Hyattsville City Administrator Update 2021-02-04

DPW Facility: I am excited to report that the upgraded facility is on track to be completed this month with move in expected on or around Mar 1st. We have been waiting for the final permits from WSSC and they were approved today. We will schedule virtual tours in late Spring. Date and time TBD. 

COVID-19 Outbreak: Several of our DPW workers and Administrative staff have tested positive or have been directly exposed to staff/others who tested positive. They are currently recuperating or on quarantine. Some DPW services are expected to be reduced, but we will ensure residents are informed in advance. 

Legislative Bond Bill Funding Requests: The City submit requests to the State Delegation for funding support for two ongoing projects. Below is a synopsis of both requests: 

Police & Public Safety Facility: We requested $500,000. Projected for Q3, 2022 Hyattsville will open the new Police & Public Safety Headquarters which will include a mental health support space on the first floor, separate from the secure police department offices. Funding is needed to modernize and equip the building to include a mental health, crisis, and wellness space, upgraded lighting, and dedicated training room into the design. This is part of a greater unfinanced Mental Health Program Plan/vision being developed by our Police Mental Health Manager Adrienne Augustus w/ staff and council input. We want to begin to minimize the role that our officers play when interacting with those having mental health challenges and/or have other social service needs. As part of the new headquarters, we want to include a safe space for children and adults experiencing a mental health crisis, and survivors of domestic violence or other traumas who need urgent support. At our building, they will be able to meet with professionals while they wait to be taken to a permanent safe location by a social services caseworker or a mental health practitioner, rather than be transported by an officer in a squad car. We also want to include a food pantry and a temporary warm space for those experiencing homelessness. We will brief the greater plan and the proposed associated phases at an upcoming Council meeting. The program will also be proposed as a partnership with surrounding municipalities and the County. In addition to the wellness space, the requested funding will help construct a training room to house interactive simulators to improve officer decision making and responses under a variety of operational, social services, and mental health-associated conditions. The training room will be available to surrounding municipalities and the City intends to encourage synergy and promote greater collaborative training across
departments. Adrienne and I have also been in contact with the County to consider piloting on these and several other new initiatives (all in discussion stage), for greater financial support and collaboration.

Teen & Age Friendly Center: We requested $250K for Teen Center build out. As you recall, the building is functionally inadequate and requires major renovation to the exterior envelope, interior floors, walls, and bathrooms. Further, it requires a fire suppression system, a new furnace, paving, stormwater mitigation, and augmentations to the entrances and exits to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations. The estimate to bring the building up to Code is approximately $1M. Once completed, the Teen Mentoring and Age-Friendly Center will provide expanded tutoring and mentoring programs, vocational training, open and creative space, and instructional classes for personal and professional teen development in a safe and inviting space. 

The need to expedite the completion of the building for Seniors was magnified during the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of seniors who found themselves isolated and in need of help with technology and basic skills was concerningly evident. The daytime Senior Drop-In Center will provide seniors with adequate space to interact and engage with others and allow for hands-on Information Technology (IT) assistance. Our goal is to help them use, become familiar, and/or competent with video teleconferencing, the use of smart phones, and other newer technology. It will allow space for relevant classes, workshops, and other opportunities to interact with peers. 

Hyattsville #COVID Vaccination Site: The Emergency Ops Manager, Reggie Bagley, police department and staff continue to work with Luminus Health, the County, and Church to finalize the details on using Hyattsville as a vaccine site. The logistics such as parking, traffic control, and processing are still being worked, but the projected date remains 1 March 2021. 

CARES Act Funding Reimbursement: We finally received the long-awaited County Cares Act funding reimbursement. These funds will reimburse the general fund for expenses related to COVID-19. Examples include the purchase of computers and cell phones for staff teleworking, emergency operations contract support, supplies, materials and equipment, and renovation of the first floor to relocate the Administrative Offices. 


City Administrator
City of Hyattsville