Delegate Barnes discussed bills from the past session, including one on allowing residents of College Park to ride on the shuttle buses and the “keg” law, which requires that the seller of kegs now has to fill out a form about the purchaser, rather than the purchaser being responsible for that.
Included in the Governor’s fiscal package is $8 million for a study of Route 1 and $100 million for the engineering phase of the Purple Line. $1 billion in cuts over a 4-month period were made to the State budget. When revenues come back in June, there may be another shortfall.
Regarding slots, Delegate Barnes said that they’re talking about $600 million in revenue after giving money to tracks, etc. Opponents ask what are we going to realize in social costs. Gambling is shown to be successful in “destination” areas, but Laurel isn’t considered a destination area. The idea behind slots in a western Maryland location is to go after those who leave western Maryland in order to gamble elsewhere. On the bill about whether slots should be a referendum, Delegate Barnes voted yes. As for whether it should be a bill, Delegate Barnes voted no. Slots, gambling, and the lottery are essentially a poor tax. If slots pass, there should be a fairly high percentage of construction going to local builders.
Regarding the shuttle bus bill, the bill takes away the legal impediment the University objected to (liability). Delegate Barnes said there are four at-large members and 5 elected members to the School Board. He thinks it would be better to have 9 individual school districts.
Delegate Barnes sponsored a bill which would get an extra sum of money for College Park to deal with safety issues related to the 2,000 students who will be living on Route 1 from the north gate up to Jiffy Lube. The bill did not pass.
4. Agenda Item 6. College Park Reports from Our Council Representatives. Jack Perry reported that the City’s Route 1 plan has been adopted. The City agrees that the project should be segmented in its development : (i) the south gate to 193 (where old Safeway was), (ii) from there up to Hollywood Road, and (iii) from there to the Beltway. The University had agreed to the segmented plan provided the work started at the University end. “They seem to have truckloads of money for the study and no money for the work.”
Bob Catlin reported that there was a public hearing on the budget. Complaints were raised about raising property taxes to pay for policing, but not too many. The City Council will vote on the budget soon.
The presentation made by the developer of the proposed Starview project went pretty well. The City Manager said 2 people still hadn’t yet signed off on the parking garage yet.
Construction won’t start until June. The City hopes to have it open by sometime between
January and March 2009. The developer for East Campus is asking for a bunch of things. The connector road will come from 95/495 to campus near the Comcast Center. When
Senator Dorman originally proposed it, it was supposed to be “BRT” – bus rapid transport.
The Purple Line will come through the campus. The original proposed route is probably the one that will be built. The other proposed route, which would have it running near Preinkert, won’t be the one because Preinkert has historic building status. Campus Drive will be closed to all traffic but buses and the Purple line, which Jack calls a “modern=-day trolley line.” It should operate at under 40mph.
Development plans are slowing down for everybody because of financial issues. The MNPCPC has put out a reque3ste for proposals to reopen the sector plan for Route The City wants to annex Seven Springs Village. The Post shortfall will be $200,000 within 2 years, which is within the margin of error. The shopping center site near the Greenbelt Metro has been annexed by Greenbelt.
There will be 1,200 residential units there.
The Chief of the Branchville Fire and Rescue squad spoke. He said they get 3,000 calls a year. They will be building residential quarters there soon. The oldest fire truck they have is from 1994.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 pm.
Meeting Attendees (from sign-up sheet):
Jerry Anzulovic Chris Larson Charles Bailey Jack Perry Bob Catlin Sandy Tyler Liesl Koch Timothy Triplett
Liesl Koch, Recording Secretary, BDCA.