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Harford County Buys Water Street Property for $700K

The Board of Estimates signed off on the purchase of waterfront property in Havre de Grace.

Birds-eye view of waterfront heritage park in Havre de Grace. (Credit: Site Resources)
Birds-eye view of waterfront heritage park in Havre de Grace. (Credit: Site Resources)

Harford County reportedly purchased property on Water Street for $700,000—one of two addresses the County Council voted against acquiring this fall. 

The Board of Estimates voted during its most recent meeting to buy .8 acre of foreclosed waterfront property at 627 Water Street from Stonebridge Bank, according to The Dagger.

Currently, the land in Havre de Grace is used by Maryland Transportation Authority for staging as it rehabs piers on the Hatem Bridge, according to The Aegis.

Previously, the property was used for storing pesticides and fuel.

Cleanup costs were a factor in the County Council's Nov. 5 decision against acquiring properties at 627 and 649 Water Street for a heritage park.

The proposal "had a lot of problems with it, and the cost factor was considerable," Council President Billy Boniface said after it was voted down, 5-1-1.

Boniface suggested the city of Havre de Grace fund the effort, like it did with a $1.29 million purchase near the Concord Point Lighthouse for an extension of the Promenade.

"...If they want to purchase this property, I'm sure it's still for sale and they can purchase it..." Boniface said.

As a member of the Board of Estimates, Boniface voted against the Water Street acquisition at the board's Dec. 19 meeting and while the purchase ended up going through, 4-2-1, his idea that Havre de Grace may need to contribute money may not be too far off the mark.

County Executive David Craig said Havre de Grace agreed to cover any remediation costs over $50,000, according to The Dagger.

Cleanup could cost up to $1 million, Harford County Chief of Property Management Erin Schafer told the County Council in the fall, according to The Aegis.

Mayor Wayne Dougherty did not confirm that the city would pay for the cost of remediation but told Patch on Dec. 30 that the city was supportive of the project.

"The city is open for discussion with Harford County about any parcels located on Water Street which would create open space,” Dougherty said.

Dave in BR December 31, 2013 at 10:27 AM
Interesting move to acquire the parcel that is in the middle of the set of parcels that Craig wanted to acquire. Hard to believe HdG is offering a blank check on remediation costs over 50k. Next steps will be worth watching. I hope this can be turned into a meaningful asset for the community

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