Council To Vote On MOU

Wells Run, treasurer contract on table for Tuesday's meeting

Tomorrow's Hyattsville City Council meeting includes a motion for Mayor William Gardiner to execute an amended memorandum of understanding (MOU) establishing the Inter-Municipal Collaborative Committee on Wells Run.

The MOU is proposed between Hyattsville, University Park and Riverdale Park, according to the most recent council agenda, published on Sept. 3 by City Clerk Douglass Barber.

Wells Run is a narrow tributary of the Anacostia River starting underground in Hyattsville near Northwestern High School and spilling into the Northeast Branch in Riverdale Park.

The MOU has been discussed at two previous city council meetings and by the Hyattsville Environment Committee. It was not passed previously to allow time for City Attorney Richard Colaresi to review it. Also, City Councilman David Hiles (Ward 2) said at a the Aug. 2 council meeting that the council should hold off on the MOU for six months, until other more pressing matters are addressed.

This latest motion – which is being sponsored by Gardiner, Councilwoman Nicole Hinds Mofor (Ward 5) and Councilmen Matthew McKnight and Timothy Hunt (both of Ward 3) – is an amended version of the first, and includes the stipulations:

*clarification of the MOU's purpose and that the committee cannot represent a municipality without that municipality's permission;

*advisements of the committee's actions;

*each municipality must have three members on the committee and one must be a Hyattsville City Council member; and

*establishing a sunset date of five years for the committee.

Riverdale Park and University Park have already passed an MOU similar to what is proposed in Hyattsville, said Riverdale Park Councilman Alan Thompson (Ward 2).

During the last big storm to hit the area, large chunks of concrete broke from the retaining wall of Wells Run in Riverdale Park. A photograph showed that the blocks are larger than some places along the creek and they could get wedged in, preventing water from flowing through to the Northwest Branch.

"If [the concrete] flips, it could wedge and create lots of local flooding," Thompson said.

It will be three or four years before the committee would be able to gather the money needed to form a solution, he said.

Other council agenda items include the ratification of a one-year contract with Elaine Stookey for the position of finance director and city treasurer with an annual salary of $93,500.

The council is also scheduled to discuss a motion that would require council members to gain authorization of the council before representing the city in their official capacity to third parties in negotiations or before a public body.

The council meets at 8 p.m. on Sept. 7 at City Hall. Visit hyattsville.org for the full meeting agenda.

Matthew D. McKnight September 08, 2010 at 01:22 PM
MOU Motion passed...
Sarah Nemeth September 08, 2010 at 03:05 PM
Thanks Matt! I'm writing up a story about it now :-)


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