25 years ago: Drought delays major construction projects in Bel Air

From The Aegis dated Aug. 20, 1987:

Four major construction projects just in the town of Bel Air were being held up 25 years ago by a lack of rain, with more likely to follow in the coming weeks.

Maryland American Water Company, which provided water to the town, was working with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to determine if the necessary water construction permits could be issued. Projects on hold included the Park Manor townhomes off Boulton Street, the 31-unit "empty-nester" housing project known as Roland Place off Rock Spring Avenue, the Lapides office building off Tollgate Mall Road and the second section of the BTR Industrial Park.

A permit reissued by the Water Resources Administration told Maryland American to develop an alternate source of water in addition to or to replace its total dependence on Winters Run, which required a base flow of 6.5 million gallons per day before water could be withdrawn. And the company could only withdraw a maximum of 1.3 million gallons. Winters Run had been known to run low, and on Aug. 28 and 29, 1981 only 4.3 million gallons flowed by a check station.

Harford's public school superintendent, Dr. A.A. Roberty, was back at work this week 25 years ago, less than two months after suffering a heart attack, starting with half-day workdays.

The superintendent for the last 17 years had been doing minimal amounts of paperwork at home before he got back to work.

"I feel great and I'm happy to be back," Roberty said. "The doctors tell me the kind of heart attack I had either kills you instantly or gives you a warning and they say I've been warned."

A raise due Harford Community College President Dr. Alfred C. O'Connell was more than double the percentage increase the school's other 225 employees would be getting.

The Harford Community College Board of Trustees this week 25 years ago approved a $4,254 raise (7 percent) from the $60,500 he was making last year, retroactive to July 1.

The raise had been agreed to a year earlier, when O'Connell signed a three-year contract, extending his second term as HCC president.

The Harford County Council president was considering a run for the Harford County Circuit Court judge seat being vacated by the retiring Judge Brodnax Cameron Jr. Hardwicke, a 60-year-old Republican, said there was a 50-50 chance he'd enter the race.

Three areas at the Bata Shoe Company site were being investigated by a private company 25 years ago for potential environmental hazards. The state health department asked for the investigation, which centered on a 1,000-by-300-foot landfill, 12 underground storage tanks and several ponds were holding 6 to 12 inches of waste latex rubber sludge.

There were no immediate public health risks, a state spokesman said of the investigation that focused on possible environmental contamination by the company.

A Delta, Pa., man died 25 years ago this week after getting in a fight with his ex-wife's estranged husband. Michael Polanco, 32, died at Fallston General Hospital after fighting with the man who was married to Denise Polanco before she was married to Mr. Polanco.

No charges has been filed; police were investigating.

Boyd & Fulford Pharmacy on Main Street had a brush with fame 25 years ago this week, when the Noxell Corporation used the pharmacy to film a college recruitment video that would be used across the country.

"What we are creating here is a small town kind of atmosphere," the senior partner of Media Dimensions of Timonium said. "Boyd & Fulford was perfect because it had exactly the right look."

Kmart was having a camera sale 25 years ago – a Canon EOS 650 with "more than autofocus" was $389; a Canon Sure Shot Supreme was $169 and a Canon Snappy S was $67.

Vandals caused "thousands and thousands" of dollars in damage to vehicle widows during a weekend spree 25 years ago. Police said the vandals probably had some type of weapon, probably a BB gun, the Harford County Sheriff's Office spokesman said. His agency had received at least 21 complaints of vandalism from Bel Air, Abingdon, Forest Hill and Fallston.

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