September 2016 Meeting Report

 

Police Report. Commander Melvin Gresham and Lieutenant Ralph Neal (PSA 204) of the Second District MPD attended the meeting. Lt. Neal reported that the statistics showed that crime was down in PSA 204 for the past month compared to the same month a year ago. Responding to requests from citizens attending the meeting, they noted down a number of areas in 3B where speeding has become a critical problem and said they would submit the information to the DC StreetSafe program. Staff from this program will evaluate the areas and have speed and traffic cameras installed if warranted. Cmdr. Gresham addressed the proposed sector transition plan to organize PSAs into groups. This plan does not eliminate PSAs. Rather it is an internal organizing mechanism for MPD. The community will not effected.

Ward 3 Senior Wellness Center.   Matt Frumin, a long-time volunteer with Iona House and a former ANC commissioner, and Dorothy Biondi, the coordinator of Programming for Seniors at Guy Mason, spoke about creating a “virtual Senior Wellness Center” for Wards 2 and 3. The other 6 wards have a building that houses senior programs. While there is also a movement to similarly house programs for seniors in one place in Wards 2 and 3, Mr. Frumin and Ms. Biondi pointed out that because the geographic area of Wards 2 and 3 is so large, it may be more effective to create “virtual” centers which would network and leverage existing programs, both public and private, in these wards. Another benefit of this approach is that funding would come from programming dollars in the DC budget rather than capital expenditure dollars that are in short supply. Mr. Frumin and Ms. Biondi are advocating for the DC Office of Aging to hire/appoint a dedicated staff person to survey, coordinate and publicize available programs as well as work with organizations to develop new programming for seniors.   In the FY 2017 DC budget cycle, Councilmember Cheh included monies for the Office of Aging to study the idea for a virtual center but the Office of Aging directed the funding to a city-wide study of senior programming needs instead. Frumin and his group are now advocating for funding to be specifically earmarked in the FY 2018 budget for both a study and a pilot program for a “virtual center” to serve Wards 2 and 3.

Upcoming Ballot Initiative on DC Statehood. David Bardin from the DC Statehood Campaign presented information on the “Advisory Referendum on the State of New Columbia Admission Act Resolution of 2016” which will be on the November 8th ballot.   It is a yes/no referendum that is advisory rather than binding. DC Council is seeking input on whether to petition Congress to enact legislation to have DC admitted to the union as a state. Approving the referendum would advise the Council to a) agree to DC statehood, b) adopt a draft state Constitution, c) accept the boundaries established by the New Columbia Statehood Commission in June 2016, and d) agree that statehood would guarantee an elected representative form of government.  On September 27th and October 6th, DC Council will be holding public hearings on the draft Constitution. The New Columbia Statehood Commission developed the Constitution and solicited input via public engagement sessions as well as a three day Constitutional Convention. They released the draft Constitution in June 2016. More information on the statehood initiative and the draft Constitution is available at statehood.dc.gov

Status of DC Water’s Green Infrastructure in Glover Park Area. DC Water’s Green Infrastructure Team will continue to do “potholing” (drilling down small holes about 12”x12” square to determine the locations of underground utilities) in areas where GI projects are planned through October. The next stage will be soil testing.

Community Hearings on Proposed Washington Gas Rate Hike. Washington Gas is requesting a $19.9 million increase that would go into effect in Spring 2017. If approved, this request would result in about a 25% monthly rate hike for consumers. The Public Service Commission will be holding community hearings on September 20 and 21 and October 5 and 15 to take public comments on the Washington Gas request.

Status of Glover-Archbold Sewer Pipe Replacement Project.   The timeline for the Glover-Archbold sewer rehabilitation project has been revised. DC Water now expects that the draft Environmental Assessment (EA) will be submitted to the National Park Service (NPS) in the mid-October 2016. Although DC Water planned to announce a public meeting to update the community soon, the delay in the submission of an EA requires that scheduling of this meeting be postponed. As soon as additional information on the EA is available, a public meeting will be announced.

Legal Appeals of OPC and Others to Public Service Commission’s Decision to Approve Pepco-Exelon Merger. In mid-August, the Office of People’s Counsel and the DC Attorney General’s office both filed appeals to the DC Public Service Commission’s decision to let the Pepco-Exelon sale go forward. A parallel appeal by the Maryland OPC is proceeding as well, on the basis that the Pepco-Exelon application did not meet the “public interest” standards for approval.

The next meeting of ANC3B will be October 13. The agenda will be posted at anc3b.org at least a week before, and circulation via list servs. The November meeting date for ANC3B has been changed to Tuesday November 15 so that the Commission can hear from the developers of the Holiday Inn site.