After One Year into 5-Year Strategic Plan, Council Looks to Set New Priorities

The first full fiscal year of the City’s 2021 – 2025 Strategic Plan will end on June 30. For the current fiscal year, City staff developed One-Year Objectives and Key Results for six of the 10 Five-Year Objectives. Council agreed that it was important to prioritize certain objectives and staff resources required to achieve those objectives.

Staff has given quarterly updates on the status of the departmental objectives and key results that have been developed for each quarter. Prior to proposing One-Year Objectives for FY23, staff discussed with Council the following:

(a) Does Council wish to focus on the same Five-Year Objectives? If not, which Objectives does it want to add or remove?
(b) For each of the proposed prioritized Five-Year Objectives, what programs, actions, or policies does Council wish to prioritize?

City staff and PBI facilitators made a brief presentation at this week’s Council Worksession. Based on this discussion and other related information (such as staffing and financial resources), staff will draft the proposed FY23 One-Year Objectives and Key Results for Council consideration and approval.

Do You Have a Drainage / Flooding Issue In Your Yard?

The City of College Park is currently running a project to investigate drainage issues within the College Park community at various locations.
A comprehensive investigation will be performed to determine the contributing factors, and detailed sketches will be developed to demonstrate proposed drainage features that can be easily implemented on private properties to address drainage concerns.
The project is expected to efficiently address drainage problems to eliminate homeowner concerns using a low-cost straightforward design.
Please email me and/or Engineering directly if you experience drainage or flooding issues in your yard. we’ll add your address to the list. Please include some description of the problem, when you write to us.
Also, please spread the word. Thank you.

Bike to Work Day is this Friday

Bike to Work Day is next Friday, May 20 from 6:30 am to 8:30am at our City Hall plaza! Register at https://www.biketoworkmetrodc.org/register for our pit stop to get a free t-shirt! The City wll have some goodies so come and bike by!

North College Park Community Center Study Kicks Off with Community Forum

Thank you to all who attended last week’s community meeting to gather input about the proposed north College Park Community Center. We had a very good turnout with several elected officials. The community discussed 9 potential sites and the amenities they want to see in the center. The M-NCPPC will be hosting one more community meeting in a month or two with more data about the potential sites.

Please see below the presentation made at the community forum.

Background (2010 and Beyond)
• The majority of residents are not using nearby centers, they are driving to other centers
• To meet LOS goals as the population grows
• To achieve the goal of one-mile access for all residents (former LOS measure), DPR would need to build 59 new community centers

Formula 2040 Service Area 2 Recommendations
• Transform Prince George’s Plaza Community Center into a multigenerational center.
• Construct a new community center to supplement the North Brentwood Community Center. The new center should be located along US Route 1 corridor and have access to public transportation. It will have 55,000 sq. ft. of non-aquatic recreational space.
• Construct two new 12,000-square foot gymnasiums. One gymnasium will be placed at Langley Park Community Center and one will be placed at the Hollywood Elementary School.
• Construct an 8,000-square foot addition of nonaquatic recreational space at the Rollingcrest-Chillum Community Center.

North College Park Community Center
• The Department contracted with WXY Studio Architects to gather community input, establish site selection criteria, conduct test fits for candidate sites, propose conceptual designs and cost estimates
• This will inform the future CIP request for design and construction
• The City of College Park has pledged financial support of $1.5 million over the next few years for the project and Delegate Barnes has secured a $1 million bond bill
• Various sites have been proposed and explored with city leadership as a starting point for further site exploration
• The findings of the Community and Senior Recreation Needs Assessment conducted by the City of College Park will guide this project.

Project Schedule (click to see a larger view)


Understanding Context (click to see a larger view)

Existing Parks & Recreational Infrastructure (click to see a larger view)

Five minutes drive to the Existing Facilities (click to see a larger view)

Planned Development Projects (click to see a larger view)

Key Topics within North College Park (click to see a larger view)

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County Facilities & Programming (click to see a larger view)


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Area Mock-Up Visualization


Community Preferences (Trade-Offs) (click to see a larger view)

• Other engagement opportunities:
• Community survey (Ends May 15, 2022)
• Community Meeting #2 (Summer 2022)
• Community feedback will be used by the project team to inform:
• Site selection and test fits (April-June 2022)
• Concept site design (June-July 2022)
• Project team intends to complete the study by Fall 2022
• For further questions, please contact the team at Claire.worshtil@pgparks.com.

[Source: M-NCPPC & WXY architecture & urban design]

Learn How to Keep Mosquitoes Away, and More..

Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Mosquito Control Program

From late May through September, the City cooperates with the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) to identify and control mosquito populations with spraying and larviciding.

The program consists of:
LARVICIDING STANDING WATER: Treatments are made monthly by MDA personnel to known areas of standing water to control mosquito larva that will prevent development into adult moquitoes.
SPRAYING TO CONTROL ADULT MOSQUITOES: MDA has designated Wednesday night for adult mosquito spraying the city (when thresholds are met). Spraying will only begin after dark and may continue until midnight or later. If you see a truck in your community spraying during the day, please note that it is not from the State of Maryland. As a precaution, MDA advises residents to bring in pets, stay inside their homes and close their windows while the spray truck is in the vicinity. Please remain in your home for at least 30 minutes after the truck has left. If there are people outside when the truck passes by, MDA will not spray and will not return that night. Spray applications are made by truck-mounted ultra-low volume (ULV) sprayers. The spray schedule shifts, and the frequency will be determined by surveillance data collected and complaints received. This means that your neighborhood may or may not be sprayed.

In order for MDA personnel to spray, they will first survey the area of concern using traps and landing rate counts, (they may also request access to your property to place a trap for their survey). If mosquito count thresholds are met, they may make a control spray application in the neighborhood, but please be aware that they do not spray individual properties.

Request for Exemption from Adult Mosquito Control Services

Residents can request exclusion from the adult spray program by completing an exemption form annually and return it to:

Program Supervisor, Mosquito Control Section
50 Harry S. Truman Parkway
Annapolis, MD 21401

If you don’t have a printer, the local office for MDA Mosquito Control in College Park has offered to send residents a form via DocuSign. To request the form be sent to you via email, please send an email to skeetermd1.mda@maryland.gov.

West Nile and Zika virus are both transmitted by mosquitoes. To help control the mosquito population in your community, remember to tip anything that holds water on a weekly basis (birdbaths, old tires, plastic children’s toys, tarps, pet dishes etc.)

For permanent areas of standing water (ponds, rain barrels, etc.), mosquito “torpedoes” slowly and continuously release an insect growth regulator into the water that prevents adult mosquito development for up to 2 months. The City offers mosquito torpedoes for residents – more information can be found on our website www.collegeparkmd.gov/mosquitoes.

Moving Out? Don’t Sump. Donate!

Pitch in while you move out! Help others and keep reusable goods out of the landfill.
To get rid of waste, you can drop off, schedule pickups (if available), or recycle. For more information, please Click Here.
Don’t forget, Saturday, May 21 is the final Spring Saturday Cleanup! This is the last opportunity to dispose of items without incurring a collection fee for bulk items. The Department of Public Works facility will be open for residents and off-campus student rentals to drop off bulky trash, white goods, electronics recycling, brush, and yard trim. Visit this link for details.

[City of College Park]

Help Us Maintain Our Voter Rolls

Because the state primary is approaching, residents of the City will soon be receiving a lot of election mail including voter notification cards. This is a perfect time to remind our residents about the important role they can play in maintaining our voter rolls. The announcement below reminds residents that if they receive a piece of misaddressed election mail, to mark “Not At This Address” and place it back in their mailbox. We would appreciate your assistance in helping us circulate this important message.

This Saturday – Book Sale! The Hollywood Elementary School PTA

Book Sale! The Hollywood Elementary School PTA is having its first book sale fundraiser this Saturday, May 14, at the Hollywood Farmers Market! The PTA will have books in multiple languages, for all ages! Come support your local school!

Popular College Park Parade will Return this Summer

1954 Hollywood Parade photo in Images of America: College Park (2005) by Stephanie Stullich and Katharine D. Bryant. Original Photo Credit: College Park Boys and Girls Club

Rebranded as the July 4th Independence Day parade, the popular College Park parade on Rhode Island Avenue will return this summer.

It will be held on Monday, July 4, 2022, at 11:00 a.m.

There used to be a big parade along Rhode Island Avenue each spring to initiate the Boys & Girls Club season.  Community members, high school bands, military units, fire departments, scouts, local sports teams, etc took part.  There was a reviewing stand at Duval Field and according to some long-time residents, awards were given to different groups in the parade.  Opening day baseball/softball games were held after the parade.  It was very well attended.

The College Park Boys & Girls Club, which was founded in 1952, was responsible for the parades. Several residents recalled how the parade was an important tradition for the community. Debbie Herbert, a resident of Hollywood since 1961 and previous athletic director for the Girls Club also recalled details about the parade.

Herbert said the parade involved the sports teams, bands, majorettes, cheerleaders and floats as well as the fire department and police department. Her mother Edna Herbert, in fact, was the reason why she first got involved with planning the Hollywood parades.

Herbert approximated that the parades ended in the 1990s, possibly because of the decline of local children who participated in the Boys & Girls Club. “It was just a day to get everything going…. so all the teams would gather up down at REI when it first originally started it was over where the old police barracks was. We used to line up there and we’d take it all the way down Route 1 to Duvall Field. And then after that, after the parade was completely over the team would get out on the field and we’d play ball all afternoon.”

The City was planning to hold the parade as part of the 75th anniversary of College Park’s founding, however, had to cancel it due to the COVID outbreak. The plan was to invite various local community members to participate in the parade including elected officials, public safety organizations (fire, EMS, police), schools, marching bands, color guards, car clubs, and other organizations. The parade was to feature a reviewing station with professional judges to keep judging unbiased and an MC to announce groups walking by.

For the July 4th Independence Day parade, the City is inviting applications from interested City-based organizations and groups, including marching bands, military units, classic/custom vehicles, dogs/animals, equestrian groups, majorettes, fire/police vehicles, cheerleading squads, groups, performers, motorized floats, clown/humorist entries, girl and boy scouts, and many others. The parade will be limited to a family-friendly, general audience program.

Prizes will be awarded for the best entries in each category.

Entries must be received by 4 p.m., Friday, June 24, 2022.

The City Council has allocated necessary funds as part of the new FY 23 City budget to cover the expenses of the July 4th parade.

Greenbelt Road Corridor Plan Ready for Public Comments

The City of Greenbelt has recently shared the Draft Greenbelt Road Corridor Plan, which is now available for a public comment period beginning on May 10 and ending on May 31, 2022. This draft plan aims to create a cohesive vision for the future of the corridor and identifies short- and long-term recommendations.

You can read the draft plan here.

For College Park and the surrounding area, the plan has made the following recommendations

  • A new bicycle and pedestrian connections on Branchville Road and over the CSX tracks near Greenbelt Road
  • Remove one travel lane in each direction in most of the corridor area
  • Protected (separated) bike lane connections

Please see these and other recommended changes here. (please click to see the larger view)

The project team wants to hear any comments or feedback you have on the draft plan. Visit the project webpage to view and download the plan, submit comments, and find more information.

If you have questions, please contact Holly Simmons at hsimmons@greenbeltmd.gov or 240-542-2040.

Police Unity Tour – This Thursday

The weather looks great. According to Jamie Lark, the President of the Citizens Police Alumni Association,a nd a College Park resident, said they will be providing snacks and beverages for the riders while they take a break. She is asking bring your friends, signs, noise makers, etc

Let us Know What You Think about the New City Budget

At tomorrow’s meeting, the Council will host a Public hearing about the new FY23 City budget.

For FY2023, the budget proposes reducing the real estate property tax rate to 30.18 cents per $100 of assessed value. The total General Fund proposed budget of $30.46 million.

The budget includes an increase in personnel costs of $1.1 million over the FY2022 budget, attributable to merit/cost-of-living adjustments, a newly negotiated union agreement, four new full-time positions and 3 part-time positions.

FY2023 CIP capital outlay totals $17.965 million. The most significant budgeted capital expenditures include: (a) $5.03 million for Duvall Field renovations (b) $4.25 million for streets and sidewalks. (c) $2.01 million for Hollywood Commercial revitalization (streetscape) (d) $975,000 for the vehicle replacement program, which includes purchasing an EV trash truck. The FY2023 CIP also includes the addition of the North College Park Community Center project. The first-year funding (of 4 years planned) is $375,000 ( a total of $1.5 million).

The City has long-term debt for the construction of the parking garage and City Hall/UMD facility and renovations of Duvall Field. Required debt service (principal and interest) in FY2023 totaling $1.475 million for these bonds has been budgeted in the Debt Service Fund.

Council to Vote on Tree Ordinance this Week

After many months of discussion, the City Council will vote on the proposed Tree Ordinance at this week’s Council meeting.

City’s tree canopy has been decreasing over the years, especially in the residential areas, and the ordinance is expected to help preserve the canopy in the coming years.

The ordinance will require residents to get permits to remove or prune (more than 20%) trees with a circumference between 36 inches and 80 inches. Permits will only be issued in certain circumstances (such as a dead tree, etc.).

If healthy trees are removed without a good reason, a resident will be required to replace the tree or pay a $250-$500 fee, depending on the size of the tree. Fees may be waived due to financial hardship.

Owners will be subjected to a $1,000 fine for removing or pruning (more than 20%) trees without a permit or failing to install replacement tree(s). There is an appeals process.

If approved, the ordinance will take into effect from July 1st, 2022.

Staff is requesting funding for a new City Arborist FTE to manage the new permit application process and urban tree program.

When Should I call 911 ? Get the Answer from Police, Monday, May 9, 7:30 pm

Is it true that we should only call 9-1-1 when we have a true “life or death” emergency? Should we also call 9-1-1 if we see suspicious activity? What to expect when we call 9-1-1?

When it comes to public safety, “When to Call 9-1-1?” is probably one of the most frequently asked questions our residents ask.

Please join this Monday’s Public Safety meeting to get the answers directly from our police officers. William R. McGown, Operations Division Manager, Prince George’s County Public Safety Communications, will discuss 9-1-1 and non-emergency call-taking processes and requirements.

Join by Zoom – http://b.link/CPCommunityPolice, Monday, May 9,  7:30 pm

Tomorrow May 7 is Refugee Day! – from 1 – 4 PM

Tomorrow May 7 from 1 – 4 PM is Refugee Day! Join our new friends and neighbors @ Cambridge Community Center for food, sports, games, and more! The purpose of UMD Refugee Day is to welcome and celebrate the arrival of new friends and neighbors who have been displaced by crises in their home countries and currently reside in College Park and the nearby vicinity. Because of its proximity to both DC and several national and local refugee resettlement organizations, Prince George’s County has become a hub for refugee resettlement. Thanks to UMD for hosting the program. Please see below the parking locations for the event!