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Trash containers in Havre de Grace can accommodate up to 50 pounds

Havre de Grace residents trash containers can accommodate up to 50 pounds, regardless of the size of the container, according to an ordinance passed by the city council Monday.
Havre de Grace residents trash containers can accommodate up to 50 pounds, regardless of the size of the container, according to an ordinance passed by the city council Monday. (TED HENDRICKS/THE RECORD)

The City of Havre de Grace has more clearly defined for residents what trash containers are acceptable to be used curbside.

The ordinance on refuse disposal was one of three adopted unanimously by the City Council at its meeting Monday night.

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Also approved was an ordinance to prevent boaters from getting too close to the city water plant's intake pipe in the Susquehanna River and an ordinance to add zoning classifications that cover brew pubs, distilleries, craft distilleries and microbreweries.

The city had received complaints from residents that its contracted trash hauler, Waste Industries, has not picked up trash in some neighborhoods because the trash is not in appropriate containers, according to the proposed Ordinance 999, which sets the guidelines for trash pickup in the city.

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As originally proposed, the ordinance would have required residents to use containers that hold as much as 30 gallons. Council President David Glenn, however, said it's the weight of the container that matters more, not the volume.

His colleagues agreed and approved an amendment to set the container limit at 50 pounds, regardless of the size of the container, as long as it can be picked up by the hauler's lifting mechanism, according to the ordinance.

Containers also must be made of metal, rubber or plastic that does not become brittle in extreme cold, have suitable handles and a tight-fitting cover and be rodent-proof.

Residents must have two containers — one for trash, one for recycling. If a resident has more trash than fits in their container, the excess can be put in a plastic garbage bag, according to the ordinance. Kitchen trash bags are not acceptable for trash at the curb because they often break and rodents can get into them.

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No yard waste or recycling can be put in plastic bags for curbside collection, according to the ordinance.

Board of Port Wardens

Ordinance 1000 creates a Board of Port Wardens to allow the city to monitor its water treatment plant intake pipe in the Susquehanna River.

The intake pipe is 20 to 25 yards out into the river. The plant is on St. John Street.

The ordinance addresses a concern about boats anchoring in the area and not eliminating their waste properly, Mayor William T. Martin said when the ordinance was introduced April 2.

The ordinance allows the city to create a 200-foot radius around the intake pipe where boats can't anchor.

The intake pipe will be monitored by a three-member board, including the city's public works director and planning director as well as the city council liaison to the Marina Commission, who is a member of the city Parks and Harbor Committee.

Bel Air town officials believe they have reached a workable compromise that will allow trash collection companies to continue picking up at many businesses and schools late at night and early in the morning, while still ensuring nearby residential areas won’t be disrupted by noise.

The purpose of the board is to "provide regulator authority over the placement of structures or barriers extending into the waters of the municipality, including but not limited to the water supply intake pipes adjacent to the water filtration plant, in order to prevent damage to such structures and barriers, and to prevent the introduction of contagious diseases into the municipality, without burdening public access to navigable waterways," according to the ordinance.

As introduced, the ordinance proposed a two member board, but Kirk Smith suggested adding a third member in the event the two members couldn't agree.

Brew pubs

The third ordinance approved Monday added definitions of brew pubs, distilleries, craft distilleries and microbreweries to the zoning code.

A brewery is defined as a place that sells 25 percent or more of its beer on-site and also has a Maryland pub-brewery license.

A distillery is a business "primarily engaged in the manufacturing of intoxicating liquors with a maximum 50,000 gallon annual production capacity," and spirits are made, packaged, sold and stored on the premises, according to the ordinance.

A craft distillery is similar, but the spirits also are for sale off-premises and such places shall include a tasting area for limited sale and consumption during tours, educational programs and special events, according to the ordinance.

A microbrewery would produce more than 50 barrels, but less than 15,000 barrels of beer in a year, 75 percent of which would be sold off-site, according to the ordinance.

The ordinance also outlines specific standards such facilities have to meet, including regarding radioactivity (prohibited in most circumstances); fire and explosion hazards (must be fireproof); smoke, fumes, gases, dust and odors (none can be emitted); liquid or solid waste (disposing in the "best practical method"); noise and vibration, glare, traffic and outdoor storage or display.

$300,000 grant

City Council members also approved a budget amendment to put a $300,000 grant from the Chesapeake and Atlantic Coastal Bays Trust Fund toward a project to remove, or daylight, an 18-inch concrete storm drain near the Maritime Museum, Public Works Director Tim Whittie said.

The project will include a series of step-pools to slow the stormwater runoff and provide filtration for water quality improvements before the water empties into the Susquehanna. Other aspects include vegetated breakwaters, sand fill placement and native wetland plantings at the promenade near the Concord Point Lighthouse, the Decoy Museum and the Maritime Museum.

Plans for the project are 75 percent complete, Whittie said.

Other news

City Council members thanked Capt. Roy Mitchell for his 10 years of service to Havre de Grace Police Department.

Mitchell is retiring Friday after a 44-year career in law enforcement; he came to Havre de Grace from the Harford County Sheriff's Office.

Councilwoman Monica Worrell pointed out that 44 years is 2,295 weeks, 16,070 days and 385,696 hours. When Mitchell started in 1974, gas was 42 cents a gallon, a television was $283, a house was $34,000 and the speed limit was just increase to 55 mph.

"I'm very, very, very happy for you and the fact that you get to retire and enjoy the rest of your life," Worrell said. "Thank you for the time you spent in law enforcement, thank you for the time spend in this community."

Glenn said Mitchell's retirement will be a "tremendous loss to the community," while Martin said that he was born in 1974 when Mitchell began his career.

Also Monday, Sean Welsh, of Havre de Grace Little League, thanked the city for spreading Vulcan Quarry's donation of more than 100 truckloads of stone around the parking lots at Stancill Park last week in time for the league's opening day festivities last Saturday.

"It wasn't easy on the tires, it wasn't easy on an ambulance, it wasn't easy on a patient in an ambulance," Welsh said. "Now, it's a much smoother ride, as anyone out there Saturday [for Opening Day] can attest. The smoother ride made it that much better to celebrate 70 years."

The following special events were approved: Bike to Work Day, May 15 at Hutchins Park; Jazz by the Bay, May 18 at Hutchins Park; National Diabetes Walk, June 2 in Tydings Park; and Pirate Encampment, June 23 at the Lockhouse Museum.



Harford County’s “Choose Civility” campaign kicked off with a breakfast event at the Water’s Edge Events Center in Belcamp on Wednesday.

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