Bel Air commissioners discuss holiday schedule, development regulations

Bel Air town employees may no longer get Good Friday off as a paid holiday.

The town commissioners discussed dropping the religious observance as a town holiday during their work session Tuesday afternoon.

The proposal was brought up by Director of Administration Joyce Oliver, who noted that neither the state of Maryland nor Harford County Government have off on Good Friday. The town generally follows higher jurisdictions in terms of holiday closings so they do not confuse residents, she added.

During the discussion, Commissioner Terence Hanley said he wanted to keep Good Friday as a holiday and continue to recognize it as a town.

Commissioners are set to vote on the proposal, as well as one to give police officers holiday pay if they work on Thanksgiving. The code already allows holiday pay for Christmas and the Fourth of July.

Development regulations

Director of Planning Kevin Small proposed an amendment to the town's development regulations, in addition to the formatting changes town commissioners approved last month.

Several of the amendments were language, such as adding that commercial development more than 7,500 square feet is subject to special development regulations, something that Small said the town has enforced but was not explicitly mentioned in the code.

The proposed regulations also include sections on solar energy panels and wind energy systems, so there is a specific section. Prior to this, solar energy panels were included in the satellite dish portion of the code. The new sections define both energy systems and where they can be placed on a property.

One change in particular would allow single tenant buildings to use hot and cold air balloons for a business twice per year and multi-tenant buildings to use them four times per year.

The ordinance will be introduced at the next town meeting and a public hearing will be held at the following meeting before town commissioners vote on it.

Other business

Commissioners will vote on a contract to spend $12,047 for a new sewer lateral camera to replace the 10-year-old one the town is using. The new camera was budgeted at $13,000, Director of Public Works Randolph Robertson said, and will be more portable than the older one.

The town will also announce the first-, second- and third-place winners of the Bel Air High School sustainability essay contest tied in with Municipal Month.

Town commissioners, except for Robert Preston and Mayor David Carey who were not at the meeting, approved the Christmas Parade Route.

The next town meeting is Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. in town hall at 139 N. Hickory Ave.

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