Councilmember Brooke Pinto submitted her annual budget request to the mayor yesterday. The items included several requests that would directly benefit Georgetown.
One large item is the acquisition of the former Key Bridge Exxon site. The city already budgeted $14 million to purchase this property last year, and Pinto’s request would add $500,000 to that total. The city has targeted the location for electric vehicle charging, bus turn-arounds, and a possible gondola station. A developer owns the property and is in the process of getting approval to build condos, but most observers believe this is just an attempt to up the price that they’ll get if and when the city uses eminent domain to acquire the lot.
Another important item on Pinto’s request list is $1.5 million to provide critical repairs to Mt. Zion Church in east Georgetown. This prominent and historic African American church is in dire need of repairs and these funds will help secure the physical integrity of the building.
Along the canal, Pinto is requesting $750,000 for a visitors center for Georgetown Heritage. This is the non-profit that coordinates repairs of the canal through Georgetown and runs the canal boat. This funding would help create a 15,000 sq/ft space for tourists to learn about the canal, buy tickets, etc. Separately, she is requesting an additional $500,000 to go towards upgrading and renovating the canal itself.
Way at the other end of the neighborhood, Pinto is requesting $200,000 to improve Book Hill Park. The funding would go towards irrigation, mending and painting the fence, building out the garden, and provided tables and chairs
The councilmember is also requesting that DDOT extend the Dupont-Georgetown-Rossyln Circulator to reach U St. This extension has been discussed on-and-off since at least 2014. The challenge in the past was from a lack of buses (and a bus terminal that would enable the city to buy more buses). Perhaps its day has finally come?
There’s more, of course. Here is the letter: