Regular Meeting on January 12, 2012

Minutes of NCPCA Regular Meeting on January 12, 2012

The meeting began at 7:30.  City Councilman Patrick Wojahn and Councilman elect Fazlul Kabir joined after the City Council meeting.

President Mark Shroder introduced Thomas Fryer, an engineer for Washington Gas.  He was invited to speak about the work that was being done near the intersection of Rhode Island and University Boulevard.  He stated a pressure reducing station was being built.  He described it as a distribution system that would link the larger network at 250 to 300 pounds pressure to the local network at 20 to 50 pounds pressure.  He stated this station would bring more supply to the area by allowing the build up of pressure, could be controlled remotely and would increase reliability and safety.  He stated that Washington Gas had started installing these stations about seven to ten years ago and this particular station would be complete in another ten days.  He said the facility would be fenced and there would be no building, only two 20 inch pipes.  He also stated that this had no relation to another project nearby which he assumed was a WSSC project.  After he finished, Dominique Branch, public relations and marketing for Washington Gas described some brochures that she had brought with her and left them for people to take.

Mr. Shroder introduced Zari Malsawma, steering committee member in Neighborhood Watch, which she described as a grass roots organization dedicated to personal safety, security and protection of the community.  She stated there are currently six neighborhood watch groups in College Park, but none in North College Park.  She stated that Christine Nagle, a former block captain, and Robert Boone had expressed interest in starting one again for North College Park.  She described various aspects and projects of the Neighborhood Watch organization.  She described the block captain’s role as a link between the program and the residents and a liaison to the police.  She stated that a good way to get a local neighborhood watch group going is to hold a block party.  Robert Boone was then introduced and he talked about starting up the North College Park group again and organizing a social to start it off in the next week or two.

The minutes from the previous meeting were handed out and a small change was suggested.  Bob Seward made a motion to accept the minutes with the change, Bill Robertson seconded and the motion was unanimously carried.

Larry Bleau delivered the Treasurer’s report for December with $20 collected in dues, $15.17 spent for the website and $21.74 for printing.  For 2011, starting balance was $1388.65, collected $580 in dues, total expenses $657.12 (postage $308.08, printing $296.19, supplies $28.51, web site $24.34), for a net outflow of $77.12.  The checking balance at the end of the year was $1311.53.

Stephen Jascourt from the College Park variance committee made a report.  He stated that there had been no activity in the previous month.  He stated the number of variance requests were decreased from previous years, probably due to the slow economy.

Under new business, Bob Seward suggested a standing committee to keep track of progress on the properties on the Northeast and Southeast corners of Edgewood at Rte 1.  Margaret Wood stated she could follow the developments and Larry Bleau expressed interest.  Motion to establish a committee headed by Bob Seward was made by Margaret Wood and seconded by Leslie Booth.  Motion was carried with one nay vote from Larry Bleau.

Stephen Jascourt suggested that NCPCA should have outreach to hispanic neighbors.  He noted that many hispanic families consisted of both husband and wife being workers with children.  He stated that, along with language and cultural barriers, this made it difficult for them to attend NCPCA meetings when one is working and the other is looking after the children.  Judy Blumenthal stated that she has similar restrictions and was interested in helping.  Motion was made by Bill Robertson to form a committee headed by Stephen Jascourt to work on outreach to neighbors who had trouble coming to regular meetings and work between meetings.  Motion was seconded by Judy Blumenthal and carried with one nay from Larry Bleau.

Donna Weene suggested a committee to deal with traffic and pedestrian safety.  Issues such as sidewalks and shrubbery trimming were discussed.  Mark Shroder stated that there are three levels of government involved in this topic:  city, county and state.  Robert Boone, Stephen Jascourt, Larry Bleau, and Philip Aronson were interested in this committee.  Motion to form the committee headed by Donna Weene was made by Larry Bleau, seconded by Bob Seward and carried unanimously.

Mark Shroder asked for members to be named to assist officers in monitoring various issues.  He stated CSX is looking to build a giant truck – rail transfer station with four possible sites in mind, including the Beltsville wetland.  There had been no decision made as of yet by the state.  Margaret Wood agreed to monitor this.  Duval Field was discussed, stating that there is a possibility to build a track, a Boys/Girls Club snack bar or a restroom and to buy 3 houses with open space funds and expand the field.  John Krouse was named to monitor the Greenbelt Metro development.  Edgewood and Rhode Island intersection developments will be reported on by Bill Robertson and Larry Bleau.  The state has allocated engineering money for Rte 1 south of Greenbelt Rd, not for right of way purchase and construction.  Motion to appoint Margaret Wood to follow this was made by Leslie Booth, seconded by Donna Ween and carried unanimously.  Bob Seward reported that the AT&T tower project was dead due to lack of approval form the city.  Margaret Wood asked about developments on a skateboard park at Sunnyside Park.  Donna Weene stated that there had been problems with permits, design and maintenance, but construction had been delayed to February due to other business and the weather.

Margaret Wood and Donna Weene stated that there have been problems with mail delivery.  Patrick Wojahn said complaints should be directed to postmaster Tanya White at with a copy sent to  Mark Shroder stated it might be a good idea to invite Representative Stenny Hoyer next month to speak on this subject, as well representatives of CSX.

Patrick Wojahn and Fazlul Kabir gave their report on the City Council meeting.  There will be a survey conducted on traffic congestion and accident locations on I 295, I 495, the Greenbelt exits and Rte 193 to assess levels of service for intersections and roads.  The Greenbelt Sector Plan will be posted in June.  There is a townhall meeting with Mary Lehman scheduled for February 16 at 6:30 PM at Hollywood Elementary School.  The developer for the site at Rte 1 and Cherokee is bankrupt so there will be no further work for the time being; the detailed site plan is about to expire but will probably be extended.

Motion was made at 9:12 by Larry Bleau to adjourn the meeting, seconded by a person missed by the secretary and carried unanimously.