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Council Discusses Proposed projects for the City’s Program Open Space allocation for FY ’22

At tonight’s meeting, the Council discussed how to utilize and prioritize our POS allocations going forward. The total existing acquisition allocation available including the unused and reprogrammed funding and excluding this year’s allocation $867,687.90

Staff recommended prioritizing POS acquisition to encumber fund allocations dating back to FY 2008. Funds not encumbered for specific projects and approved by the Maryland Board of Public Works risk being recaptured by the State.

Last year staff presented 3 properties to be considered for purchase, but none were selected: 4700 Edgewood Road (the old spooky house property), Branchville Road and 5100 Roanoke Place. Recently, contact was made with the owner of 8807 and 8811 Rhode Island Avenue, also known as the Washington Post properties, who indicated an interest in selling. Properties acquired with POS funds must remain as parks, recreation use, or open space in perpetuity. Property could also be used for planting trees to increase the City’s tree canopy coverage. 4700 Edgewood Road and the Rhode Island Avenue properties have some potential for development, but the others do not. Possible new projects for development include the design and construction of improvements at the Sentinel Swamp Sanctuary and the College Park Swim Club property.

City Council generally agreed to use $459,497.16 for development projects and the balance of $867,681.06 for acquisition projects. Development allocations could be distributed as follows: retain funds for Hollywood Fitness Trail ($94,712), establish a Phase 2 Duvall Field renovation project (use $75,809.39 of reverted funds), establish a new Sentinel Swamp Sanctuary design and construction project ($150,000), establish a new design and construction project for the College Park Woods Swim Club property ($138,975.77).

Council also expressed interest in acquiring 5100 Roanoke Place and the Washington Post properties. The Council may discuss these two properties at a future executive / closed session in the future.

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