Insurrection attempt puts Mount Rainier police on high alert

Mount Rainier and Brentwood police departments said they deployed extra police officers at key intersections along Eastern Avenue and Route 1 as a show of force to disuade pro-Trump “caravans” from entering and causing disturbances in local neighborhoods as they returned to hotels along the Route 1 corridor.

New data sheds light on Prince George’s PPP loans

Nearly $1.2 billion in Paycheck Protection Program loans went to Prince George’s County businesses and nonprofits to support more than 109,600 jobs, according to a Route 1 Reporter analysis of new, more-detailed data on the pandemic stimulus program released by the Small Business Administration earlier this month.

Hyattsville could pay landlords for apartment upgrades

Hyattsville apartment owners could soon get money from the city for making major repairs to their buildings. But the program needs to be approved by Hyattsville City Council. The proposal, called the Multi-Family Improvement Rebate Program, would reimburse property owners for half the cost of upgrades that either increase energy efficiency, remediate environmental toxins, improve air quality and circulator, or increase the realiability of heating and cooling systems. In other words, for every $2 the landlord spends on eligible projects, the city would reimburse $1. However, the total reimbursement would be capped at $50,000 per property. 

The proposal was first discussed by Hyattsville City Council at its Dec. 7, 2020, meeting.

Planned Beltsville Treasury facility raises environmental concerns

Concerns about polluted creeks, increased car traffic, and loss of wildlife habitat dominated a public hearing on a Treasury Department proposal to build a 1 million square-foot cash factory on the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. 

“This project is sited in the wrong place,” said Greenbelt City Councilor Rodney Roberts during the meeting. “It should not be on BARC at all.”

The virtual hearing was hosted Dec. 2, 2020, by representatives from the Department of Treasury’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the government office in charge of the production of U.S. coins and cash. The public meeting is part off a mandatory environmental review process for new federal facilities. More specifically, the meeting sough comment on a draft environmental impact report prepared for the project. 

The Proposal

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing wants to build a 1 million square foot cash production facility at a 104-acre tract of land along Poultry Road between Odell Road to the north and Powder Mill Road to the south.

Extra $487,000 found in Mount Rainier budget

Mount Rainier’s budget was boosted by $487,000 found unaccounted for in the city’s bank accounts. For a city with an annual budget of about $7 million, it’s good news in an era when other local governments are bracing for steep declines in tax revenue as a result of the pandemic. Now, city officials are weighing a bill that would use the money for staff pay hikes, facility repairs, and economic development programs. 

According to interim city manager Latasha Gatling, the city was unaware it had this money. Gatling provided cursory details of the surprise surplus during a Dec. 1, 2020 City Council discussion of a budget amendment to allocate the windfall.

A large suburban strip mall is seen from above, at an angle. A sidewalk of street-facing retail, including a Shoe Show store, can be seen across a small two-lane circulator roadway.

Greenbelt officials say Beltway Plaza plans need work

The next step on the multi-phase redevelopment plans for Beltway Plaza is underway. Bethesda-based mall owner Quantum Cos. is gathering feedback on a still-in-the-works detailed site plan for first phase of the planned six-phase redevelopment. Most-recently, representatives from Quantum Cos. shopped their plans before Greenbelt’s City Council during a Nov.

Reaction: Hyattsville chief resigns for Anne Arundel

Less than two years after being sworn in, Hyattsville’s Police Chief Amal Awad announced she will resign in December to be the chief of police in Anne Arundel County. 

“Leaving Hyattsville is bittersweet,” said Awad during a press conference announcing her appointment to the Anne Arundel County chief’s job. “I’m fervently thankful to the city of Hyattsville for allowing me to serve as their chief of police.”

“Chief Awad has demonstrated extraordinary leadership, depth of knowledge, professionalism, and grace in her service to the City of Hyattsville over the past three years,” said Mayor Candace Hollingsworth, who also recently announced her own resignation, in a statement. “I was only able to work with her for a short time, but she deserves a lot of credit for the direction of the department and I am excited for her and for the opportunities that are coming her way,” said Hyattsville City Councilor Daniel Peabody. “I will very much miss working with her in the city of Hyattsville.”

“During her time as Hyattsville chief, Awad modernized her department, won the respect of her officers and her community and worked through the challenges faced by police departments across the country,” Said Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman. “She is a peacemaker and a consummate professional.”

Awad was sworn in as Hyattsville’s police chief Dec.