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Welcome to my blog, which features frequent updates on local Takoma Park issues, including City Council meeting agendas, plus occasional commentary on national news and politics.

September 2, 2019 City Council Update

Dear Neighbors:

With summer coming to a close, City Council meetings will start up again on Wednesday, September 11. On that evening, Montgomery County Councilmember Tom Hucker will join us at 6:00 PM before the regular meeting starts at 7:30 PM. Similarly, our September 25 meeting will begin early with a 6:00 PM presentation from a regional U.S. Postal Service manager regarding delivery problems in Takoma Park. Both of those presentations will include opportunities for residents to ask questions.

You can see tentative agenda details for Council meetings in September and October through this link: https://takomaparkmd.gov/government/city-council/meetings-and-documents/upcoming-meeting-agendas/. I’ll circulate more information about the September 11 agenda in a week or so. Meanwhile, I’m including below updates on several important local projects, as well as announcements about key upcoming fall events that may be of interest. There’s a lot going on -- many community events tend to be scheduled in autumn, so I anticipate further announcements in the coming weeks.

Update on Pepco Project. You can see the latest look-ahead on the project showing the areas where work is expected over the next few weeks via this link:  https://publicworks-takomapark.s3.amazonaws.com/public/current-projects/takoma-sligo-underground/PW-20190825-PEPCO-Community-Look-Ahead.pdf. And my August 20 blog had additional information (http://www.councilmemberkovar.com/blog/2019/8/20/august-20-2019-city-council-update), including an announcement that Pepco representatives will appear before the City Council to discuss the status of the project on October 2.

Road surface restoration work has begun on the segment of Eastern Avenue between Cedar and Piney Branch Avenues, and I’m continuing to urge Pepco to make some temporary improvements to the road surfaces on Takoma Avenue and Fenton Street, so those areas can be driven over more safely even as additional work is done close by. Unfortunately, there’s still another round of excavation work, with some detouring, scheduled to be done this fall on Takoma Avenue and Fenton Street. That work will start up this month.

Parking Task Force -- volunteers needed (September 20 application deadline). The Parking Management Task Force will be a short term body appointed by the City Council to review parking management in the City, consider policy proposals for parking management, engage community participation in identifying problems and considering policy proposals, and providing advice to the Council on possible next steps. More information and the application form for serving on the Task Force can be found here: https://takomaparkmd.gov/government/boards-commissions-and-committees/parking-management-task-force/

Adventist Hospital Takoma Park Location Closed; Urgent Care Facility Open.  With the long-planned closure of Takoma Park’s Adventist Hospital having taken place in late August, a 24 hour urgent care facility is now located at the former hospital site. Note that urgent care is not the same as emergency care, which must be handled at a hospital emergency room. Information on the Takoma Park facility and the differences between urgent and emergency care services can be found through this link: https://documents.takomaparkmd.gov/initiatives/project-directory/Washington_Adventist_Hospital/UrgentCare_EmergencyCare_1.pdf. Of course, you should always call 911 if you have a medical emergency.

Mayor Stewart, Councilmember Smith, City staff and I toured the urgent care facility last week. It appears to be well staffed and equipped for the kind of care it will be providing. Note that certain medical treatments, including rehabilitation services, will still be provided at the former hospital site, at least for a period of time. The new hospital, now called White Oak Medical Center, is located off Route 29 at the intersection of Plum Orchard and Cherry Hill Roads.

Takoma Junction Development. On August 14, Neighborhood Development Company made an appearance before the County Historic Preservation Commission to present changes to the proposed site plan, responding to HPC’s critique of the previous plan. The new plan calls for, among other things, a simplified façade; lower height (including the overall height, as well as the height of the first floor, the elevator and the canopy); and some additional public space. The Commission asked NDC to return with additional changes, focusing specifically on areas such as further height reductions, breaking up the building’s façade, increasing the public space area, exploring alternatives to the lay-by for truck deliveries, and addressing concerns about tree protection.

Residents who wish to hear audio of the NDC presentation, along with questions from HPC members, and public comments can do so via the following link, starting at the 1:51 mark:  http://mncppc.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?publish_id=9a9748eb-bf66-11e9-b703-0050569183fa.

Upcoming Events

Dance Exchange Season Kickoff Open House -- Saturday, September 7, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM at the Dance Exchange studio, 7117 Maple Avenue. https://mainstreettakoma.org/event/dance-exchange-season-kick-off-open-house/

Folk Festival -- Sunday, September 8, 10:30 AM - 6:30 PM at the Middle School. https://www.tpff.org/

Montgomery College Math-Science Building Update Forum, focused on construction issues -- Tuesday, September 10, 7:00 - 9:30 PM, Catherine F. Scott Commons, Room CM 211. http://mcblogs.montgomerycollege.edu/tpss-math-science-building/project-update-forum-september-10-2019/

Takoma Park’s 11th Annual Play Day -- Saturday, September 14, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM at the Middle School. http://letsplayamerica.org/upcoming-events

Takoma Cleanup Day, sponsored by Old Town Business Association/Main Street Takoma -- Saturday, September 14, 10:00 AM - Noon at several locations in the Old Town area. https://mainstreettakoma.org/event/clean-up-day-2/

Stop the Bleed Training Workshops -- Thursday, September 19 and Thursday, October 17, 7:00 - 8:30 PM, Community Center Azalea Room. Advance sign-up required.  https://takomaparkmd.gov/news/stop-the-bleed-training-two-workshops-are-available/

Takoma Foundation Beerfest -- Saturday, September 21, 4:00 - 8:00 PM at the Cady-Lee House. https://www.takomafoundation.org/events/beerfest

Farmers Market Pie Contest -- Sunday, September 22, 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM, Seventh Day Adventist Church in Old Town. http://takomaparkmarket.com/pie-contest-rules/. I’ll be one of the judges!

Takoma Langley Crossroads Night Market -- Saturday, September 28, 4:00 - 8:30 PM, on Anne Street by University Boulevard. http://takomalangley.org/night-market/

Takoma Street Festival -- Sunday, October 6, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM, on Carroll Avenue and Carroll Street in Takoma Park and Takoma DC. https://mainstreettakoma.org/featured-events/takoma-park-street-festival/

As always, please be in touch with questions or comments about any of the matters covered in this message.

Peter Kovar, Takoma Park City Council, Ward One

240-319-6281; www.councilmemberkovar.com

September 11, 2019 City Council Meeting Agenda

August 20, 2019 City Council Update