Bel Air commissioners to consider fee increase for tax sale auctions

When they meet for their regular town meeting Monday, the members of the Bel Air Board of Town Commissioners will be asked to vote on charging a $10 fee to owners of properties sold at a tax sale auction – the result of the county charging the $10 fee to the town.

Harford County handles tax sale auctions for its three municipalities, and the county is charging those cities and towns a $10 fee for sales of property within municipal limits, Finance Director Lisa Moody told Bel Air town commissioners and town administrators during a 20-minute work session Tuesday evening.


Property can be sold by a municipality or county for nonpayment of real property taxes or other fees.

The town would then pass the fee along to the property owner. Moody said the town and county would split the fee evenly if the property owner owes money to the county and town.


The town commissioners are also scheduled to honor William Cox Jr., president of the Greater Bel Air Community Foundation, and Donald Young, the first president of the organization, with proclamations.

Town Administrator Chris Schlehr said Tuesday Cox and Young should be recognized for their contributions to the community.

The foundation, created in 1998 by local residents and business people, works "to improve the quality of life and civic features of the Bel Air community and to fund civic improvements which help achieve these goals," according to its website.

Dispatch center improvements

The town commissioners will also be asked to approve a purchase order for furniture and cabinetry for the town's police dispatch center.

Schlehr said the items, which will be used for storage, are the second half of renovations to the dispatch center, which began last year.

Chief of Police Leo Matrangola said Wednesday the console – where dispatchers receive, log and dispatch emergency calls – was rebuilt last year by contractor Evans Consoles.

The company is headquartered in Calgary, Canada, and its North American Sales Office is in Vienna, Va., according to its website.

Matrangola said the same firm would be hired to build and install new file cabinets and work stations in the dispatch center at a cost of $15,770.

They will replace existing file cabinets which do not reach all the way to the ceiling and leave space for precariously-placed boxes.

The new cabinets and work stations will reach all the way to the ceiling, be ergonomically correct and include space for the nine dispatchers to store personal belongings.


The center is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by at least two dispatchers per shift.

"You have to have sturdy, reliable equipment," Matrangola said.

Mid-year budget

A public hearing will be held Monday to allow residents to express their views on the town's mid-year budget resolution. The municipal budget will need to be increased by more than $44,000 because of changes in revenues and expenditures during the first half of the fiscal year.