Councilman Guthrie would no longer represent site of proposed trash transfer station in 2014

When the new Harford County Council districts go into effect in 2014, Councilman Dion Guthrie will no longer represent the Joppa property where a trash transfer station is proposed.

Guthrie has been an active supporter of Joppa residents' fight against the station. The council is considering legislation that Guthrie says will lock the county into the Joppa site; however, sponsors of the legislation say it only deals with general regulations, not the approval of specific site. The legislation was to be subject of a public hearing Tuesday evening.

In the recent redistricting of the six district council seats, two voting precincts north of Route 40, 1-02 and 1-07, were moved from District A, which Guthrie represents, to District B, which is represented by Councilman Joe Woods.

The changes won't take effect until the next council is seated following the 2014 election; however, it might be a game changer for Woods, a Fallston Republican, whose district includes greater Fallston and Abingdon and who is a co-sponsor of the legislation that Guthrie opposes.

"I am kind of disappointed. I know a lot of people in that area, and it is a little disappointing that I won't be in that area," Guthrie said Monday.

Nevertheless, he said he is confident the residents would not be poorly represented.

"It would depend on Joe Woods' view," Guthrie said about what would happen in 2014. "I think his view is basically the same as mine… I think his concerns are mine, to try to protect the people that live around there."

Guthrie noted the council members have no right to change voting precinct lines — an election board function — so there was nothing sinister about the way the new district lines came out.

In the meantime, he said he remains concerned about the county's purchase of the former Plecker golf course for the station.

"I know one thing that concerns me about this, that if you go online… that property is valued at $1.1 million [for property tax purposes], and we paid $2.9 million, without getting an appraisal," he said.

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