Ordinance is deferred
TANEYTOWN -- After a lengthy discussion, the Town Council deferred voting Monday for a month on an ordinance to make developers pay for allocations in the city's sewage plant before their building plans are approved.
The council could not agree on the purpose of the fees and did not decide on the length of contracts between the town and developers.
Under the proposed ordinance, the town would impose a mandatory fee for the first year of a contract, with subsequent fees each year for the duration of the contract, which could be either three or five years.
Developers who failed to pay the fee would have their allocations revoked and would have to get on a waiting list to receive new allocations.
The plans for the development would remain approved, said Joseph Mangini, the city manager.
Another point of confusion was explored when city attorney Thomas F. Stansfield explained why the property formerly known as the Taneytown Gun and Rod Club cannot be used by the town's citizens even though the city has paid for 90 percent of it.
The contract between the city and the former owners of the property will not be settled until this fall, said Mr. Stansfield. Before the city can use the property, the owners have up to one year after settlement to decide not to sell.
Resident William German said he could not understand the logic in barring children from the pond on the property when the former owners have used the money the city gave them to purchase a new gun club site.
In other activity, the council voted to raise all $3 parking fines to $5, effective immediately.
SYKESVILLE -- On Monday night the Town Council deferred for the second time any action on the Planning Commission's Small Town Planning Guidelines pending the elaboration of several details.
The council and Planning Commission will have an open workshop at 7 p.m. Monday at the Town House on the guidelines. Everyone may attend.
In other business at the council meeting:
* A painting of the Town House by Russell Wantz was presented to the town by Polly Ely in memory of all deceased mayors and council members.
* Police Chief Wallace Mitchell reported that the first youth group meeting was attended by about 30 children and their parents. The Police Department auction on July 25 raised about $1,100 for youth programs.
* Bids for renovating the old maintenance shed as a new police headquarters were opened, but no action will be taken until the bids are reviewed.
* A proposal by Mark Billet and George Martin to continue the Sykesville Recycling Center for the next year was accepted by the council. The bid was the only one received from advertisements asking for recycling proposals.
The center will be open three days a week for customer use and will continue to buy certain recyclables and accept others from town residents.
* Councilman Bill Hall reported that the Recreation and Parks Committee is moving forward in setting up a fall mixed softball league.
The committee also is considering a town pool that could be installed on town property on Sandosky Road. Mr. Hall said memberships could be sold to the pool as a money-making venture for the town.
For information on recreation programs, call the town office at 795-6390.
Bikes win a reprieve
WESTMINSTER -- Bicyclists can continue riding in city parks and at the city playground -- for the moment.
The City Council tabled Mayor W. Benjamin Brown's initiative to ban bicycles from parks and the playground Monday night after the mayor said he regretted the proposal.
"Certainly, I don't mean that it should be our intent to crack down on kids riding bicycles," he told the council.
He said he suggested the ban at the July 27 council meeting after being told that several senior citizens and one recreation counselor had been "harassed" by children on bicycles.
Mr. Brown suggested replacing his proposed ordinance with a study to address who is allowed to use city parks and whether the council should install bicycle tracks around the playground.
The questions will go to the city parks board, which is scheduled to meet Thursday, Aug. 20. Police Chief Sam Leppo reported that the parks board strongly opposed allowing bicycles in the parks or playground several years ago. However, an ordinance banning skateborads in parks was never amended to include bicycles, he said.