Council thanks community members for efforts in recent storms

Havre de Grace's city council members recognized the many people who saw the city through Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee during Monday's council meeting, including some restaurateurs.

The city is still struggling with the aftermath of the storms, as the marina remains silted in. Mayor Wayne Dougherty said he has yet to get any information on what will be done with the debris but tried to reassure residents the city is working on the problem.

"I assure you that I have been right down there begging on getting something done," he said. "I am totally amazed that I have gotten this far… I can only apologize but there's not a whole lot of control I have over that."

Meanwhile, the council gave proclamations to Pat's Pizzeria, Chesapeake Grill and McDonald's for their service during the storms.

Dougherty said the restaurants provided food to emergency personnel at a "tremendous savings" to the city, allowing them to continue doing emergency work.

"The service was fantastic, the employees were cordial and a lot of [city employees] were very surprised that when they sat down to eat… [a restaurant worker] would acknowledge them and say, 'Thank you for what you did,'" Dougherty said.

The council also recognized Havre de Grace Ambulance Corps and Susquehanna Hose Company.

"We call and call on you, and none of you have ever let us down," he said. "Both organizations are right there. It's a sense of peace to know that when we hear that siren, we have the best and the fastest responding, and that's what counts."

Councilman John Correri agreed, saying, "These are the individuals who run in the door when everyone else is running out the door."

Susquehanna Hose Chief Scott Hurst said the work was a team effort.

"It could have been a lot worse through both storms. I think we came out pretty good," he said.

Also at the meeting, Dougherty said he was recently at a statewide transportation meeting where he was frustrated by the lack of discussion about traffic issues on Lewis Lane and Route 40.

Dougherty said he sees young people regularly running across the intersection, which continues to pose a threat.

He said Maryland State Highway Administration officials suggested extending the red light by six or seven seconds, which Dougherty did not consider useful.

He said traffic needs to be slowed down and "visual signals" for pedestrians put in.

Council members also swore in William Russell as a new member of the water and sewer commission.

The council approved a handful of upcoming special events: Running With the Reindeer on Dec. 4; Havre de Grace Independence Day Celebration in 2012; Shakespeare in the Park on July 29, 2012; and the Upper Chesapeake Hospice Regatta on June 2, 2012.

Councilman Jim Miller noted that the organizers of the Mardi Gras event had yet to apply for a permit and are running out of time.

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