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Havre de Grace council members approve annexation of old Kiwi can factory property

Havre de Grace City Council members adopted a resolution Monday night that will start the process of annexing the onetime Kiwi Shoe Polish can factory property on Post Road into city limits.

The annexation plan resolution was introduced and adopted during the city council meeting on behalf of the current owner, LOSA Corporation, chartered in Delaware but with a corporate address in Annapolis, according to state tax records.

Council President Randy Craig explained that the property, also known as the Susquehanna Metal Box Company proper, is less than a full acre and said many people may not have realized it wasn't already inside the city limits. All the other properties along the street in that are within the city limits, but this one was not included in the 1977 annexation that brought many of the others inside the city.

With the annexation, the city will have more control, Craig added, and the owner would have more flexibility in redeveloping the property.

Council attorney Paul Ishak also pointed out that the resolution is merely the first step in the annexation process. A 2006 state law requires the governing body of the municipality to follow a two-step process of passing a plan for annexation first, before it enacts a resolution completing the actual annexation.

According to the resolution passed Monday, the property to be annexed is .67 acre; however, the plan is also to annex part of the adjoining street beds of Jennings Street and Post Road which comprise another .18 acre, for a total area of .85 acre.

The property, which contains a block building, currently vacant, is zoned general industrial in Harford County but will have a C, or commercial, zoning designation once inside the city, according to the resolution. The property has access to city water and sewer service.

Water supply protection

The council also adopted a second resolution regarding cross connection contamination, an effort Craig said had carried over form the previous council to the current one.

Last term, the public works department worked on an ordinance to protect the city water supply from contamination when people tie into it, he said. This resolution is part of that ordinance and will be used as a policy for contractors and others who may be installing equipment, according to Craig.

Mayor Wayne Dougherty added that the meters are installed with backflow preventers already and that contractors are required to present the resolution to the Maryland Department of the Environment before making any connections.

Seafood Festival donation

As part of her presentation about the Havre de Grace Seafood Festival, organizer Lori Maslin announced a "special donation," in addition to the charities they regularly donate to with festival proceeds.

For the festival, Maslin found a certified pre-owned solar road sign in Delaware, which they purchased and used for the festival. They also painted the sign white this week to match city vehicles and opted to donate the sign, which Councilman Bill Martin said retails at $17,000 new, to the city of Havre de Grace.

The donation has two stipulations, including that Maslin will be able to use it for the Seafood Festival and Havre de Grace Art Show every year and should the city want to get rid of it, they offer it back to her first.

The white sign was already on display outside of City Hall before the meeting Monday night.

Public comment

As the only person commenting from the public, Chip Paradis focused predominantly on the potential for a new high school in Havre de Grace and a possible park with storm water management proposed in the parking lot behind the Citizen's Care Rehabilitation Center.

In his comments, Paradis urged council members to give parents a reason to want their children to go to a new Havre de Grace high school. He suggested creating a magnet program within the school, possibly in the medical or research fields.

During his report, Craig also encouraged residents and parents to push for the new school. He had testified in support of the project earlier in the evening at a school capital budget hearing in Bel Air.

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