Councilman Chad Shrodes also congratulated the public works officials, and said: "Our residents deserve some congratulations, but I am extremely proud of our single-stream program, and I think it's going to keep growing."
A group of parents, teachers, union representatives and other residents concerned about the school system spoke during the public comment period about the need to remediate mold problems at William Paca Elementary School specifically, as well as maintain school buildings in general.
The same presentation had been made the day before at the board of education's meeting.
Council members said at the end of the meeting the Harford County public school system holds the responsibility for those improvements.
"We certainly understand the citizens' complaint about those schools. It's been my complaint and it's been [Councilwoman] Mary Ann Lisente's complaint also," Councilman Dione Guthrie said. "We are not passing the buck at all because we have been pushing for those schools to be rebuilt."
Councilman Dick Slutzky explained: "The impact fee can only be used for capital school construction. It cannot be used for maintenance or repair or anything else."
He said the county has forward-funded more than $300 million for school needs, which is "unheard of for most neighboring counties."
Slutzky underscored the tremendous costs associated with any school construction or repair.
"We can't put up portable for $14.5 million," he said.
He also said he spoke with legal counsel this past year regarding what actions county government can take on the school system's budget.
"I believe that is not accurate, that it is in the purview of Harford County and other governments either to enhance or to cut the budget," he said. "That is a new and unique understanding of what the authorities of Harford County are."
Guthrie said upward of 1,000 people attended a job fair at Ripken Stadium held by the Susquehanna Workforce Network recently.
"These job fairs really work," he said.
Councilman Jim McMahan said the Aberdeen Alliance is collecting gently used prom dresses that will be distributed for free to girls in the community who cannot afford prom dresses.