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The Baltimore Sun

Aberdeen to unveil station redevelopment plan Aug. 6

Aberdeen city officials said Monday the results of the feasibility study for the MARC/Amtrak station area master plan will be announced in public meeting Aug. 6.

The plan for what is being called "Aberdeen Station Square" will be presented from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., and will be followed by questions for the council from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

According to a flier, the concept "creates a more welcoming, convenient, and attractive crossing of the rail track with a terraced public plaza and daylighted undercrossing."

The presentation will detail plans for the east and west entrances, the under tracks pedestrian crossing and the station area.

The session will be held at city council chambers and is being co-sponsored by the Maryland Department of Transportation and the Chesapeake Science and Security Corridor.

Bennett said the station redevelopment "very vital project" shows the city is trying to start doing some improvement in and around its Route 40 corridor.

Everything within half a mile of the train station is being considered part of the "transit-oriented development" project.

Unsafe buildings law

The city council also introduced an ordinance to set forth regulations for the abatement of unsafe buildings in the city.

City Manager Doug Miller said the city is trying to address three burned-out buildings, two of which are on Paradise Road and North Deen, which have been a focus of concern for years.

About the bill, he said: "In essence, the city attorney has found a gap in the way we order the demolition of an unsafe structure."

"We have three in the city now that we have been grappling with, so this is his attempt to fill that gap," he said.

Miller noted the ordinance is "rather complicated," so the council will undoubtedly want to discuss it during their upcoming work session July 16.

After that work session, the council will not meet again until Aug. 6.

Vandalism, beautification

Police chief Henry Trabert discussed the juveniles and one adult who were recently arrested for the ongoing vandalism at Grove Presbyterian Cemetery.

"We connected them to most, if not all, the vandalism in the graveyard, and we're working with that church now and seeing if we can find a way to keep that graveyard secure," Trabert said.

Bennett said he appreciated the detectives' work on that.

"That's a lot of surveillance, I'm sure, that went on," he said.

Public Works Director Matt Lapinsky said the enhanced nutrient removal project at the wastewater treatment plant is about 69 days from "substantial" completion.

The city has spent $14 million on the work so far, he said.

On July 17 and 18, the city will also do a "pipe bursting" on South Drive, which involves putting a new plastic pipe through an existing clay pipe and bursting the old pipe.

Lapinsky said it is "pretty impressive for a city our size" to undertake such a project.

The department is also doing a water main replacement project on East Bel Air Avenue, which Lapinsky said should address ongoing water issues on the street.

Bennett said Pastor Dan Sheffield, of First Baptist Church, which is along that street, should be excited.

"I'm sure pastor Sheffield will be happy to hear that, because that's always been a problem with water and discoloration, because it's the end of the line," Bennett said.

Councilwoman Ruth Elliott said she got a call from a resident on Graceford Drive about a piece of ground some residents had landscaped by the city pumping station.

Bennett pointed out the resident there is his younger brother.

"It's not their property, but they have done this because they want to see things look like in the city of Aberdeen," Elliott said, holding up photos of the work.

"You would never know that there was a pumping station there. I have lived here all my life and I went past it three times [that day]," she said. "If we had other folks in the city that would do the same to their property, maybe take on a little extra, that would be great."

Clerk honored

City Clerk Monica Correll received an award at last week's Maryland Municipal League convention in Ocean City, where she was named Municipal Clerk of the Year.

Councilwoman Sandra Landbeck thanked the police for a positive presence at the recent Big & Rich concert at Ripken Stadium, which she and her husband enjoyed.

"There was an incredible presence of our police department and it was nice, it wasn't threatening, it wasn't, 'We're here because we suspect you,'" she said. "I thought it was an incredible ploy to get the police into the community as friends."

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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