One notable accomplishment was the re-entry and return to full use of the County Office building at 212 South Bond Street.
As a result of a lot of work by a number of people we have been able to return the County Council Offices to this facility, a noticeable improvement over their temporary crowded space at 18 Office Street.
Additionally, with the strong support of the County Council we have been able to provide Harford County Government employees a much needed and well-deserved pay raise – the first in four years.
The various departments and agencies of our government worked diligently on their goals and objectives to bring excellence in government service to those we serve – the taxpayers of Harford County.
The Office of Communications and Technology, working in concert with Harford County Public Schools and others has completed the first 20 miles of fiber out of an estimated 100 mile HMAN project.
To date, 15 HCPS schools, three Harford County Sheriff's Office facilities, the Town of Bel Air, Department of Public Works and one station of the Bel Air Volunteer Fire Company are "live" on HMAN.
Additionally, in the coming year, the Office of Information and Communication Technology will also implement a software program called "EnerGov" which will improve efficiencies between several departments of County government as well as citizens who will be contacting the County for permits, inspections, and other related matters.
The Department of Community Services opened a transit bus route to Cecil County in January. This new bus route, known as the "Teal Line" provides nine roundtrips per day, Monday through Friday, connecting us to our sister county, Cecil.
Additionally, the Transportation Association of Maryland awarded Harford Transit its Human Services Partnership Award for its work in improving access to transit for persons with disabilities.
The Office of Drug Control Policy continues to make significant progress in the fight to alleviate prescription drug overdoses and abuse.
The Prescription Drug Take Back Events coordinated by this office received national recognition from the federal Drug Enforcement Administration for its success. Since the program's inception in September 2010, the Office of Drug Control Policy has collected over 5,000 pounds of unused or expired prescription drugs from over 1,000 citizens for safe and proper disposal.
Another agency that works hard serving our community, particularly those with special circumstances is the Housing Agency.
Last year the Housing Agency assisted 54 families in resolving or preventing mortgage delinquency. Additionally the Agency provided more than $70,000 in temporary rental assistance to families facing homelessness.
The Housing Agency is the epitome of government providing service that helps improve the quality of life for those less fortunate in our county.
The Department of Planning and Zoning completed work on various items of interest and importance to the people of Harford County, including the Route 22 Corridor Study which resulted in the nomination and selection as a "Planning Finalist Award" by the statewide organization Maryland Quality Initiative.
Additionally the Department completed its mandate for SB 236 known as the "Septic Bill" and has submitted a Tier Map to the State for approval by the Maryland Department of Planning as required by the state law.
This State legislation will have a definite impact on property owners throughout Harford County.
With respect to Parks and Recreation, the Department made significant progress moving vital projects forward during the past year.
Graybeal Fields, land adjoining Red Pump Elementary School, was converted to three (3) multipurpose recreational fields for soccer, lacrosse and field hockey.
Additionally, construction has commenced on the Schucks Road Regional Park which will include five (5) baseball/softball diamonds and one large multipurpose field serving three local Rec Councils – Hickory/Fountain Green, Forest Hill and Emmorton.