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Meckley officially approved as Bel Air's interim police chief

The Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners formally appointed Sheriff's Office Major Jack Meckley as interim police chief Monday night, with Chief Leo Matrangola being placed on medical leave at the end of last month.

The commissioners also approved financing for two major sewer projects during Monday's town meeting.

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The length of Meckley's appointment depends on Matrangola returning from the leave, the commissioners said.

"This is an excellent choice," Commissioner Edward Hopkins said, noting he and Meckley have worked together for at least 25 years at the Sheriff's Office, where Hopkins is serving as chief deputy.

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Town Administrator James Fielder said Meckley "brings major experience" but added that he hopes Matrangola "gets back here as soon as he can."

Meckley has been with the Sheriff's Office for 26 years and occasionally filled in at the Bel Air Police Department.

Matrangola has been with BAPD for about 23 years.

Sewer main funding

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The town commissioners also approved tax-exempt financing for inflow and infiltration services and a sewer main replacement at The John Carroll School.

The financing was awarded for Harford Bank for a total of $569,802, finance director Lisa Moody said.

At 2.29 percent, Harford Bank did not offer the lowest rate of the five bidders the town received from area banks at the end of October, Moody said.

PNC Bank came in with the lowest rate, 2 percent, but PNC could not hold the rate until the January closing date on the project, Moody said.

Harford Bank's financing has a 10-year maturity.

The town and The John Carroll School signed a memorandum of understanding last month to evenly split the projected construction costs of $169,802 to install the new sewer line, which was completed recently.

The commissioners previously approved another contract, with Insituform Technologies Inc., covering relining of leaking sewer lines in several neighborhoods, an ongoing program.

Police promotion, student award

Patrolman Sam Vivino was promoted to Officer First Class during Monday night's town meeting

Vivino was hired in 2012 after serving in Baltimore City and Riverdale, N.J.

Vivino is a certified member of the SWAT team, among a number of certifications he holds.

Meckley said: "Sam is pretty much as good a cop as you can get."

"When you have an officer that gets involved in the community like Sam has, the community becomes that much safer," Hopkins said.

Erin Bourn, an eighth-grade student at Bel Air Middle School, was recognized by the town commissioners for volunteering in the school's Character Education Program and presenting a play during an assembly on bullying.

Kurt Sudbrink was re-appointed to the Economic and Community Development Commission.

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