The Havre de Grace City Council passed a budget amendment Monday night to fund $4,100 for the purchase a boat lift for the Susquehanna Hose Company's Swift Water Rescue Team.
"I think everyone recognizes that particularly when you're out on the water, and in any other emergency situation, time is of the essence," Council President Randy Craig said. "If that [rescue] boat can get in the water that much faster because it's already on a lift and get out there instead of having to trailer down to the boat ramp, this can very well save someone's life for a very reasonable expense."
At Mayor Wayne Dougherty's request, language was added to the budget amendment to accommodate another location under consideration for the lift's deployment besides the city-owned marina in Tydings Park, where a slip would be allocated for the lift, according to correspondence about the appropriation.
Councilman Bill Martin sought to confirm from the city Director of Finance George DeHority that the source of the funds for the lift is coming from the yacht basin's slip user fund, and DeHority replied in the affirmative.
To which Mayor Wayne Dougherty joked, "It's coming out of the council's pay."
"The council's paying for it? We might have to wait a few years then," Martin responded, laughing.
"This is a no brainer in my opinion. It's going to cut countless, precious minutes off the response time," Martin said. "It's definitely going to make boating up here in this area a lot safer."
The six-member council passed the amendment unanimously.
Remembering Ben Keyes
Councilman David Glenn mentioned that it was the 15-year anniversary of the death of one of his Little League baseball players from bone cancer. He told the story of 12-year-old Ben Keyes, who sought to raise awareness about cancer and help other children and families suffering from it.
Glenn reminded those present that there are children like Ben who would not be able to participate in youth sports and activities that needed community support. He said there will be upcoming opportunities to donate funds to help children suffering from cancer and other illnesses, and he urged people to participate.
"I hope you join me in donating to these worthy causes," Glenn said. "The kids are really counting on our support, and let's not let them down. Let's help all of the other Bens and make their dreams come true."