Friday, September 24, 2010

SOS = Save our Substation: How else can we say it?

The message from yesterday's MPD-6D Substation was loud and crystal clear from all the witnesses: KEEP THE SUBSTATION AT 2701 PENNSYLVANIA SE!!! Since I had to leave early, I watched the entire hearing this morning online. As an aside I thought I got rid of my Jersey accent, but I clearly pronounced "cost" as "cawst". I guess you really can't take the Jersey out of the girl. Anywho, enough about me.

Here is the link to View Hearing. You'll need Windows Media player to view. A total of eight members of the community provided testimony to keep the MPD-6D Substation at its currently location. Witnesses included:
  • Mr. Paul "We demand Class A services" Savage,
  • Ms. Barbara "How many times do we have to tell you" Morgan,
  • Mr. David "Public safety first "Kilpatrick,
  • Commissioner Yvonne "Our lives are important" Moore,
  • Commissioner Robert "By any means necessary" Richards,
  • Mr. Graylin "Don't even think about closing it" Presbury
  • Mr. Greg "Think about the long-term" Stewart,
  • Ms. Veronica "It's all dollars and common sense" Davis, and
  • Commander Robert "I keep it cool" Contee
All of this witnesses expressed concerns with with closing the station and the community was pretty clear that Penn Branch Shopping Center should only be an "if all else fails" option citing issues with lack of visibility from Pennsylvania Ave SE, poor access in and out of the parking lot, and lack of availability of parking during the operating hours of the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Several of us suggested the City should purchase 2701 Pennsylvania Ave SE. ANC 7B07 Commissioner Richards went as far as to suggest eminent domain. Miss V raised her brow at that suggestion considering Councilmember Alexander is working on eminent domain legislation for all retail properties on Pennsylvania Ave SE from the Sousa Bridge to Southern Ave excluding Penn Branch Shopping Center.

Commander Contee disclosed that two hours prior to the hearing, Department Real Estate Services had submitted a letter of intent to landlord for 6th District Substation to remain at 2701 Pennsylvania Ave SE for an additional 2 year lease with 1 year option after that and rent credit up to $200,000 for any repairs made by the agency. Cmdr Contee does not have a projected response time from the landlord. The hearing ended with Mendelson requesting MPD work with DRES to look into the viability of purchasing the building.

All-in-all it looks like a temporary victory for the residents living in PSA 605, 606, and 607. HOWEVER, WE CANNOT REST ON OUR LAURELS!!!!! The fight isn't over yet. If DRES doesn't purchase the building or enter into a longer-term lease, in 2 years we'll be back at the Wilson Building providing testimony to keep the Substation open.

I strongly encourage everyone to submit written testimony to the Committee, even if it's just one sentence that says "I support XYZ position". You can email it to Ms. Deborah Kelly at until 5pm on October 7, 2010.

1 comment:

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