COLLEGE PARK — The Mayor and the City Council of College Park voted to amend its Fiscal Year 2018 Operating and Capital Budget which went into effect on Aug. 7. The ordinance to amend the budget was introduced in June and the city council held a public hearing on July 17 to go over the […]
COLLEGE PARK — The Mayor and the City Council of College Park voted to amend its Fiscal Year 2018 Operating and Capital Budget which went into effect on Aug. 7.
The ordinance to amend the budget was introduced in June and the city council held a public hearing on July 17 to go over the amendment which authorized funding for a $5,000 donation to the Mission of Mercy Free Dental Clinic at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD), a $38,039 pedestrian safety barrier at Baltimore Avenue and Knox Road and a $277,000 sidewalk construction project from Albion Road to Riverdale Park Station.
According to City Manager Scott Somers, the amendment was not a change to the budget but an item that had been approved in the past and required a formal ordinance to be used therefore after.
“There was no change to the budget,” he said. “This is a housekeeping item.”
Although these expenses are formally authorized, the original Fiscal Year 2018 budget adoption remains unchanged and still in full effect.
The pedestrian safety barrier came about with concerns for pedestrian safety at the east side of Baltimore Avenue and will be funded through the Department of Public Works. The sidewalk project was brought up by the council on November 14 for concrete maintenance and asphalt resurfacing, funding for which is available through the CIP Pavement Management Plan.
At the Sept. 5 city council meeting, the council approved the donation to the Mission of Mercy Free Dental Clinic with the funding being available through the city’s community service grants.
“This was the second time they’ve done a dental clinic for low-income residents,” said Mayor Patrick Wojahn. “It took place several months ago, and they served about 1,000 people. The city decided we wanted to support that.”
UMD’s Mission of Mercy and Health Equity Festival, a collaborative effort between the UMD Center for Health Equity, Catholic Charities of Washington and the dental and healthcare community, aims to provide services to poor and underserved adult patients.
They provide free dental care and many other important health screenings and services such as blood pressure, glucose, and cholesterol checks, flu shots, vision exams, HIV screenings and one-on-one consultations with attorneys, nutritionists and counselors.
The most recent dental clinic, which took place on Sept. 8 and 10 at the Xfinity Center in College Park which served 858 patients, gave 2056 dental procedures and provided approximately $1 million in free dental services.
Also, at the July 17 public hearing, the city council approved a petition request submitted by residents of the 9500 block of Rhode Island Avenue Service Road in February for traffic calming devices to be installed.
“Any resident can petition,” Wojahn said. “They felt that the traffic speed was too fast and wanted traffic calming devices. The city engineer reviews the petition and comes up with a recommendation. They look at the street layout and other specifications and makes recommendations to the city council and the council decides based on that whether to support and approve the petition.”
The petition required that 60 percent of the residents within 500 feet of the street sign for it to be seen and nine residents on the street signed. After a traffic counter was placed on the road for 48 hours and found that 15.7 percent of the vehicles that came by were speeding out of the average traffic of 399 cars per day. The council decided to install speed humps on the road.
“Speeding was identified as being a problem,” said City Engineer Stephen Halpern in his Technical Report. “Based on the established traffic warrants and criteria recommended by The Institute of Transportation Engineers for the placement of speed humps to control vehicular speeding on residential roadways and Public Works Department concerns, traffic calming measures should be warranted on the 9500 Rhode Island Avenue Service Road.”
Halpern anticipates the construction will be finished by September.