September 23, 2020 ANC 5A Meeting Recap: Flood Resources; Catholic University Updates; Providence Updates

ANC 5A held its monthly public meeting on September 23, 2020. Commissioners present: Frank Wilds (5A01), Grace Lewis – Parliamentarian (5A02), Emily Singer Lucio – Secretary (5A03), Ronnie Edwards – Chair (5A05), Claudia Barragan (5A06), Sandi Washington – Treasurer (5A07), Gordon Fletcher – Vice Chair (5A08)

Ward 5 Councilmember Report

Silas Grant, Senior Adviser to Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, noted Councilmember McDuffie recently introduced emergency legislation, the Local Business Enterprise Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2020, to close a loophole around certified business enterprises (CBEs).

For those impacted by flooding and sewer backup issues as a result of the storm on September 10, DC Water has a resource page at https://dcwater.com/storm-and-flooding-september-10-2020. DC Water has established a cleanup fund using two vendors. Residents who still need to dewater, clean, and sanitize their homes should contact the vendors directly: (1) Service Master at (703) 212-7000 or (2) ServePro at (703) 448-8444. DC Water will pay the vendor directly.

DC Homeland Security & Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) Flood Response

Clint Osborn with the DC HSEMA Hazard Mitigation Program has been assigned to work with the MOCRs to help residents affected by the September 10th flood. He outlined the steps affected residents should take:
(1) Any affected resident that still needs to clean and sanitize their home should immediately call the DC Water vendors noted above (Service Master or ServePro) for immediate dewatering and cleanup/sanitizing. Residents having trouble reaching the vendors can contact DC Water’s cleanup temp to help, but the fastest way to get service will be to contact the vendors directly. DC Water will pay the vendor directly up to $5,000.
(2) File a homeowners insurance claim even if the home may be uninsured or underinsured. Residents can contact DC’s Department of Insurance, Securities, & Banking (DISB) for assistance in addressing any policy concerns.
(3) File a claim with DC Water’s insurer at https://dcwater.com/claims.
(4) Apply for DC Water’s backwater preventer rebate program, which provides reimbursement up to $6,000 for installation of a backwater valve by a licensed plumber. Installing a backflow preventer is the best way to prevent sewer backflow into one’s home. DC Water has expanded the program to Edgewood and Riggs Park residents, but residents who live outside of these neighborhoods should still apply, as DC Water will determine eligibility for the program by address. All residents must apply for and be determined eligible for the program before installing a backflow valve in order to be reimbursed. Note: Even if you did not experience sewage backup in your home, if your address is eligible for the program, DC Water will reimburse you up to 90% (up to $6,000) for installation of a backwater valve, so all residents in the affected neighborhoods should consider applying.
(5) Any affected homeowner who has not done so already should participate in DC’s canvassing effort (see image below). Contact James Farley at (202) 738-2085. DC is assessing whether to make an application to FEMA for a disaster declaration in order to get more relief to affected homeowners. DC will need to meet certain thresholds, and the canvassing effort will help with the FEMA request.

Catholic University

Catholic University introduced their new public safety official, Kirk McLean, Associate Vice President for Public Safety & Emergency Management. He is a retired Prince George’s County law enforcement officer.

Catholic has a COVID-19 information page with information related to case numbers and reopening. Judith Biggs Garbuio, Vice President of Student Affairs at Catholic, stated classes are being offered primarily online. She noted 611 students are living on campus, consisting of a small number of first year and transfer students. Catholic does not know how many students returned to the DC area to off campus housing. Ms. Garbuio noted that some students had to return because their landlords would not let them out of their lease. When students enroll in spring classes in a couple of weeks, the university will have a better sense of where their students are living.

Catholic is conducting surveillance testing of student-athletes and symptomatic individuals. As of September 23, the university reported 73 off campus positive COVID-19 cases and 10 on campus positive COVID-19 cases. The university does not have any reported positive COVID-19 cases among faculty or staff since students began returning to campus on August 15. Most faculty are teaching classes remotely, and most staff have the option to telework until at least December 31, 2020.

Catholic recently sent communication to neighborhood residents asking them to contact the public safety line at (202) 319-5111 if residents see large student gatherings. Ms. Garbuio stated that they were made aware of one large student party off campus and those students were placed on threat of suspension.

Providence

View Providence’s presentation here.

Nicole Commodore, Director of Community Impact & Advocacy for Providence, noted Providence continues to work with DC on COVID-19 response. Providence is also willing to partner with organizations to provide masks to seniors in need.

Providence was recently selected and approved as the medical provider partner for the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind’s grant application for the DC Hope Community Grant.

Providence will have a free community flu shot clinic on October 7, 2020, from 9:30 am to 11:00 am and from 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm.

DC’s State Health & Planning Development Agency (SHPDA) recently approved Providence’s certificate of need for a diagnostic and imaging center. The center will be housed in the old emergency center and is expected to open in spring 2021. The center will be open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

(One item not discussed was the DC Office of Attorney General’s recent communication regarding the OAG’s investigation of the closure of Providence Hospital. Read more at https://oag.dc.gov/blog/investigating-closure-providence-hospital.)

ANC 5A Website

The ANC is planning to revamp its website again. The current website is not user friendly or ADA compliant. Commissioner Gordon Fletcher (5A08) and Commissioner Emily Singer Lucio (5A03) will spearhead the project. Look for a new website first quarter 2021.

ANC 5A08 Public Safety Task Force

ANC 5A08’s public safety task force held its first orange hat walk on September 16. If you are interested in participating in the 5A08 task force, reach out to Commissioner Fletcher.

Ward 5 Mutual Aid

The ANC informed the Ward 5 mutual aid organization that it needs to partner with a nonprofit organization in order to receive a grant from the ANC. The mutual aid organization will look at partnering with a couple of area churches.

DC Census 2020

There is still time to complete the census if you have not done so. Visit https://2020census.gov.

Miscellaneous

An update on Art Place at Fort Totten was originally on the agenda, but was removed by Commissioner Fletcher. He will provide an update at a future meeting.

At the request of a resident, the ANC will consider recording the meetings to make them publicly available to residents.

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