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Harford council introduces budget, bills

The proposed fiscal year 2013 county budget was formally introduced to the Harford County Council during its meeting Tuesday evening.

The budget was introduced along with four other bills, most of which have public hearings scheduled for May 1 at 7 p.m. There will be two separate public hearings for the budget: May 2 at 7 p.m. at Bel Air High School and May 9 at 7 p.m. at Havre de Grace High School.

The proposed county operating budget is $618.3 million. Work sessions will be held April 17 through April 19 and April 24 to 26 at 2:30 p.m. in council chambers.

The council, along with the 2012 Citizens Budget Advisory Board, whose membership was approved Tuesday, will review the budget department by department over the next few weeks. The council must approve the budget by June 1. The members of the board are J. Alan Thompson, Gloria Moon, Dave Williams, Susan Heselton, Robert Tibbs, Charles F. Ramsay Jr. and Glenn R. Dudderar.

Council members also introduced a bill that, if approved, would provide funds to cover purchases of agricultural preservation easements. The other bills, if approved, would fund the second bonus payment for eligible county and library employees as well as school system employees and teachers.

Earlier in the evening, there were three public hearings, including one on the water and sewer plan update. The spring update, as presented by Darryl Ivins, included text revisions, proposed development activity and things that have already occurred.

No one from the public commented on the update and Council President Billy Boniface said the council would hold off on voting for at least another week.

There was also a public hearing for a resolution to close a portion of Bynum Road, which council members later approved. The county had already approved closure of the road last year, but the developer who requested the closure had not been able to meet the conditions initially set in the tentative approval.

Tuesday night's resolution allows the road to be closed at a cul-de-sac and set new conditions for the developer to meet.

Other business

Council members also issued several proclamations during the meeting, including ones for Sexual Abuse Awareness Month and National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Another proclamation was also presented for Fair Housing Month.

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