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State of the Town is Good

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(Town Crier for February 2001)
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By Ann Ferguson

My annual review of the town's activities for the past year adds up to a good report card for the year 2000. Service to residents from the major departments--the Town Office, Police and Public Works--were shown as above average, based on comments from residents. Beyond the daily routine services, we have other success stories that can be reported.

The General Government (Town Office) staff, applied for and received a $245,000 grant under the State's Smart Growth program to add traffic calming strategy to a 1/2 million dollar upgrade of Riverdale Road from Lafayette Avenue to Kenilworth Avenue. Application for a second grant has been filed for 2001 State Smart Growth/Smart Transit funds in the amount of $365,000 to install ornamental lamps along the Riverdale Road project area for pedestrian safety.

The Police Department reports a significant reduction of red-light runners at the major intersections where cameras are operated. Requests have been submitted for equipment to monitor two additional intersections. Also, Police Department records for the year 2000 show assaults down by 7%, burglaries by 11% and car theft by 3%. The department succeeded in getting a federal grant for $14,000 to upgrade equipment used in the operation of its dispatcher unit.

After routine services are completed, Public Works crews are assigned to street sweeping, graffiti removal and litter pick-up. Their efforts came to the notice of Citizens Concerned for a Cleaner County and the department was recognized at a County-wide ceremony with an award for outstanding achievement. (See photo on page 4). An extra fall project was the planting of 60 trees in town right-of-way locations and 300 tulip bulbs in two park areas.

The Code Enforcement unit worked with residents to upgrade properties and assure compliance with the town's code to assure public safety and to maintain basic housing standards. A particular focus of this unit was to educate residents on the need to correct conditions that invite rat infestation and that contribute to the propagation of the Asian Tiger Mosquito.

Other major activities under General Government included: 1) start-up of street improvement projects under a Phase II allocation of $500,000, 2) annexation of property on the east-side of Kenilworth Avenue that includes nine retail stores, 3) filing of a law suit in the Circuit Court to condemn the Town Center property for redevelopment, and 4) remodeling of the Town Hall meeting room.

Volunteers donated hundreds of hours over the past year to give residents a broad array of events to choose from. The Recreation Board organized Easter, Halloween and Christmas events for youngsters and coordinated Riverdale Park Day to give families the experience of live entertainment, food and games. The Preservation Association arranged a tour of seven lovely old houses on the town's west side. The Farmers' Market Task Force coordinated the third market year--a high turnout of 350 persons broke the previous years' record for attendance. The Lions Club continued its tradition of assistance to eye-impaired persons. The Boys and Girls Club offered a full range of sports activities to children. The Riversdale Society coordinated an exhibit of town artists at the mansion and opened the house to two candlelight tour nights. The Veterans Committee organized a November 11 ceremony in honor of our nation's veterans. The Web Site Committee maintained the town's web site that includes online availability of each issue of The TownCrier. The Seniors Club enjoyed a trip to the Corcoran to see the Norman Rockwell exhibit and closed the year with a holiday luncheon at town hall.

The annual State-mandated audit of the town's financial condition was completed and showed a solid year-end fund balance.

In summary, operation of the town in the past year met and exceeded its goal of providing responsive service to residents and recreational and cultural opportunities for families under stable financial management.


Mrs. Anna Braunstein, a resident of Madison Street, died in November. Mrs. Braunstein was a good neighbor who will be missed by many.

MARC Train Service Makes Sense

Driving is a hassle and parking downtown is costly--try the MARC train for an easy connection to Union Station at a reasonable cost. Trains leave the MARC station at Town Center in the morning at:

6:11 a.m.
7:12 a.m.
7:35 a.m.
8:55 a.m.

You can return in the evening at:

4:45 p.m.
5:23 p.m.
6:25 p.m.
7:10 p.m.
7:50 p.m.

The fare is $3.25 one-way with weekly and monthly tickets available at a reduced rate. Senior fare is available at a reduced price--only $1.75 one-way.

MARC Super Friday

Beginning Friday, February 9, a person over 65 can travel at the reduced fare and bring another person of any age at no charge. This offer will continue every Friday on any MARC train. This means you can leave Riverdale Park on the 8:55 a.m. train--plan a day of touring the downtown sites (the red line METRO leaves from Union Station) and return on the 4:45 p.m. train for less than a $1 per person per trip under this special offer.

For more information on MARC train service, call 1-800-325-RAIL.

Welcome to a New Business at Riverdale Plaza

La Central, a business that specializes in Spanish and English sound tracks and videos has opened at Riverdale Plaza. This store sells its product--there are no rentals. La Central offers a large selection of family-friendly entertainment. It replaces Powerhouse Videos, an operation that included an adult book room.

This page was last changed on Saturday, May 5, 2001. Questions, comments, or submissions? See the Website Committee web page. This page has been accessed 4816 times.