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Council to Discuss Creating Special Tax District To Improve Public Safety

Map of tax district

Map of tax district

At tomorrow’s worksession, the City Council will discuss creating  a special taxing district in order to improve public safety in the student heavy area of mid town West Lakeland area of College Park.

The University District Vision for 2020 includes expansion of the public safety area security camera system. A grant of $50,000 has been awarded to the City by the Governor’s Office of Crime Control & Prevention (GOCCP) to expand the existing system north into Lakeland.

An area bounded by properties fronting Baltimore Avenue, Lakeland Road, Rhode Island Avenue and Berwyn House Road has been identified as the next most viable area to expand this system. For purposes of this proposed project, this area has been identified as “West Lakeland”. Funding to complete this project could
be provided by establishing a special public safety taxing district.

A grant application was submitted to the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention for $217,000 to be applied to the proposed system. The City has been advised that an award of only $50,000 will be granted. This award will only purchase 2 PTZ/CCTV and 2 LPR along Baltimore Avenue.

Staff intends to proceed to use these grant funds to install these units. Funding for the remainder of the proposed system, and for annual monitoring and maintenance would have to be provided by the City. The complete project as proposed would include 11 CCTV and 4 LPR cameras, the wireless network, hardware and software to provide signal transmission, video recording, hardware and software to provide access to external systems and enhanced operational efficiency, and installation of the whole system. It would also include testing the equipment, going live with the equipment, training staff in its use, and handing the operation of the system over to UMDPS staff.

One method of funding this project is the establishment of a public safety taxing district, as the City has legal authority to do. The proposed area for this project consists primarily of rental properties and several high-rise rental buildings. Few owner-occupied residential properties are located in the proposed area.

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