Hyattsville Council unsure how to use $1M pandemic relief fund

Hyattsville City Council continues to look for ways to spend its $1 million local pandemic relief fund. During discussion at its April 22, 2020, meeting City Council members discussed in broad strokes possible ways the money could be spent, including donations to local charities already dealing with the aftermath of coronavirus’ disruptions, and programs for business aid. 

Mayor Candace Hollingsworth, lead sponsor of the city relief fund measures so far, pushed City Council members to think realistically about how the fund could best be used to provide direct relief to individuals. Additionally, she said Hyattsville economic development officials were crafting ways they could expand existing city business grant programs with some of the relief funding. Hollingsworth noted a city-funded program to provide about 75 grocery gift cards to Hyattsville residents attracted more than 650 applicants, of which only 88 turned out to be city residents. The deluge of applicants, and the work needed to verify their city residency, proved challenging for city staff to manage.

Hyattsville Administrator: Bringing officers back was right decision in pandemic

Hyattsville City Administrator Tracey Douglas addressed the full-duty re-activation of several police officers involved in the still-under-investigation fatal shooting of Leonard Shand in 2019. Douglas’ comments, during Hyattsville’s April 22 City Council meeting, came in response to a prompt from Councilor Joseph Solomon to address the decision, which was conveyed to City Council after its April 6 meeting and disclosed to the media in an April 14 press release. “That was a decision that the chief of police made. It was an important decision. It was a very difficult decision that she grappled with.

No backyard chickens for Hyattsville, Council says

Backyard chickens remain banned in Hyattsville’s lawbooks. At its April 6, 2020, meeting, Hyattsville City Council easily defeated a measure from Councilor Danny Schaible that would have deleted city laws banning domestic chickens and other fowl. But Schaible’s proposal would not have overturned a county-level ban on domestic fowl in areas not zoned either agricultural or rural residential. Nor would it have established regulations governing the husbandry of backyard fowl. As Route 1 Reporter has previously covered, a majority of City Council said they would not support the measure unless one or both of those concerns were addressed.

Hyattsville weighs $1 million pandemic relief fund

Hyattsville City Council is considering establishing a $1 million emergency fund to address the impacts from the coronavirus pandemic. But how that money will be doled out is up in the air. The legislation, to be discussed at Hyattsville’s April 6, 2020, City Council meeting, only establishes a broad outline of what the fund may be used for. Boiled down: the legislation creates a budget line item, the Hyattsville Covid-19 Pandemic Fund, which may be used to address “economic hardships” felt by residents and businesses. How the money is to be distributed is not addressed in the legislation.

Kaiser Permanente plans West Hyattsville medical building

Health care giant Kaiser Permanente wants to build a 44,360 square-foot medical office building on a two-acre site near West Hyattsville Metro Station on Ager Road. Hyattsville City Council will be briefed on the proposed development at its April 6, 2020, meeting. The three-story building, with an attached three-story, 238-space parking garage, would sit on what is currently a vacant lot near the Kirkwood Apartments on Ager Road. The property is also bordered by the Riverfront at West Hyattsville development. According to documents filed by Kaiser Permanente, the space will have 25,000 square feet of clinical space, 1,700 square feet of lab space, a 300 square-foot cafe and a 2,000 square foot pharmacy space.