A slate of Prince George's County communities, non-profits and infrastructure projects will soon split a total of $1 million in state funding through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development's recently announced 2013 Community Legacy grant awards.
At 10 a.m. today, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown will hold a press conference at Busboys and Poets in downtown Hyattsville to highlight Washington, D.C. area grant awardees, including a number of county municipalities and non profit organizations. Brown will be joined by DCHD Secretary Raymond Skinner and other local elected leaders and officials.
Prince George's County municipalities and non profits received the second largest share of the state's Community Legacy grant awards this year, behind only Baltimore City, which received $1.4 million for a variety infrastructure improvements, redevelopment and renovation projects.
According to a press release from the the lieutenant governor's office, the the Community Legacy grant program provides local governments and community development organizations with funding for projects designed to retaining and attract businesses, encouraging homeownership and commercial revitalization.
The city of Hyattsville received $350,00 to fund the demolition of blighted properties to make way for a new public parking facilities in the downtown Hyattsville Arts District which straddles Route 1.
Calling it "the worst kept secret in the city of Hyattsville," Abby Sandel, city Community Services Department director, acknowledged in an interview yesterday that the demolition funding is an early step in a drive to construct a new parking garage to serve the city's rapidly redeveloping and increasingly reanimated Baltimore Avenue corridor.
Motorists frequently complain about a lack of parking at the new Arts District commercial center near the intersection of Baltimore Avenue and Jefferson Street in Hyattsville.
Hyattsville city officials and elected leaders have been in negotiation for months over a yet-to-be-disclosed property which the city is eyeing as a possible site for a Route 1 parking garage.
After the bonds were approved, Mayor Marc Tartaro said "we're just acquiring land for parking right now, whether it turns into a garage is way down the road right now. The first step is to acquire the land, and then clear it and come up with a plan. The whole process, whatever it turns out to be, could take two or three years."
Other Local Grant Awards:
The Prince George's County Housing Initiative Partnership received two grants totaling $350,000, one to build an energy efficient "passive house" at the site of a burned out home on Addison Road, the other to acquire and rehabilitate vacant homes to sell to low to moderate income homebuyers.
The town of Bladensburg received a $115,00 grant for an energy audit program for low and moderate income homeowners.
The city of College Park received a $75,000 grant for a commercial tenant improvement program designed to assist budding small businesses with the cost of retail space improvements.
The Port Towns Community Development Corporation received a $75,000 grant for an urban agriculture program.
Montgomery County received a single $350,000 grant for environmental façade and streetscape enhancements in the Wheaton and Long Branch areas.
Across the state, more than $5.5. million in Community Legacy grant awards were given out this year to 38 Maryland municipalities and organizations.