Berwyn District Civic Association

Thursday, September 18, 2014

1. Agenda Item 1. Goodbye Mural Party. Ice cream and cookies were served before the meeting began to remember the Berwyn mural that was recently painted over. Sandy Tyler reminder people how the mural came to be in the first place and led a discussion on about what we could do

with the $1,500 left in the mural maintenance fund. The owner of the building is not willing to have another mural painted there. To do another one the same size would probably cost about $15,000 to $20,000. Ideas for how to use the remaining money included using it for banners at the entry points to the neighborhood, changing the street signage itself to something with an “old‐timey” look, have art students at the University create some kind of street art, an antique wrought‐iron arch at the main entry point, a project along the Trolley Trail that incorporates landscape and signage, and a hand‐print mural, among others. We could get local businesses to donate toward
the project and maybe give them free advertising of some kind along the Trolley Trail in exchange. It was decided that the Board would discuss possibilities. The audience was encouraged to call Sandy if they had any additional ideas, and she would pass them on.

2. Agenda Item 2. Officers Present. President Kevin Young called the meeting to order. Other officers also present were 1st Vice President Harry Pitt, 2nd Vice President Richard Morrison, Recording Secretary Liesl Koch, Treasurer Lori Young, Board of Directors members Dan Blasberg and Bob Catlin, Neighborhood Watch Director Nick Brennan, Berwyn News Editor Elizabeth Kuligowski, and Welcome Committee Chair Christy Dollymore,

3. Agenda Item 3. Treasurer’s Report. Treasurer Lori Young reported that as of September 18, 2014, BDCA had a balance of $3,164.64. The previous reported balance was $3,633.66. The new balance reflects a $560.41 deposit (memberships, donations, the 50‐50 raffle, and newsletter advertising) and expenses of $428.78 (Minuteman Press in May and June) and $600.65 (for Music in the Park band, food, and porta‐potty, and Paypal quarterly fee and bank fee). A motion to accept the Treasurer’s Report was made, seconded, and passed.

4. Agenda Item 4. Minutes from the Last Meeting. The name of the traffic engineer who attended the June 19, 2014, BDCA meeting is unknown. A motion to table the minutes from that meeting until the name is added was made, seconded, and passed.

5. Agenda Item 5. Committee for a Better Environment. Gemma Evans and Janis Oppelt, Co‐Chairs of College Park’s Committee for a Better Environment, were present. Ms. Evans talked about the permaculture garden. She distributed drawings of what the garden will look like, as well as a sample of some of the signage that will identify the different plants. The section along the Trolley Trail between Greenbelt Road and Tecumseh Street will be the pilot project. This pilot area will later be evaluated for success. Holy Redeemer is very excited about the educational potential for its kids; people at the University are also excited about it. Saturday, October 4th, will be site preparation day; Saturday, October 11th, is when the actual planting will take place. Volunteers

are welcome. If the garden attracts deer, the effect will be part of the evaluation. The plants going in are not high‐maintenance plants.

6. Agenda Item 6. COPS Officer Report. Officer Black reported that the police are paying a lot of attention to Old Town at the moment, now that the students are back. A suspect whose photo was

recently distributed was one of those individuals whom the justice system lets out again and again and again. If you call the police for any reason, the police would always prefer it if you left your telephone number in case they have any follow‐up questions later, but you are perfectly entitled not to give it if you choose. Councilman Monroe Dennis encouraged residents to report any suspicious activity. The more reports the police receive, the more likely they can identify trends, etc., and prevent crime from taking place to begin with. The City Council is very positive about the COPS program.

7. Agenda Item 7. Councilman Brennan’s Report. Councilman P.J. Brennan reported on the following topics. College Park Day is September 27th from 11am to 3pm. There will be parking across Paint Branch Parkway from the Metro. The Quality of Life Committee was formed to reduce tension between landlords, the University, and the community. On November 6th, from 7‐10pm, at St. Andrews Parish Hall in downtown College Park, the Committee will hold a fall forum where members of the public can make suggestions about improving quality of life in College Park. The hotel/CVS and Berwyn House Road project should break ground anytime in the next six months. Councilman Brennan will be meeting with residents of the Spellman House to discuss parking in the community. A Council work session was convened to discuss a major stormwater incident that occurred on Paint Branch Parkway and in Old Town earlier this summer. There will be a child care hearing on November 5th that viewers can tune in to. Curb replacement has been proceeding

along smoothly. Roads will be paved in 2015. Reach out to Steven Halpern, the City Engineer, if you have any issues related to that. The cameras we’re getting with the $125K grant money will go in next year. There are some light pollution issues in the neighborhood. We experimented with a retrofitted light fixture but that didn’t work and created a hazard for the existing fixture. Replacing the light‐polluting fixtures with ones without that problem will help fulfill some of the City’s sustainability goals.

8. Agenda Item 8. College Park Academy. Berwyn resident Bob Catlin reported that there was a huge turnout for the back‐to‐school program for parents at the College Park Academy. More counselors have been hired as well as more administrative staff to help the principal. The Academy is still searching for a permanent home.

9. Agenda Item 9. Old Business. There was no old business to discuss.

10. Agenda Item 10. New Business. The annual bonfire will be held in the neighborhood park on October 18th. The fire will be lit at 4pm and the event will last until 10pm. Please bring wood and brush, but nothing green or recently cut, no construction wood if it’s pressure‐treated or has nails, and no poison ivy. Dan Blasberg will put up signs for that. Everyone is welcome to show up the following morning at 8am to help burn it out.

There is a problem with feral cats in the neighborhood. The number of feral cats over by the park is alarming. In order for something to be done about it, we need to work with Vivian Cooper, the animal control officer. The reality is that a lot of these feral cats will be euthanized. A lot of them have severe infections in their eyes or might have feline leukemia. Ms. Cooper does everything she can to find a home for the animals.
Over the summer the BDCA Board finalized the letter to the State Highway people about the crosswalk at 193 and the end of Rhode Island. We need something safer than what’s there now. The State Highway Administration recently notified the City that it would be putting marked intersection crosswalks on Route 1 north of here.
The College Park Community Foundation is now in its second year of awarding grants. It just
finished its second round of applications. They received a total of 7 applications, including some great ones. Last year there were just 3 applications. Winners will be announced in the fall.
The overlay zone that former Councilman Olson was about to introduce is not expected to go anywhere – there was a lot of opposition from various stakeholders throughout the City.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:20pm.

Meeting attendees (from sign‐up sheet):

Steve Beavers Dan Blasberg Nick Brennan PJ Brennan
Andrea Carpentieri Robert Catlin Christy Dollymore John Dollymore Gemma Evans Andrew Fellows
Lily Fountain Larry Garnes Michele Garnes Chris Gordon
Sarah Jean Harrison Harvey Himmelfarb Marge Himmelfarb Doug Hunter
Diane Jeffries Bob Kuligowski Elizabeth Kuligowski Liesl Koch
Janet McCaslin Marc McCaslin Tom McGonigle Richard Morrison Janis Oppelt Cheryl Pitt
Harry Pitt
Russell Robinette
Carol Savard
Chad Stern
Gina Tomko
Forrest Tyler
Sandy Tyler
Barbara Valentich
Richard Valentich
Richard B. WInston
Joshua Young
Kevin Young
Lori Young
Liesl Koch, Recording Secretary, BDCA.