The following actions were taken at Tuesday's meeting of the Prince George's County Council. For further information, call the council office at 952-3718.
Rent increases: The council demanded that a Bethesda management firm explain why it imposed higher rent increases than it had promised on apartment units it owns in Suitland and Landover, a violation of an agreement with the county. Rehabilitation of the projects was subsidized by the sale of tax-exempt county bonds.
In a letter to Dr. Loren Simkowitz, president of Monocle Management Ltd., the council said the firm, which rehabilitated 1,000 units with $24 million brought in by the sale of Housing Authority bonds, raised rents on the $410 to $630 units by as much as 30 percent, or 20 percent more than it told the council it would.
Council Chairman William B. Amonett said he had received documentation from the firm that rents would be lowered to reflect expected savings when utilities were converted. However, Amonett said he has received reports from tenants that rents have escalated since repairs were completed last year.
Hazardous railroad crossing: The council said Rte. 381 in Brandywine is becoming increasingly dangerous and congested because of backups when trains take upwards of 20 minutes to clear the intersection, where there are no gates. In a letter to Conrail superintendent, Michael J. Chewar, the council urged that crossing gates be constructed.
Block grants: The council introduced a resolution to request an additional $300,000 in community block grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The additional funds would finance a day-care program, a senior abuse program, street improvements in Glenarden, a home for the mentally ill, and transportation for the handicapped. -- Steven Heilbronner