Regular Meeting on May 12, 2011

Meeting began at 7:30pm. Council members Patrick Wojahn and Christine Nagle were present,  County Council woman (Dist 1) Mary Lehman’s representative Matt Dernoga and MD State Senator’s (21st District) representative Carolyn M. Brenne were also present.

Sharon A. Daboin , CSX Resident Vice President and Bradley M. Smith, MDOT’s project manager made a presentation about the proposed intermodal facility in Beltsville near Sunnyside Ave. / Edmonston Rd. They said double stacking is important for increasing the capacity of the CSX rail corridor, which is important to the Maryland economy, and that a new intermodal facility is required to support double stacking. Beltsville location is one of the four proposed sites CSX/MDOT are considering in the area. The other 3 sites are located at Hanover, Jessup and Montevideo. County council woman Mary Lehamn’s (Dist 1) representative Matt Dernoga was at the meeting to read a letter from Ms. Lehman opposing the construction of the facility. Two Beltsville residents present at the meeting also said they are opposed to the project. Moved by Anne Riley / Bill Robertson, “Have NCPCA oppose the construction of CSX Intermodal facility at the proposed Beltsville location”. Motion passed. During discussion period, members said the project would cause significant impacts on traffic in the area, especially on Route 1, Sunnyside avenue, Rt 201.Other concerns about the project include damage to the Indian Creek watersheds and the surrounding wetlands, truck pollution, change of area’s zoning from residential open space (R-O-S) to open space (O-S).

Dave Johnson, a north College Park resident and the Chief Customer Communications Officer for MARC made a presentation on the MARC Camden Line train service that operates between Washington and Baltimore on the CSX Transportation mainline.  MARC has stations adjacent to both Metro stations (College Park and Greenbelt). MARC now stops two additional trains in College Park that used to be express trains to handle the increased ridership. MARC has recently completed a platform expansion at the College Park station and will be doing more work in the near future to raise the platform slightly higher so that the step box will not be necessary. There will be a new Public address system and LED information signs.  MARC plans to improve the condition of the Greenbelt station is with new, clearer signage. MARC has also introduced two new locomotives. The MP-36 model locomotive is more fuel efficient and has a smaller gas tank. Mr. Johnson said the Camden Line is a great way to take a day trip to Baltimore; fares are $6 each way ($3 for senior citizens).  Tickets can be purchased from the conductor on the train (conductors accept cash only).

Charlie Scott and John D. Thomas of WMATA made a presentation on the proposed Metro test tracks between Greenbelt and College Park Metro rail stations and the commissioning facility at the Greenbelt rail track. They said WMATA has recently placed an order for 428 new rail cars. A test track would cut in half the time required to place the new rail cars into revenue service. They said of 106 miles of rail corridor owned by WMATA, 46.3 miles are at-grade. For practical purposes the test track needs to be built at grade. They said only Green line between College Park and Greenbelt station meets the criteria for the test track. Environmental analyses of each facility are being conducted in accordance with FTA criteria. Construction to begin in the Spring of 2012. Test tracks are scheduled for completion by late summer of 2013 and commissioning facility to be completed in early CY14. The total budget for the project is estimated as $88.3 million.

Moved by Bill Robertson / Peter Lakeland, April 2011 minutes was approved.

Treasurer Joe Smith reported the NCPCA had a total of $70 deposit and $29.48 expenses (copying flyers and domain renewals), with total ending balance of $1205.46.

Nominating committee Chair Donna Weene reported that Mark Shroder and Fazlul Kabir will re-run for President and Secretary respectively. Bob Seward agreed to run for Vice President and Treasurer simultaneously.

Moved by Larry Blue / Donna Weene, extend the meeting beyond 9:30 and adjourn the meeting after announcements are made. Motion passed.

President Mark Shroder said he wrote to the Council expressing members’ opposition against City’s decision to purchase #1 Liquor. He also said he wrote a blog post in College Park Patch about May NCPCA meeting.

Council member Patrick Wojahn announced the second College Park Day on October 22, 2011. Fazlul Kabir announced Hollywood neighborhood cleanup on June 4 (10am to 1pm). Council member Christine Nagle announced that the College Park Recreation Board will hold a bowling event at the AMF College Park Lanes next Saturday (May 21, 9am – 12pm) for City’s senior citizens. Bill Robertson announced that there will be a Memorial Day service at College Park Veterans Memorial on June 30 at 11am. Former Mayor Steve Braymen will be there as the keynote speaker.

Meeting was adjourned at 9:40 pm.

Respectfully submitted by  Fazlul Kabir, Secretary