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Dear Ward 3 residents,

The Takoma Park City Council does not have a meeting this week. Our next public meeting will be Wednesday, April 7.

The April 7 meeting will begin at 6pm with a presentation of the Fiscal Year 2022 Proposed Budget by City Manager Suzanne Ludlow. During the months of April and May, the Council will have work sessions on the FY22 budget, with an anticipated final vote on May 19. There are scheduled public hearings on the budget April 14 and 28.

Please see below for information about several important items, including:

  • Tax Duplication -- We need you to contact County Councilmembers to advocate for fair reimbursements!
  • City Council schedule for upcoming work sessions and vote regarding the Takoma Junction Redevelopment Project
  • Notes from the Estrellitas Montessori School meeting last week

Sincerely,

Tax Duplication: Please Take Action!

We need your help contacting Montgomery County Councilmembers to advocate for the County to address the ongoing issue of inadequate tax duplication rebates to the City of Takoma Park. This is important because it impacts City revenues and thus your tax dollars and the services the City can provide.

Residents pay County taxes for services that the City provides for us instead, and the City does not receive appropriate reimbursement from the County for these services. The City Council recently passed a resolution calling for the County to reimburse Takoma Park for the appropriate amount that residents pay to the County for services that are provided by the City instead.

See this blog post from Mayor Stewart for information.

Please contact our County Councilmembers and urge them to:
  • Amend the County Executive's FY22 budget to adjust municipal tax duplication payments for transportation, police, crossing guards, and park services (total more than $14M across all County municipalities)
  • Codify a consistent process and method to update the formulas for these categories
  • Urge the County Executive to begin negotiations on the formula for police and park maintenance services in the FY23 budget year
This cannot be achieved without widescale resident engagement. The City has been working on this for years, and it will not move forward without active engagement from many residents in contacting County Councilmembers and advocating on this issue.

Please take a few minutes to email County Councilmembers and/or sign up to testify on the County budget. See here for details. See here for the letter transmitted from the City to the County, including the resolution passed by the City Council.
Takoma Junction Project

As you may know, the Takoma Junction Redevelopment Project site plan has been going through the Montgomery County Development Review Process.

As the project reaches the end of this process, the County Planning Board will schedule a hearing to consider and vote on the project. Before that hearing, the City Council will take time to review this project and vote on a resolution related to it. There is no Planning Board hearing scheduled at this time, but it may potentially be scheduled for late May. We will know more on this soon.

During April and May, the City Council will have several meetings to undertake our review process of the revised project plans. These include (all evening meetings):
  • Monday, April 12 -- Overview of project plans presented, followed by small-group discussions
  • Wednesday, April 14 -- Council Meeting with work session to discuss plans (public comment period as usual before meeting)
  • Wednesday, April 28 -- Public hearing on the project, followed by Council work session on project during Council Meeting
  • Wednesday, May 5 -- Council Meeting with vote on a resolution
I'm committed to reviewing this project carefully and ensuring many opportunities to hear from you. In addition to these Council meetings and public comment periods, I am planning Ward-3-specific engagement opportunities to hear from you. I will be sending out a link inviting you to share your thoughts and questions on the plans with me. I am also planning two ward listening sessions. Please tentatively plan for these to be on the evenings of April 7 and 20, but I will confirm time and dates soon.
117 Elm Ave Property (Former John Nevins Andrews School)

Last week, we had a ward meeting with Centro Evangelistico -- the new owners of the 117 Elm Ave property -- and Estrellitas Montessori School, to hear more about their plans.

Below are some notes from the meeting:
  • There will be renovations of the building focused on bringing it up to code and creating a nice environment. Large-scale modifications to the building/property are not planned at this time
  • Centro Evangelistico hopes to complete renovations and open for worship in the location in Nov or Dec
  • Estrellitas Montessori School is leasing the lower level and will open an early childhood education school for ages 6 months to 5 years. The school expects to start classes in September
  • Estrellitas plans to utilize the parking lot for parking and pickup and hopes to be a neighborhood school with many local families who walk to the school
  • Dropoff at the school is expected to be on weekdays between 8-8:30am, with rolling pickups at 12pm, 1pm, and 5pm. They expect to have 4-6 classes this fall
I have asked for further updates and information as construction and the start of school and worship services begin. I will share more information as this happens.
Other News & Information

Multilingual Information about COVID-19 Vaccines
Please see here for multilingual information about the COVID-19 vaccine and how to get it. Please help share this information widely.

COVID-19 Data Dashboard Updates
The COVID-19 Data Dashboard for Takoma Park has been updated with data for 3/26/2021:
  • Twenty-eight new COVID-19 cases were reported in the last week as the city's 7-day rolling average of new cases. New cases here began increasing again, unlike Montgomery County's which remained stable.
  • The number of first-dose vaccine recipients in Takoma Park increased to 4,996 this week and the city's fully-vaccinated population increased to 2,120, representing 12% of Takoma Park's residents.
  • Racial disparities persist in vaccine distribution and COVID-case shares. White residents represent 50% of first-dose vaccine recipients (of their 46% population share) but represent just 10.6% of COVID cases. Black residents represent 32% of the city's population and 28% of cases, but just 21% of first-dose recipients. Hispanic residents represent 11% of first-dose recipients--identical to their population share--but 34.6% of cases.
COVID testing at the Recreation Center continues every Saturday, 10 AM - 5 PM. For other Montgomery County testing locations, visit this link.
Kacy Kostiuk  -  kacyk@takomaparkmd.gov  -  202-617-9295
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City of Takoma Park
7500 Maple Ave
Takoma ParkMD 20912
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