Saturday, February 18, 2012

Jimmy Tarlau's Ward 1 Report for February

Rhode Island Avenue Development UpdateThe City has reissued another RFP (Request for Proposal) for companies interested in developing the 3200 Block of Rhode Island Avenue (former Funeral Home and Bass Liquor properties).  We did not get any proposals turned in when we sent it out in December but we have been told that a number of developers are interested in investing in Mount Rainier.  The deadline is the beginning of March.  The City is also working with a development consultant who will give us some guidance about how to move the process along.
Better Block ProjectSave the date: April 28th.  Brooke Kidd, representing the Mount Rainier Business Association (MRBA), and Mike Gumpert, from the Gateway CDC, came to the last Council meeting and presented an exciting project which involves painting over the former funeral home on Eastern and Rhode Island Avenue to make it an exciting entrance to Mount Rainier and the Gateway Arts District.   Many people don’t even know when they’re in the Gateway Art District.  When the designs are available I’ll pass them along. 
New Parking Lot Opens - There is now a new parking lot across the street from City Hall (3500 Block of Perry Street).  It is free and ready to be used.  Hopefully there won’t be any more complaints about the lack of parking downtown.
Farmers Market Opens Saturday May 5thAt City Hall Plaza
Interview with Doyle Niemann:  As many of you know, I've been conducting interviews with longtime residents of Mount Rainier for the series "Mount Rainier Then and Now".
I had the opportunity to interview our own State Delegate Doyle Niemann about his coming to our city and how it has changed and not changed in the years he's lived here. I hope you enjoy it.

Rainier Manor:  The Council held its February meeting at the senior citizen facility, Rainier Manor (3100 Queens Chapel Road).  It was a chance for people from the Northern section of the City to attend a Council meeting.  The senior citizen facility was recently renovated and is now one of the best facilities in the area.

TeamMavs:  I’m often struck by how much we enjoy the diversity of our city but also how different groups in our city co-exist but do not share the same experiences.  In the last few months two of our Black youth were shot and killed in our City.  I attended a very emotional memorial service at the house of one of the young people on Upshur Street.   
I thought about how the groups of young men who sometimes make us nervous as they share our  streets are often  students coming home from school or looking for something to do in our City.  There obviously is a real need in Mount Rainier for recreational programs for our older youth.
I really must applaud the leadership of Mayor Miles in mentoring the creation of an organization of young adults, Team Mavs (Team Mount Rainier Against Violence In Society), which is trying to keep young people off the streets and involve them in doing something positive and effective for the community.
Our whole community should do everything possible to make this organization work. They meet at the Mount Rainier Nature Center.  If you would like to help it succeed, write Mayor Miles at

History in the Making:  Community Conversations: Wed. Feb 22, 2012 6:30 – 8 PM - Joe’s Movement Emporium, 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier

Prince George’s County is a diverse community with a rich culture and history, but how can we present it in a way that is meaningful for everyone?  At this event, special guests will present views of the county's past, including the War of 1812, and give perspectives from the history of African Americans and indigenous peoples. Then we invite you to join the conversation to explore how this relates to you and the significant events and places in your neighborhood.

A community conversation with hosts State Senator Victor Ramirez, Delegate Jolene Ivey, Delegate Doyle Niemann, Delegate Michael Summers and Council Member Will Campos in the first in a series of four open forums on the history of our area and how to reveal, present and share it.

The event is free and light refreshments will be served.

Next Electronic Recycling Event – Saturday March 17 from 9 AM to 1 PM  at MR Public Works on Wells Ave (and Otis Street)

City Homeowner’s Tax Credit   - The City has issued checks to forty eight (48) residents for the City Homeowner’s tax credit for a total of $12,289.26.  The checks were sent to the PO this morning.  The City issues the checks based on the list received from the State of Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation.  The City provides a tax credit of 10% of the amount allowed by the State as a State Homeowners Tax Credit.  The City Homeowner’s Tax credit is in addition to what residents get from the State.

Green Home Energy Program:  The City of Mount Rainier was selected as one of a few municipalities to implement a new statewide home energy efficiency program being offered by the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA).

The EmPOWER Clean Energy Communities grant program will provide energy efficiency grants to 5 homeowners (within the income requirements) in Mount Rainier to purchase and install energy efficient equipment/appliances as part of the pilot program. The caveat is that anyone who participated in a similar program within the last 6 months is ineligible.

All appliances purchased through the grant program must be ENERGY STAR qualified'.  The proposed allocation is $3000 - $5,000 per home energy retrofit, with an $8,000 per home maximum if an HVAC upgrade is necessary. For projects involving whole home energy retrofits, non-energy related health and safety repairs are capped at $500 per home.

Projects are to be completed by May 31, 2012.

Please contact City Hall at 301-985-6585 if you are interested in participating.

Income Requirement:

# of people in Household                      Income

1                                                       up to 63,150
2                                                       up to 72,150
3                                                       up to 81,200                                                                                                       
4                                                       up to 90,200
5                                                       up to 47,400
6                                                       up to 104,650 
any household over 6 people should inquire with City staff for income limits.

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