HYATTSVILLE — Last Thursday, Vigilante Coffee Company was playing host to a large celebration, but no one was celebrating a birthday or anniversary. Instead, Hyattsville was celebrating the progress it has made since last year on a number of priorities and was asking its community and business stakeholders to continue investing in city projects. Over […]
HYATTSVILLE — Last Thursday, Vigilante Coffee Company was playing host to a large celebration, but no one was celebrating a birthday or anniversary.
Instead, Hyattsville was celebrating the progress it has made since last year on a number of priorities and was asking its community and business stakeholders to continue investing in city projects.
Over the past couple years, the city has invited its stakeholders to a breakfast to talk about the projects and ideas Hyattsville wants to work on most.
Jim Chandler, the assistant city administrator and director of community and economic development, said the point of the meetings is for the city itself to become its own advocate.
That is also why the city has chosen thriving city businesses and corridors to host the meeting. This year, they changed things up and hosted a ‘Happy Hour’ at Vigilante Coffee with food trucks and spirits.
“It’s really about taking people who might be familiar with the area and giving them a great Hyattsville experience,” Chandler said. “We want to make sure people understand why people are coming to Hyattsville (and) why people are investing in Hyattsville.”
Last year the city brought a number of asks before their partners. The city council had spent numerous hours putting together a list of its priorities, including development near the West Hyattsville Metro, improvements to school infrastructure, the completion of the Rhode Island Avenue Trolley Trail and a Route 1 parking garage.
Hyattsville Mayor Candace Hollingsworth, during her presentation at the happy hour Thursday night, said the city has seen a lot of progress in those areas.
In the past year the city has achieved the Healthy Eating, Active Living Platinum level city designation, has seen proposals for the West Hyattsville Metro and the Trolley Trail completion and has passed paid sick leave legislation for city employees.
Hollingsworth also said the city is getting close to announcing a financing package to build a parking garage on Route 1.
Chandler attributed a lot of the city’s success in those priorities to the city being able to advocate for them at the legislative breakfast last year.
“It’s great to be able to stand in front of an audience of people that need to be your partner and tell them exactly what it is you need. A lot of times we assume we pass a legislative priority and everybody knows about it and the fact of the matter is they don’t,” he said.
This time not only was the time and location for the priority meeting different, the asks were different as well. Instead of focusing on specific projects the city wants to accomplish, it focused more three on larger ideals and how its partners in the county government, state legislature and businesses could help in specific ways.
“This year we are focusing on three broad, but super important areas that we feel are critical to our growth at this stage,” Hollingsworth said.
Those areas include “Hyattsville Generations,” an idea of improving the quality of life for residents with a special focus on seniors and children, integrated public health and safety and West Hyattsville.
Hollingsworth asked for specific changes to legislation, urban design standards, planning criteria and the Maryland State Highway Administration and roadway standards on behalf of the city.