City Council: 3 Resolutions Adopted, Sign Donated
Patch provides live updates from Havre de Grace's City Council meeting at City Hall.
Havre de Grace City Council adopted three resolutions and approved one special event during Monday's regular meeting at City Hall.
Mayor Wayne Dougherty and four members of City Council in attendance also accepted a gift on behalf of the Havre de Grace Seafood Festival.
The following is the sequence of the meeting as covered in a live blog from City Hall Monday:
8:06 p.m.: The meeting adjourns.
8:05 p.m.: Public comment beings.
Resident and business owner Chip Paradis addresses a comment made earlier in the meeting regarding a plan to turn the open lot behind Citizens Care nursing facility into a walking park with a built-in stormwater management system.
Paradis said the thought of converting the park into a runoff catch-all began about 20 years ago when Paradis was on the board with the Canvasback Cove neighborhood.
Paradis said: "We did studies on our own. I was president of the board for nine years of the first 20 years of Canvasback Cove. All of the water seemed to empty into the river through our garages. We did studies of our own and we determined there was 32 acres of ground that was ending up at the river at Canvasback Cove. We had a lot of issues with that. There was a plan at the time. There was a plan to have a park as part of the signature sidewalk that would have connected Heron Harbor, through the park, and pick up at Bomboy’s. That never materialized. Half of that lot is now taken up by a parking lot, which is more ground that is not absorbing water. That water is continuing to go down and flow into Canvasback Cove. We spent $60,000 to put in a culvert in the corner of Concord and Girard. We spent $60,000 to put in a catch basin. We specifically made one of the panels large enough to accept a 36-inch pipe. City has 24-inch pipe from Concord Street to that corner. That was never utilized, and it’s undersized. The idea of putting a catch basin there is 20 years old. I really would like to see this happen."
7:55 p.m.: Council President Randy Craig addresses Monday's public hearing regading a new school, held in Bel Air. Craig attended the meeting, spoke around 6 p.m. and returned to City Hall for the council meeting.
Craig said: "This City Council can’t do anything more than to advocate or put a light on the issue. If you see other elected officials, make sure you let them know how important it is to our community. We need to make sure they recognize how important it is. It’s going to be a long process. Hopefully we are included. If not, it may be many many years."
7:44 p.m.: Lewis Lane will receive its final layer of pavement Tuesday, Director of Public Works Larry Parks said.
"I expect by this weekend at the latest we’ll have that street open to traffic," Parks said.
7:40 p.m.: Director of Planning Neal Mills said the city has seen a slight reduction in code violations. There were 247 code violations in the past year, he said.
Mills said that figure, spread across the 6,150 parcels in the city, amounts to just four percent of property owners violating property maintenance codes.
"It’s a credit to the inspectors in the planning department that serve the citizens and the great job that they do," Mills said. "But more importantly it’s a testimony to the property owners that take pride in their properties that give everyone a place to live, work and visit."
7:38 p.m.: Director of Administration Carol Mathis said a number of city staff members have completed valuable training courses recently.
In particular, Mathis recognized wastewater treatment plant staff members who recently completed re-certification.
She also pointed out a fundraiser for the Rotary Club set for 7 p.m. on August 28 at Tidewater Grille.
7:36 p.m.: Council unanimously approves the Good Cause Fun Fest, planned for Oct. 28 at Tydings Park.
7:35 p.m.: All items passed by City Council are available in PDF form in Patch's City Council preview.
7:34 p.m.: Council unanimously introduces and adopts a resoltion regarding the protection of cross-contamination of the city's water supply.
"It protects our water supply from people tying into it," Craig said. He added that it is a policy and procedure for contractors working with the city.
7:32 p.m.: Council unanimously introduces and adopts a resolution regarding the annexation of a small parcel of land along Old Post Road.
As City Attorney Paul Ishak noted, "This is Step 1 of annexation."
7:30 p.m.: Council unanimously introduces a resolution regarding funding for the Humane Society. As Craig outlines, the resolution allows for the Humane Society to move forward in seeking state funding for a new facility.
7:28 p.m.: Council President Randy Craig asks that the city put into place a policy for organizations to request use of the sign.
"You and your husband did a great job. Excellent festival," Craig said. "Thank you for the sign donation. I think you understated its value from a public safety standpoint."
Councilman Bill Martin said new signs typically cost $17,000.
"Normally when government buys things, they buy them new," he said. "The gift you gave the city was substantial. It’s going to be put to good use."
7:20 p.m.: Havre de Grace Seafood Festival organizer Lori Maslin said approximately 43,000 people visited the city through the three-day event.
Maslin also announced the festival has donated a "certified, pre-owned" solar-powered road sign that was used to advertise the event.
"The city really needs one of these signs," Maslin said. "It was in the budget a couple of years ago, and unfortunately it didn’t make the cut in the budget."
Maslin said the sign was brought in from Bear, DE. The only caveat, she said, for the sign is to allow the Seafood Festival to operate it for advertising for two weeks prior to future events—including the Havre de Grace Art Show.
Maslin also asked that if the city looks to get rid of the sign, that the city consider giving it back to the Seafood Festival.
7:07 p.m.: Mayor Wayne Dougherty makes a presentation to representatives of the Havre de Grace Rotary Club.
The Rotary is celebrating 90 years of service in Havre de Grace.
The club sponsored a health fair in Havre de Grace over the weekend.
"We are really honored that you are presenting this to us," Havre de Grace Rotary President Rob Magee said.
7 p.m.: The meeting begins.
6:59 p.m.: Councilman Joe Smith is not in attendance tonight as he is on vacation.
Council is operating with four members—enough to make a quorom.
6:58 p.m.: Councilman Craig has arrived and told those in attendance "we had a big crowd" at the public hearing.
6:55 p.m.: Fairly quiet here as elected officials begin to arrive.
Many meeting regulars—including Councilman David Glenn—are in Bel Air for tonight's Board of Education public hearing.
Councilman Randy Craig is expected to arrive shortly before the start of the meeting after delivering statements at the public hearing.
Check back regularly. We will be adding nuggets of news immediately. Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
For the full agenda and related documents—including printable PDF files—for tonight's meeting, see our preview.
NOTE: Lulls in reporting are a result of a lack of wireless internet connection inside council chambers.