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Tonight’s Council Meeting: Book Exchange, Snow Truck, Tax Credit..

College Park City Hall

We will have a brief Council meeting tonight, including a presentation on the clean-up of the Low-level Radiation Burial Site at BARC. After the presentation, the Council will likely consider whether to take a position on the clean-up. Please let us know if you have comments. Also, don’t forget, College Park Day is this Saturday! We hope you have a chance to come out, it will be from 11 am-3 pm at the College Park Community Center in Lakeland. Finally, just a note, this is our last Council meeting for the month of October, since next Tuesday is the 5th Tuesday of the month.

This is our agenda for this week’s regular meeting:

1.PRESENTATION ON THE CLEAN-UP ACTIVITIES OF THE LOW-LEVEL RADIATION BURIAL SITE AT BARC. Between the 1940’s and 1980’s, the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center (BARC), utilized a site at the along Cherry Hill Road to bury low-level radioactive material, such as gloves, plastic syringes, vials, paper, animal carcasses and organic and non-organic fluids. This site was licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC, formerly the Atomic Energy Commission). BARC used 46 pits, each of which was 10’x12′ and 10 feet deep. Although BARC states that the material does not have any public health impact on nearby residents, this area is now an area of concern in BARC’s Superfund National Priorities Listing issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. BARC has requested that the NRC grant permission for it to clean the site. A representative from BARC will be at the meeting on Tuesday night to discuss the clean-up and answer questions.

2. CONSENT AGENDA – Approval of a purchase from Johnson Truck Center of a 37,700 Gross Vehicle Weight Rating 2013 Freightliner Salt Spreader and Snow Plow in the amount of $148,482.
The Council will adopt the approval of purchase of a Freightliner Salt Spreader and Snow Plow in the amount of $148,482 for City’s Department of Public Works. Public Works currently has six medium duty size dump trucks that have V-Box spreaders and 10′ wide snow plows for winter use. Four of the six trucks have liquid de-icing tanks that allow Public Works to mix liquid with the salt for easier and faster snow removal from the streets. Public Works needs another medium size snow plow truck to add to its fleet to better help them during snow events. Earlier, Staff recommended that the City of College Park purchase from Johnson Truck Center, one 2013 Freightliner M2 1 06 chassis with a Henderson dump body, a Henderson V-Box Spreader with a pre-wet system and a Henderson 10′ snow plow in the amount of $148,482.00. This expense would be charged to the current CIP account 925061- Vehicle Replacement Program–which currently has funding in the amount of $284,466.00. A second expenditure of approximately $28,000.00 will be forthcoming for College Park’s share of the new Four Cities Street Sweeper. If the order is placed now, Public Works should be able to have both the truck and equipment built and delivered to them by mid-January 2013. If the order is placed in November, the City will have to wait until mid-March 2013 for delivery, after the snow season usually ends.

3.12-G-114 – SUPPORT OF DETAILED SITE PLAN 10028 FOR THE MARYLAND BOOK EXCHANGE PROPERTY SUBJECT TO CONDITIONS AND THE APPLICANT ENTERING INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH THE CITY. The Council has previously expressed unanimous opposition to two previous site plans that the developers of the Maryland Book Exchange mixed-use student housing and retail project presented. The project is now scheduled to go back before the District Council for review, and the developer has presented a new proposal to the Council that is significantly scaled back and includes a step-down to three stories 100 feet before Yale Ave. The developer has also made a number of architectural revisions to address other concerns that the Council raised. Although the residents of Old Town and City staff still have some concerns about the project, it is significantly improved from the earlier proposals, and the Council will consider a resolution in support of the project. The support will be subject to a number of conditions, including the developer’s adherence to a number of the requirements in the Resolution passed by the Prince George’s County Planning Board and that the developer otherwise amend the proposal to reflect the agreed-upon design.

4.12-R-21 – RESOLUTION TO APPROVE AN ETHICS COMMISSION REGULATION REGARDING OUTSIDE EMPLOYMENT. The Council will consider a resolution to approve an ethics commission regulation regarding outside employment of City officials. The proposed regulation would allow City officials and employees to hold purely ministerial or administrative positions with state, federal, and local government employers that have contractual relationships with the City, upon disclosure of the employment to the City and approval by the Ethics Commission. The Commission believes that this regulation is advisable because (1) the City often enters into contracts with other government entities, (2) public employment represents a significant portion of the available job pool in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, and (3) contractual relationships between government entities are less likely to create conflicts of interest than contractual relationships involving private entities because the objective of contracts between government entities is the promotion of the public interest.

5.12-O-10 – INTRODUCTION OF CITY REVITALIZATION TAX CREDIT ORDINANCE. The Council will be introducing the Ordinance establishing a revitalization tax credit to provide an incentive for developers to bring redevelopment to the City. The Ordinance makes the tax credit available to new developments within certain revitalization districts – “District 1” is the area encompassed by the Route 1 Development District Overlay Zone (most of the Route 1 corridor) and the College Park-Riverdale Transit District Overlay Zone (including M Square and the commercial areas near the College Park Metro station), while “District 2” includes the Hollywood Commercial District, Berwyn Commercial District, and the Branchville and Berwyn Industrial areas and Greenbelt/University Commercial Corridor. The Ordinance also sets forth a number of criteria that a developer has to meet in order to be eligible. First, the proposal must be a new development and may not have a previously approved Detailed Site Plan, and the applicant must be in good standing with the City. Second, the proposal must meet four of the following criteria if it is located in Revitalization District 1 and two of the following criteria if it is located in Revitalization District 2: 1) be located within 1/2-mile of an existing or under construction rail transit station; 2) involve the assemblage of lots or parcels owned by different parties; 3) involve the buyout of leases to facilitate redevelopment; 4) will complete, or commit funds for, substantial infrastructure improvements; 5) meet the minimum guidelines for a LEED Silver certification; 6) be located within one of the walkable development nodes designated in the Approved US 1 Corridor Sector Plan; 7) involve the destruction of at least 1 non-historic structure that has been vacant for at least 1 year; 8) be a Brownfield development that requires substantial environmental cleanup prior to development; 9) have secured at least one locally-owned, non-franchise business as a tenant; and 10) provide space for a business incubator, community center, art gallery, or similar public-benefit use. The Ordinance establishes a five-year tax credit for approved developments, in the amount of 75% of the City property tax increment attributable to taxable improvements by the Developer on the property in the first year, diminishing by 15% in each of the four subsequent years. In order to receive the Credit, the developer must submit an application to the City that must be approved by a majority of Council and must indicate how it will meet the requirements listed above. Council may also waive the requirement that the developer not have an approved Detailed Site Plan in place for projects that have submitted site plans since January 1, 2009, when the Council first began to consider the tax credit. There will be a public hearing on this Ordinance at a date to be announced shortly.

6.APPOINTMENTS TO BOARDS AND COMMITTEES. Council is still finalizing its appointments to the Neighborhood Stabilization and Quality of Life Workgroup. This week, we will be appointing a second District 4 representative, Bonnie McClellan, and a representative of the Greek community on campus, Greg Waterworth. We are also working on finalizing a second landlord representative selected by the Council. Thanks to these individuals and all of the members of the Committee. We will be holding our first meeting of the Workgroup fairly soon.

Thanks for reading. Please me know if you have any questions.

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