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News Maryland Harford County Bel Air

Bel Air commissioners to weigh joining water and sewer authority

Bel Air would be the third and final municipality in Harford County to sign on to the second phase of implementing a regional water and sewer authority, if the members of the Board of Town Commissioners approve a memorandum of understanding during their next meeting.

Signing on to Phase II will come with a price tag of about $25,000 for Bel Air, Town Administrator James Fielder Jr. said during a town work session Tuesday.

The entire study of all aspects of merging the water and sewer systems of three municipalities and the county is expected to cost $831,000, and each municipality must cover a portion of that cost.

The governing boards of Aberdeen and Havre de Grace signed on to Phase II earlier this year; Aberdeen will pay $81,348 and Havre de Grace will pay $83,076. Bel Air would pay $25,761 and Harford County would cover the remainder of the cost of Phase II.

The next town meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18; town meetings are usually held on Mondays but the next meeting will be Tuesday because of President's Day.

Sustainable Bel Air

A resolution titled Sustainable Incentives will be introduced at the Feb. 18 meeting.

Planning Director Kevin Small said town officials want to "incentivize people to purchase eco-friendly products," one piece of the town's "Sustainable Bel Air 2013-18" plan to plot the course of the town's social, business and environmental facets over five years.

Small said the program, which involves cash rebates for purchases of environmentally friendly products, would also help the town do its part toward implementing the state's Watershed Implementation Plan to restore the Chesapeake Bay.

Owners of properties in Bel Air's corporate limits would receive cash rebates ranging from $20 to $50 when they purchase products such as rain barrels, recycling bins and composting bins for kitchen waste.

Those products must be purchased from businesses that are also in the Bel Air town limits.

Small noted that some businesses in town do not have such items in their showrooms

"I would like to be able to get these things so they are here, people know that they're here or they see that their neighbor has one and they want one," Small explained.

He stressed participation in the rebate program is voluntary for town businesses.

Small said town officials plan to set aside about $3,000, and the rebate program would begin March 15 and last through late April or until the money runs out.

Commissioner Susan Burdette reminded Small that residents of subdivisions on the outskirts of town, such as Amyclae, often think they are Bel Air residents since they have a Bel Air address.

Small said town officials have taken that into account, and plan to post maps of the town limits in stores such as Courtland Hardware and the Mill of Bel Air, and online.

Anyone who wants to get a rebate should bring a receipt and identification such as a driver's license or utility bill to Town Hall.

Mid-year budget amendment

A mid-year budget amendment for the 2014 fiscal year will be introduced at the town meeting.

Finance Director Lisa Moody presented a description Tuesday showing a $265,730 amendment for the town's general fund to reflect changes in revenue and expenses during the fiscal year, plus a $134,450 amendment for the special revenue fund, the majority of which covers grants for improvements to Shamrock Park.

The town received a $114,000 grant from the Dresher Foundation and a $12,000 grant from the Greater Bel Air Community Foundation.

The special revenue fund also includes $8,450 in open space fees.

Additional general fund expenses include costs for the Bel Air Police Department's portion of a multi-jurisdictional SWAT team made up of municipal officers from Bel Air, Aberdeen and Havre de Grace.

The Bel Air police must pay $24,000 for uniform accessories and $6,900 for travel and training.

The Department of Public Works must also raise $22,950 for a new fuel dispensing system.

Contracts

Public Works Director Randy Robertson said the system for dispensing gasoline and diesel for Public Works vehicles is "un-reparable."

"At this point we just need to just request emergency funding for new fuel dispensers for the DPW fuel system," he said.

The commissioners will vote on a contract to spend $22,950 with Gasboy pumps which would be integrated with the department's electronic fuel management system.

The commissioners will also vote on a $90,340 contract with Brekford of Hanover to purchase 16 Panasonic CF-31 computers and docking stations for patrol cars, plus 16 E-Tix electronic ticketing systems, including printers and scanners.

Police Chief Leo Matrangola said the e-ticketing systems can be mounted in a patrol car or motorcycle – he noted the Maryland State Police will require local police to file accident reports through the same systems beginning next year.

Upcoming events

This weekend promises to be a busy one in Bel Air, with a Valentine's dinner scheduled from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Rockfield Manor.

The fourth annual Addicted 2 Art fundraiser is scheduled Sunday from noon to 4 p.m., also at Rockfield Manor.

Admission is $50 per person.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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