Deni Taveras
Prince George's County Council member Deni Taveras answers a question about trash collection during an April 15 discussion at the Langley Park Community Center on the effect of the county's proposed budget on her district. (William J. Ford/The Washington Informer)

The Hyattsville Library, the oldest branch in the Prince George’s County library system, plans to receive a nearly $35 million facelift starting this year.

Almost $15 million in renovations to the Hyattsville Fire/EMS station are also on the county’s docket.

These and other projects are proposed in the county’s $3.5 billion fiscal year 2018 budget in parts of the northern area of Prince George’s County, specifically District 2. The area not only includes Hyattsville, but also Chillum, Mount Rainer and North Brentwood.

County Councilwoman Deni Taveras of Adelphi said that’s not enough.

“I feel that we have been shortchanged,” she said Saturday, April 15 after a discussion with several residents at the Langley Park Community Center. “When we are investing our dollars into large projects throughout the county, why can’t we invest in our established communities? It’s a little concerning.”

For instance, she said road improvements such as Dayton Road, a residential street with four intersections that runs between Chillum Manor and Riggs roads in Hyattsville. She also mentioned upgrades are needed at North Brentwood and Rollingcrest/Chillum community centers.

However, the budget outlines projects in Taveras’ district that include the design for a $22 million, 40,000-square-foot library in Langley Park. Countywide projects are listed for landscape enhancements along various streets such as Ager Road in Chillum.

The residents in attendance brought up other budgetary concerns Daisy Curtis of Chillum want to see an increased police presence.

Innocent Chukuru of Langley Park brought up a lingering sore spot some residents: the reduction of trash and recyclables collection. The twice-a-week pickups were scaled back to once a week in May to save the county about $6 million annually.

“This is a question of health,” Chukuru said. “People pay their taxes to keep their communities safe and I don’t see the county doing enough to remove litter.”

County Councilman Mel Franklin (D-District 9) of Upper Marlboro began an online survey last week to analyze whether people want the previous trash collection schedule to return. Residents have until May 28 to respond to the survey at www.tinyurl.com/onceaweektrash.

“I am a firm believer in evaluating and re-evaluating policy changes to determine whether we have made the right decision.,” he said in a statement. “The once-a-week trash feedback survey is designed to gauge whether our residents approve of the change, which should help guide our future policy decisions.”

Taveras said the money has allowed the county to hire more code officers to identity and report on places where trash haulers haven’t done an effective job collecting trash and recyclables.

In the meantime, she will to continue pushing county officials on getting money to her municipalities.

“Those communities deserve something,” she said. “I’m going to keep advocating that these and other projects get done here in this part of the Prince George’s County.”

Coverage for the Washington Informer includes Prince George’s County government, school system and some state of Maryland government. Received an award in 2019 from the D.C. Chapter of the Society of...

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