Monday, March 19, 2018

Revised Trash and Recycling Rules for Vote Tuesday March 20

Tuesday, March 20, 2018, at 7pm at City Hall, your mayor and council will have a final vote on the proposed trash and recycling rules. After receiving a great deal of feedback from residents, the council has revised the proposed trash and recycling rules for the city.

Click here to see a Google Docs version

The conversation dates back to fall 2017, when the council considered the following proposal (shared from Councilman Luke Chesek's email on the topic):
  1. Purchasing both 45 gallon trash carts with wheels and attached lids, and 65 gallon recycling carts with wheels and attached lids for each single family home - with an opt-out process for each home. The implementation would include a process for the City to both pick up each home's current trash and recycling bins (if residents choose to get rid of their current receptacles) and, subsequently, drop off the new carts free of charge.
  2. Outfitting our Public Works garbage trucks with mechanical lifts that would lift the new trash and recycling carts, relieving the physical strain currently required of our Public Works staff. The resulting improvements would save approximately one hour off each trash and recycling run, where Public Works staff could be reassigned to other needed tasks.
  3. A robust public outreach and communication effort that would notify residents when and how this change would take effect, including information on how to opt-out.
The City has conservatively estimated that these investments would cost $114,000 after requesting and receiving offers from vendors. It is proposed that the City would pay for this through current unused funds from fiscal year 2018 by way of a budget amendment. These investments would not require the raising of any taxes. 

Also included in the budget amendment to fund this proposal is a $34,000 down payment for a third garbage truck with a mechanical lift. This was approved of in fiscal year 2017 due to the need to replace the City's third garbage truck. However, since the purchase did not occur in fiscal year 2017, the City must include the price of the down payment in the current budget amendment. As a result, the proposed budget amendment equals $148,000 - the $114,000 cited above and the $34,000 down payment for a new truck. The City would use the unused fiscal year 2017 funds for the down payment.

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

City Manager Budget Discussion Hours

From City Manager Miranda Braatz:

The City of Mount Rainier’s Fiscal Year 2019 (July 1, 2018 – June 31, 2019) proposed budget will be available on March 20th, with copies made available to the public.

Residents of Mount Rainier who may have questions about the proposed budget, budget line items, specific initiatives, or departments are invited to attend the City Manager Budget Discussion Hours and talk one on one with the City Manager and Director of Finance. 

Budget Discussion Hours Schedule:

March 31st – 10am to 2pm at the Mount Rainier Nature Center during the City Egg Hunt.  Bi-lingual Spanish / English available

April 3rd – Following the City Council Legislative Meeting at City Hall 8pm to 9:30pm

April 20th – City Hall 2pm – 5pm. Bi-lingual Spanish / English available

May 19th – Mount Rainier Day City Table 12noon to 5pm. Bi-lingual Spanish / English available

Friday, February 23, 2018

Regional Transit Survey

I recently completed the Regional Travel Survey, an important tool from The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board. TPB has conducted this type of household travel survey once every decade since 1968. Keep your eyes on your snail mail in case you are selected and sent a packet.
If you are selected to participate, please do! The information collected is absolutely critical to regional planning decisions around transit and transportation. As a Greater Greater Washington contributor I am obviously a transportation policy enthusiast, but I promise the survey is worth your time too.

The survey begins with a brief online form to get baseline info about the travel patterns of you and your household, and then you are assigned a future day on which you are asked to track all of your trips. I ended up being assigned a day that was very different than my regular commute, but I walked, drove, rode MARC to Baltimore, and took buses while in Baltimore City. That is a lot of transit modes in one day, which should be interesting info for transportation planners.

PGCPS Teacher of the Year nominations

Do you have a child in Prince George's County Public Schools? Do you know an excellent teacher? If so, considering nominating them for PGCPS Teacher of the Year.

More info and nomination form here. Nominations due by March 13.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Singer Flats Sneak Preview November 16

FYI, a look at the long awaited revitalization of the 3300 block of Rhode Island Ave in Mount Rainier

The Menkiti Group welcomes our nearby neighbors for a sneak preview of the residential units at Singer Flats. We will meet for a brief tour of the first floor commercial space at 3300 Rhode Island Ave followed by a visit to our model residential apartment unit on the 2nd floor.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Town Hall with Congressman Anthony Brown - April 20, 2017

A local organizing group comprised of Mount Rainier, Brentwood, and North Brentwood residents has worked with Congressman Anthony Brown to put on a Town Hall meeting.

Rep. Anthony Brown Town Hall
Thursday, April 20, 2017, 6:30-8pm
Bunker Hill Firehouse

Monday, December 14, 2015

How to (re)build downtown?

Smart Growth America just released an interesting new guidebook, (Re)Building Downtown: A Guidebook for Revitalization, "a resource for local elected officials who want to re-invigorate and strengthen neighborhood centers of economy, culture, and history through a smart growth approach to development."
I have a long-standing interest in figuring out how to revitalize small, primarily neighborhood-serving commercial areas. As a general rule, retail development lags residential development - but why do some communities turn around their commercial districts faster than others? What, if anything, can local officials and community members do to help?