COG welcomed the City of Laurel as a new member at the April COG Board of Directors meeting. Laurel is a city in northern Prince George's County, Maryland, located between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Laurel’s 5.5 square miles is home to more than 25,000 residents and more than 1,000 businesses. It is governed by a mayor and five city council members.
In this Q&A, Mayor Craig A. Moe shares his perspective of Laurel and explains why the city decided to join COG.
Why did Laurel want to join COG, including short- and long-term goals?
The city wanted to obtain a better understanding of regional issues affecting Laurel and the surrounding areas and to participate in coordinated efforts to address these issues. For the short term, the city desires to coordinate our public safety efforts with the region and share the resources available to enhance awareness and response to emergencies. The city’s goals for the long term include continuing efforts relating to public safety improvements as well as effectively addressing economic development, environmental, regional planning, and transportation issues.
What makes Laurel unique?
Laurel shares borders with Montgomery, Howard, and Anne Arundel Counties. The proximity of Laurel to these other jurisdictions makes us unique in that our community is very diverse with an educated and trained workforce available to address all forms of employment in the metropolitan Washington region.
Laurel is the site of many Prince George’s County firsts, including the first public library, first public high school, and first national bank. Laurel can also boast of Prince George’s County’s oldest continuously operating volunteer fire department.
Laurel continues to grow, and its increasing diversity has brought it a rich community of new residents, and a variety of new businesses.
What do you enjoy most about living and/or working in Laurel?
The ability for residents and business owners to be heard by the elected officials and have a close working relationship with the decision makers to help plan the city’s future. Laurel is very responsive to the residents and business owners and very much focused on all things affecting the quality of life. There are many opportunities for people to work in and around the city as well as a more than adequate stock of housing and recreational amenities enabling residents to live, work, and play in Laurel.
If someone was to visit Laurel for the first time, what would you recommend they do or visit?
There are numerous restaurants, shops, and attractions in the City of Laurel along with many parks. The Riverfront Park provides more than a mile of scenic and serine pathways that follow the picturesque Patuxent River. The Granville Gude Park and Lakehouse provide many recreational activities and hosts the city’s annual Fourth of July Celebration, which features one of the area’s best fireworks displays. Laurel’s Historic Main Street hosts the Annual Main Street Festival, an all-day event attended by thousands of area residents to enjoy arts and crafts, live music, delicious foods, and outdoor fun along the mile-long avenue.
MORE: City of Laurel website