Harford County took delivery recently of two 29-foot, 25-seat buses that will replace two older, smaller vehicles in the transportation department.

One of the buses, purchased with the assistance of the Mass Transit Administration (MTA) of the state Department of Transportation, was unveiled Wednesday at the parking lot of the County Administration Building in Bel Air.

The buses replace two 19-passenger vehicles that have been operating for Harford County Transporta tion Services since 1989.

Ridership on the bus system, which includes two routes in central and southern Harford County, has grown from 45 passengers in 1989 to 260 per day now. The new buses stop at the Aberdeen Maryland Rail Commuter train station and MTA express bus service lots.

MTA will provide funding for two additional buses for the county in fiscal 1994.

The two routes (Havre de Grace to Bel Air and Joppatowne to Bel Air) operate daily from 6:25 a.m. to 6:31 p.m. Each bus makes five round trips per day.

Fares are $1 for the general public and 50 cents each for senior citizens with an office of aging discount card and for the disabled. Both buses meet ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements.

Al Pacino's Cafe, a Baltimore-based pizza shop chain, expects to open its Bel Air Plaza location by July.

The shop, which specializes in pizzas baked in a wood-burning oven, will be located at the site formerly occupied by Provident Bank near Baltimore Pike and Kelly Avenue.

When completed, it will seat 85 to 100 customers and present a variety of Middle Eastern offerings. In addition to 30 selections of pizza ranging from $6.50 to $8.95, salads and sandwiches will be on the menu.

Sameh Elbek, the 27-year-old Egyptian-born owner, says the dough used for the pizza contains no oil or eggs.

Mr. Elbek opened his first shop in the 600 block of S. Broadway in Fells Point about six years ago. His second shop -- Egyptian Pizza -- is located in Belvedere Square at York Road and Belvedere Avenue.

He plans to employ about eight workers in the kitchen and another five to wait on tables.

Harford County government has reached a tentative agreement

with Towson-based developer James F. Knott for the purchase of a half-acre lot in Bel Air at Main Street and Churchville Road for $466,500.

Completion of the sale is contingent upon an environmental assessment of the property, which contains three parcels of commercially zoned land.

Larry Klimovitz, director of administration for the county, said there are no immediate plans for the site but added that the cinder block building may be used for storage. It was last used by the Carey Tire business.

In 1990, Mr. Knott offered a proposal to the county to design and build a four-story county building on his property and an adjacent county-owned parking lot. Under the proposal, the county would lease the building, estimated at the time to cost $15 million, and would own it after 20 years.

No action was taken on the project before the December 1990 elections. After the election, Eileen M. Rehrmann, then the newly elected county executive, put it on hold, citing the downturn in

the economy.


Public hearings will be held tomorrow night at the Bel Air Town Hall at 39 Hickory Ave. on conditional use requests by Eastern Amusement, Exxon and Frank's Nursery.

Eastern Amusement is planning to operate a 340-seat movie theater at Tollgate Mall; Exxon has submitted plans to construct a service station at the northwest corner of MacPhail Road and Route 24; and Frank's Nursery wants to construct a commercial building in excess of 7,500 square feet adjacent to the Exxon facility.

The meeting is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

McDonald's Corp. has bought 3.3 acres at Route 22 and Shucks Road.

The site was purchased for an undisclosed amount from the Johns Hopkins University. It was last used as a showroom for A Month of Sundays clock dealership owned by Kathy and Million Daneker. The shop moved to a new location on Gateway Drive in Bel Air in 1991.

A new building in the 100 block of N. Bond St. in Bel Air is scheduled to be completed by late May.

The 7,500-square-foot office-retail structure is being developed by Bond Street Partnership on the site formerly occupied by Kroh's Nursery, which moved to Churchville.

Penny and Bob Haase, owners of Equity Homes, are principals in Bond Street Partnership. The other partners in the project are Steve Sliwinski and Ray Marshall, owners of Bel Air Carpet on Tollgate Road.

Negotiations with one tenant are under way.

Clark Turner Cos. is about to begin work on four professional office buildings totaling 51,000 square feet at Rock Spring Road and North Avenue.

Mr. Turner, a developer who has built several office buildings in Harford County, said about 23,000 square feet of the center have been leased to medical practitioners.

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