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Harford councilman says payback for road upgrades should be equitable

Harford County Councilman Dion Guthrie said he wants to level the playing field for residents living on private roads that are taken over or upgraded by the county.

The councilman said residents of Bel Air's Landis Circle should pay back the cost of upgrading their road in a shorter amount of time, and he brought up the issue at last week's meeting of the Edgewood Community Council, where road problems are often discussed.

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The county administration recently introduced a bill to make Landis Circle a public road, with affected residents paying to upgrade the circle to meet county standards.

Guthrie introduced an amendment to require Landis Circle residents to pay off the assessment in 10 years instead of 20, as called for in the legislation.

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He said residents of Judy Way and Eloise Lane, in the Edgewater Village area, had to pay for road upgrades within 10 years when they were done in the early 2000s.

"They [the county] forced those people to do it in 10 years," Guthrie said.

Those roads, however, did not become public roads. He said the county did not want to make them public because it would be three times more expensive to keep fixing them.

Guthrie said the amendment would make it fairer for low-income people. He also said the cost between a 10-year and a 20-year payment period is less than $20 monthly.

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Guthrie said he does not want to deprive Landis Circle residents of getting their public road but just wants everything to be fair for all concerned.

Low crime, speakers

Crime has been low and "things have been somewhat calm" in Edgewood, Harford County Sheriff's Office Capt. Jonathan Krass told those attending the community council meeting Thursday.

He said his office has received some complaints about speeding, however.

An audience member asked if radar cameras have been considered, but Krass replied Harford County has no speed enforcement cameras.

Krass also reminded political candidates that campaign signs cannot be put on county property.

Political signs were lining the driveway to the Sheriff's Office southern precinct before the meeting started.

Krass added he is expecting crime and incidents to heat up as the weather gets warmer and said the Sheriff's Office is always gathering "intelligence."

"We are keeping an eye on things," he said.

Edgewood was recently designated a Sustainable Community by the state, which helps it apply for certain grants and benefits, county community development coordinator Tiffany Robinson said at the meeting.

Edgewood is one of the largest areas in the state to get the designation, she said.

Jolene Ivey, a Prince George's County resident who is running for lieutenant governor on Doug Gansler's ticket, introduced herself at the meeting and spoke about her background before taking several questions from the audience.

Other speakers discussed BGE's outreach efforts to the community, including Harford County, and said Big Brothers Big Sisters is looking for mentors in the area.

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