CM Charles Allen Touts Budget Items For SE Capitol Hill – and Public Safety
By Larry Janezich
Posted May 11, 2022
CM Charles Allen appeared before ANC6B Tuesday night to highlight the portions of the Ward 6 FY 2023 budget that affects the neighborhoods making up Southeast Capitol Hill.
Allen singled out the following projects:
Eastern Market Metro Park Activation and Programming: $150,000 in recurring annual funding to program Eastern Market Metro Park including the Friday Night Live Jazz performances and the Saturday Children’s Story Time – the latter done in conjunction with Southeast Library.
Eastern Market Maintenance Fund: $160,000 in funding for Eastern Market facility needs and improvements. The Mayor’s proposed budget provided nothing for Eastern Market’s maintenance and repairs in FY23. Allen said he worked with CM Robert White to secure all of the funding needed for the forthcoming six-year financial plan. Some of the projects include fire alarm system upgrades, re-grouting the exterior walls, and repairing walkways,
Brent Elementary Modernization: $60 million – bringing the total to $94.1 million for full modernization of Brent School which will start in FY 25 with planning and design. The construction period will take 12 – 18 months.
Tyler Elementary Modernization: $89.8 million for a full modernization, set to begin in FY26.
Rumsey Aquatic Center: $15 million spread over the next two years to upgrade the swim center at Eastern Market.
11th Street Bridge Park: $5 million increase in funding for FY23 and $15 million in FY26, for a total of $30 million. The project – funded by public and private dollars – will connect Anacostia and Navy Yard and southeast Capitol Hill as a park built on the old 11th Street bridge.
Following the presentation, Allen took questions from commissioners and residents. Here are some highlights from those conversations:
Public Safety: The budget “fully funds” public safety. It provides funds for hiring every officer the Chief of Police and the Mayor asked for. It provides a substantial portion of the Mayor’s request for retention funding including funds for a $20,000 signing bonus. It does not authorize the take home car program but provides incentives to encourage MPD officers to live in DC. Only 15% of the force lives in DC currently. (According to press reports, the council cut $6 million from the $500 million the Mayor requested for MPD, which still leaves the budget $20 million more than the current FY budget.)
Police in Public Schools: The council refused to restore funding for police in public schools. The program will be phased out over five years. Allen said that the council wants conflict resolving adults in schools but not police and the council is following the recommendation of the Police Reform Commission in that regard. He said funding for the DC Sentencing Commission should improve the ability to track prosecutions through the different justice systems and thus provide more accountability.
Garfield Park: Funding for Garfield Park renovation has already passed the council. DPW and DGS need to move forward.
Pennsylvania/Potomac Avenue Intersection: DDOT does not have it in their long term budget plan.
Central Detention Facility Annex: Funding for an annex to the Central Detention facility will unfold over the next several years
Earned Income Tax Credit: The budget extends eligibility for the city’s earned income tax credit to all qualified workers, including undocumented residents, as long as they have an Individual Taxpayer ID Number. (Press reports indicate this could affect some 5,000 households and cost $3 million.)
Recent Shootings near Potomac Gardens and Hopkins: Allen said DCHA is not doing their job and are attempting to shift responsibility to MPD. He said he is meeting with violence interrupters on Wednesday to see what help they need from the Office of Neighborhood Engagement.
Process: The council passed the budget Tuesday and will take a second vote on May 24th before sending it to Mayor Bowser for her signature. The FY begins October 1.