particularly the Paint Branch Trail north of MD 193.

Make a Difference in Your Neighborhood at the Good Neighbor Day 2022

Many local projects are waiting for you to register at the upcoming Good Neighbor Day on November 12, 2022. Here are a few projects in north College Park. Please see below the project descriptions and the links the registration link to volunteer.

1. Beautify Hollywood Elementary School
9811 49th Ave. College Park, Maryland 20740
Trim Trees and Bushes – Clean out Bush Beds and Spread Mulch in those areas – Clean out weeds between sidewalk cracks – Sweep up sidewalks and streets -Plant pollinating and native plants around the building – Collect loose Tree Branches – Trim Trees and Trim Bushes – Clean out weeds between sidewalk cracks.
Please register here: https://pgc.samaritan.com/custom/1543/opp_details/231704

2. Beautify Al-Huda School
5301 Edgewood Rd, College Park, Md 20740
Planting flowers in the current raised flower beds, installing trellises with climbing roses against the school building, installing a few decorative planters, and assembling new benches to create an atmosphere for the students to enjoy and where staff can relax, eat and talk to their peers during breaks or leisure time.

Please register here: https://pgc.samaritan.com/custom/1543/opp_details/231680

3. Build a Tiny Library
5301 Edgewood Rd, College Park, Md 20740
Build a tiny library for K-4th grade books to be installed at the North College Park Hollywood Park and/or the College Park Youth and Family Service Center.
Register Here: https://pgc.samaritan.com/custom/1543/opp_details/231711

4. Remove Invasive Species, Beautify College Park
United Methodist Church 9601 Rhode Island Avenue, College Park, MD 20740
Volunteers will remove overgrown bamboo, weeds, poison ivy, and bushes, as well as spread
Please register here: https://pgc.samaritan.com/custom/1543/opp_details/231736

5. Plant Pollinator-Friendly Plants: Lackawanna and 53rd
Lackawanna St. and 53rd Ave.
Volunteers will plant a selection of native, pollinator-feeding, flowering herbaceous plants in the eastern islands at Lackawanna St. and 53rd Ave. (entrance to the Greenbelt Metro Station). This will require digging space for root balls, placing plants in the ground, and landscaping the surface around the plants.
Please register here: https://pgc.samaritan.com/custom/1543/opp_details/231722

6. Place Medallions on Storm Drains to Prevent Dumping
9801 Rhode Island Ave, College Park, MD 20740 (MOM’s parking lot)
Place 80+ medallions on storm drains on frequently traveled streets in College Park. Medallions are easy to place with the glue provided by Committee for Better Environment – no special training.
Please register here: https://pgc.samaritan.com/custom/1543/opp_details/231742

7. Plant Front Garden and Restore Rear Garden at American Legion Post 217
9218 Baltimore Ave, College Park, MD 20740
Plant flowers, weeds, mulch, and trim bushes in the front garden. Perform flower bed maintenance in the rear garden, including trimming bushes and picking up branches, sticks and yard waste.
Please register here: https://pgc.samaritan.com/custom/1543/opp_details/231740

8. Design a Pollinator Garden for Veterans of the American Legion Post 217
9218 Baltimore Ave, College Park, MD 20740
Volunteers will be designing and setting up a Pollinator Garden with pollinator-friendly plants, a rain barrel, and installing several “Bee Hotels for Wild Bees”. During this project, we will also learn what and why we are using the following plants, such as items that bloom in early spring and throughout the summer. Willow, maple, redbud, and wild cherry provide pollen for early emerging mason bees. Later blooming wildflowers such as purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan, and bee balm provide foraging resources for leafcutter bees.
Please register here: https://pgc.samaritan.com/custom/1543/opp_details/231723

9. Assist Residents of Attack Towers with Decluttering
9014 Rhode Island Ave College Park MD 20740
Residents at Attick Towers will place unwanted items in hallways, and volunteers will remove them from the hallways and put them in a dumpster; Volunteers will also collect unwanted documents to be shredded.
Please register here: https://pgc.samaritan.com/custom/1543/opp_details/231717

10. Friendly Phone Call with a Senior Resident
Virtual Volunteers will make calls to residents aging in place who feel disconnected and dealing with isolation
Please register here: https://pgc.samaritan.com/custom/1543/opp_details/231746

11. Help Teach IT Skills to Residents of Attick Towers
9014 Rhode Island Ave College Park MD 20740
The volunteers will be conducting an IT workshop with interested residents. They will have questions about doing things on their iPhones or androids. They may also have some questions about how to use computers. We would like them to bring down their phones, tablets, etc, to use during the event. The HACCP also has a couple of computers that can be used to demonstrate how to do certain things for the residents.
Please register here: https://pgc.samaritan.com/custom/1543/opp_details/231716

12. Good Neighbor Day 2022 Senior Services Personal Hygiene Supplies
9014 Rhode Island Ave College Park, MD 20740
Distribute personal hygiene supplies to senior residents
Please register here: https://pgc.samaritan.com/custom/1543/opp_details/231715

13. Beautify the Cherry Hill Park
4620 Cherry Hill Rd, College Park, MD 20740
Assist Park Rangers in removing litter from Cherry Hill Community Park. This includes litter on land and in ponds.
Please register here: https://pgc.samaritan.com/custom/1543/opp_details/231708

14. Good Neighbor Annual Food Drive
IKEA College Park
Volunteer to take and sort food donations
Pack Meals for the Hungry at IKEA College Park. Package shelf-stable meals to combat food insecurity within the College Park community.
Please register here: https://pgc.samaritan.com/custom/1543/opp_details/231714

Here you can see the complete list of service projects and links to register them on M-NCPPC’s website.

MoM’s Denim Recycle Drive Oct 21-Nov 7

Accepted items: All types of denim, including colored, embellished, and printed; all articles are included as well – pants, jackets, shirts, skirts, etc.
Best practices for recycling: Please only bring clean, dry denim for recycling.
What happens to the waste: Denim collected at MOM’s is sent to Cyntex Co and recycled into Thermal Insulation to stabilize building temperatures and Acoustic Insulation which you may find in places such as music halls, movie theaters, and even gymnasiums.
Environmental Value: Recycling your denim helps keep textile waste out of landfills – 1,600 pairs of jeans divert one ton of waste from landfills! Repurposing denim also helps decrease greenhouse gases (GHG), volatile organic compounds (VOC), and chemicals used when manufacturing new textiles
Can’t make the Drive? Stores like Madewell, H&M, and Levi’s often provide year-round denim recycling.

More can be found here: Denim Drive | MOM’s Organic Market (momsorganicmarket.com)

Pumpkin Carving Contest

Join the City of College Park 2022 Pumpkin Carving Challenge!  Residents have from Oct.10 through Oct. 31st  to carve their best Jack-O-Lanterns and submit their entries online.

To make a submission, fill out this form completely. Please take two photos of your work- one while it’s being carved with all your helpers in the photos and the other when your creation is finished- and email to events@collegeparkmd.gov. Please include your name, address, who helped carve your jack-o-lantern and the name of your creation. We will post our favorites on the City’s Facebook account and website, and will be awarding 1st place prizes to our favorites! Make sure to like your favorites!

Enter your jack-o-lantern into the contest!

Council Narrows Down Two Maps for New College Park Districts

At the October 18 meeting on redistricting, the City Council narrowed down two maps for further consideration. They include Plan 3A and October Plan 1 maps.

Plan 3A was originally proposed by the Redistricting Commission (RDC). The RDC also proposed four other maps for consideration.

Based on residents’ input, the Council requested RDC to adjust the maps to keep the core of the districts intact as much as possible. Accordingly, the RDC produced three new maps – October Plan 1 is one of these three new maps.

You can see the maps here.

To help clarify the streets affected by the proposed Plan 3A and October Plan 1 maps, I’ve produced the following detailed maps. The streets marked in red are proposed to move from District 1 to District 2.

The Plan 3A map will move homes on the following streets from District 1 to District 2:

  • 48th ave, south of Hollywood Rd
  • 48th Pl, south of Hollywood Rd.
  • 49th Ave, south of Hollywood Rd.
  • 49th Pl. south of Hollywood Rd.
  • 51st avenue, south of Huron St.
  • Rhode Island Ave, south of Hollywood Rd (on the west), and south of Huron st (on the east)
  • Hollywood Road, west of Rhode Island Ave (homes on the south side only)
  • Huron St., both sides of Rhode Island ave
  • Indian Ln., both sides of Rhode Island ave
  • Fox St., both sides of Rhode Island ave
  • Erie St., both sides of Rhode Island Ave
  • Delaware St., both sides of Rhode Island ave
  • Cherokee St., both sides of Rhode Island ave
  • Geronimo st.,
  • Cree Ln.,
  • Cheyanne Pl.
  • Blackfoot Pl.

Plan 3A will add homes in the Cherry Hill and Autoville neighborhoods. to District 1.

October Plan 1 map will move homes on the following streets from District 1 to District 2 on the East of Rhode Island Ave. The map will however add homes in the Cherry Hill and Autoville neighborhoods. to District 1.

  • Cree Ln. (south side)
  • Cheyanne Pl
  • Cherokee st and
  • Blackfoot Pl
  • 50th st, between Delaware st and Cheyenne Pl.

The October Plan 1 map puts the College Park Estates and Yarrow neighborhoods back in District 3.

The City Council will finally vote to select the new redistricting map at the 11/15 Council meeting. Before the vote, the Council will host a public hearing to get residents’ input on the maps.

Plan 3A map

Plan 3A map – The streets marked red are proposed to move from District 1 to District 2

October 1 Map – The streets marked red are proposed to move from District 1 to District 2

Good Neighbor Day – Sat. Nov. 12 from 8:30 to 12 – Register Now – Need YOU!

The 2022 Good Neighbor Day Registration is waiting for you to sign up! This year’s experience includes:

  • Record breaking options 40 service projects addressing sustainability, food insecurity, education, social justice, and the aging population.
  • We also have 6 workshops including an exciting board game and a thought provoking exhibit from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, three essential presentations on addressing mental health in our communities, and a fun, hands-on class for adults who want to learn how to ride a bike.
  • Annual Food Drive and Terps Against Hunger Meal Packing at IKEA.
  • Student Service Learning (SSL) Hours granted by MNCPPC- Parks & Recreation – Key partner
  • Opportunity to build connections with neighboring communities and explore possibilities beyond Good Neighbor Day.

Join us on Saturday, November 12 from 8:30 AM until Noon to serve our community and foster positive relationships.

The event is rain or shine! Registration will close at Noon on Thursday, November 10. Share widely.

Please Ask MNCPPC to Fund Design and Construction of the North College Park Community Center

 

Thank you all who attended last night’s Public Hearing on M-NCPPC’s FY24 budget. In case you didn’t get a chance to attend last night’s forum, you still have opportunities to send your comments in writing.

Here are a few talking points you may want to use when you ask to fund the designs and construction of the North College Park Community Center.

  • A community center in north College Park will add a fantastic amenity for our residents of all ages.
  • The North College Park Community Center project has been in M-NCPPC’s long-range Formula 2040 plan for many years.
  • I thank M-NCPPC for funding the feasibility study in the current budget.
  • The project team has been working with the community to find the best location for the center.
  • The feasibility study is expected to be completed in October when the project will be ready for design and construction.
  • The City of College Park and the State of Maryland have committed to invest in the design and construction of the center
  • With these partnership opportunities, I ask the MNCPPC to include funding for the design and construction in MNCPPC’s FY 24 budget.

Written comments will be accepted until Tuesday, November 1, 2022, via mail, fax, or email.

Written statements can be submitted to:

Mail: Peter A. Shapiro, Chair, Prince George’s County Planning Board, 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20772

Fax: Chair Shapiro, 301-952-5074

Email: PublicAffairs@ppd.mncppc.org

Tomorrow: Forum on Pedestrian & Bicyclist Behavioral Study

Tomorrow, On Wednesday, October 19, from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM Prince George’s County Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) will be hosting a virtual listening session discussing the Pedestrian and Bicyclist study.

Meeting participants will learn about the overall purpose of the study, the timeline of the project, and how the design of facilities can accommodate future active transportation users.

To RSVP, visit: https://pbbs.eventbrite.com/

In Pictures – College Park Day 2022