Q: Will my taxes go up if the Ballot Question passes?
Approval of the question will place the full faith and credit of the City behind paying the annual $55,000 payment amount for the next 20 years. The City currently receives approximately $8 million annually in property taxes. The City fully anticipates being able to make the annual payment without having to increase property taxes.

Q: What is the plan for the Water Street Property if the Ballot question passes?
The City is committed to preserving its Chesapeake Bay shoreline for public use. While final details and design is still in-progress, the intent is to preserve the land as parkland, with recreational access to the water as well as playground and gathering amenities. Please note, with the impending Amtrak bridge project, there is a possibility that this land may be used and leased for several years towards the completion of that project.

Q: What happens to the Water Street property if the Ballot question does not pass?
The land currently is owned by the County, who has determined that the property is excess and intends to sell the property. The City has been given effectively an exclusive right of first refusal. In the event the citizens determine it is not in their best interest to exercise that right, the County will likely place the property for sale to the public at large.

Q: Is there a concern for soil contamination?
On 2005 to 2006, Geo-technologies Associates performed a Phase I and Phase II study. The study found the sites were, in fact contaminated with diesel/heating oil, gasoline and pesticides. Due to the collapse of the housing market in 2006, no remediation plan was developed for the properties. At this time, no definitive cost to remediate the site can be developed until a Concept Plan of the proposed use of the Site has been submitted to MDE for Review and approval. It is at this time that MDE will define the remediation measures. If the proposed use is simply to install walkways to connect the Greenway Trail, applying a geo-tech fabric similar to landfills and capping the site may be sufficient.

Q: How will the City pay for the Water Street property if the Ballot question passes?
As with all debt incurred by the City, debt service will be included in the annual budget presented by the Mayor and approved by the City Council. As noted previously, the City fully anticipates being able to include the $55,000 annual payment to its annual budget without having to increase taxes or fees.

Q: What is the current value of the land?
The assessed value for the parcels under consideration is approximately $1,612,567.

Q: What are the expected operational and capital costs should the land be purchased by the City?
Based on the current planned use as parkland, annual operating cost should not exceed $25, 000.

Q: How much property does the City currently own in the City compared to the total City area?
The City owns approximately 130 acres of land. This equates to 2% of the 6,825 acres within City limits. By area, City-owned property is assessed at $24,900,000, or roughly, 1.7% of the $1,431,200,000 total assessed value of all properties within the City.




Notice of Special City Election  –  A Special Havre de Grace City election will be held at the Havre de Grace City Council Chambers, located at 711 Pennington Avenue, Havre de Grace, Maryland.  A Special Election to give the registered voters of the City of Havre de Grace an opportunity to cast their ballot in favor of or opposed to the following question:


Question A.  The Mayor and City Council of Havre de Grace propose to purchase the real property known as 627 Water Street and a portion of 649 Water Street in Havre de Grace, Maryland, which is comprised of four lots along Water Street and the Susquehanna River (parcels 460, 461, 472 and 470 as shown on tax map 601).  The purchase price is One Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,500,000.00).  The current assessed value for the property is One Million Six Hundred Twelve Thousand Five Hundred Sixty Seven Dollars ($1,612,567.00).  A deposit of Four Hundred Thousand Dollars ($400,000.00) was paid by the City to Harford County with the remaining One Million One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,100,000.00) to be paid by the City over a period of twenty (20) years with interest at 0.00% pursuant to an installment purchase agreement upon the full faith and credit and unlimited taxing powers of the City, thus, there will be twenty (20) annual payments of Fifty-Five Thousand Dollars ($55,000.00).  The Mayor and City Council intend to transform the property into a City waterfront park.  Do you agree to the City’s purchase of this property and approve the indebtedness on these terms?


YES                                                                                                NO


Election will be held on Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Polls will open at 7 AM

Polls will close at 8 PM

Method of Voting:  Voting shall be by written ballot to be completed by

the voter, placed by the voter in a sealed envelope, and placed in a

ballot box.  The City Board of Election Supervisors shall be the

canvassing authority for the election results.


Qualification of Voters – All citizens of the United States eighteen years of age or upward who have resided in the City for twenty-one days preceding the Special Election and whose names shall appear upon the list of registered voters of the City shall be entitled to vote at any election held under the provisions of the Charter.


Absentee Ballot applications will be available for pick-up at City Hall.   Voted ballots must be returned by 5:00 PM on election day to Havre de Grace City Hall, 711 Pennington Avenue, Havre de Grace, Maryland 21078.

The Great Havre de Grace Oyster Feast


The world is your oyster…

At the Great Havre de Grace Oyster Feast November 19


HAVRE DE GRACE – The old adage warns never eat oysters in a month without an “R”. Welcome to November, with an “R”, and The Great Havre de Grace Oyster Feast, Saturday, November 19, from 4 to 9 p.m.

This new event is a community gathering of delicious food of monumental proportions all in support of local nonprofit organizations. At $50 per person the menu, provided by Atlantic Caterers, Inc., offering locally sourced sustainable seafood, is a whopper the size of the very best fish tales.

The Great Havre de Grace Oyster Feast, with food served from 4-8 p.m., on Sat., November 19, at the Havre de Grace Community Center, 100 Lagaret Lane, offers something for every piscatorial and bivalve taste. There will be: oysters on the half shell, steamed oysters, fired oysters, homemade oyster stew, Maryland crab soup, Old Bay wings, BBQ ribbies, pit beef, pit turkey, country smoked ham, sauerkraut and kielbasa, beef BBQ, salad, sides, fresh fruit, assorted cheese, veggies and dips, desserts, canned beer, wine, soda and coffee – all included for only $50 per person.

Tickets are on sale now, but going fast at the Havre de Grace Visitor Center, 450 Pennington Avenue, Havre de Grace. Tickets are also available through Havre de Grace Parks and Rec Basketball, 443-307-1225; Havre de Grace Ambulance Corps 443-871-3564; Havre de Grace Independence Day Commission, 443-243-3161; and Havre de Grace High School PTSA 443-876-2371. You can purchase your tickets at the Visitor Center and direct proceeds from your ticket purchase to one of the above named nonprofit organizations.

For details or to learn more call 410-939-2100 or visit www.explorehavredegrace.com.

Learn more about the City’s new Director of Planning – Ben Martorana

NJGovTech LLC/Atlantic GovTech LLC

Since 1976, until my retirement in February of 2008, I  served as the Township Administrator, Municipal Engineer and Municipal Clerk for the Township of West Caldwell in northern New Jersey. Prior to that I was a partner in a consulting engineering firm and also held two other positions in Municipal government as an assistant engineer. Upon my retirement from West Caldwell I formed NJGovTech LLC to provide Professional Land Use and management consulting services to all levels of government and those doing business with government entities. In 2012 I expanded the planned service area to include Maryland, Pennsylvania and the U.S. Government under the auspices of Atlantic GovTech LLC, now based in Cape May County, NJ and Havre de Grace, MD. At the request of the West Caldwell Planning Board, I work part-time as the Planning Board Engineer and as the Class II voting member of the Planning Board, meeting these responsibilities remotely from my home in Maryland, and with approval of the N. J. First Commission.

As Business Administrator, I served as the Chief Operating Officer of the community, responsible for managing all day to day functions, including all personnel management, press and media relations, grant preparation and administration, risk management, labor negotiations,  coordination with law enforcement and emergency management, and the implementation of the policies of the elected governing body and coordination and presentation of those policies to all other levels of government including County, State and Federal. I was responsible for all in house management of MIS and technology systems and have developed and managed a Public Access Cable Television station.  I have personally written grant applications resulting in awards totaling over $10,000,000 during my tenure.

As Administrator I guided the Township toward a founding membership in the establishment of the New Jersey Intergovernmental Insurance Fund in 1991, a public entity insurance pool providing Worker’s Compensation, Multi Peril, Police and Public Official’s Liability, Environmental, Auto and Property insurance for over 40 municipalities and school boards throughout New Jersey.  I was elected to the Executive Board in 1991 and served as Chairman of the Fund from 1999 through 2008.

As Municipal Engineer I managed the Department of Engineering, Planning and Zoning, providing a full range of Engineering services for the Township including feasibility studies, cost estimates, civil designs for projects such as road improvements, water and wastewater resources, storm drainage and flood control measures, recreation and park improvements, site designs, and traffic management, and improvements and construction of municipal buildings and grounds.  I was selected by the Essex County Executive to Chair his Passaic River Task Force, and was able to develop a consensus position among all Essex County communities towards developing flood control solutions. I also managed all preparation of plans and specifications to bring projects to bid, as well as full construction management and project administration. In addition we also provide management and oversight of all private development including residential commercial and industrial, as well as Department Head requirements for the supervision and management of all Planning and Zoning services for the Township.

I am also a licensed Professional Planner and  continue my service as a member of the West Caldwell Planning Board for almost 40 years now through the administration of 4 mayors. In this role I developed the first major reorganization of the land use regulations of the Township since the adoption of the current Land Use Laws of the State of New Jersey.  I routinely take the lead on the most difficult and complex Development and Re-Development applications for Site Plan, Subdivision and Variance applications, and guide in the analysis and examination of technical witnesses during formal hearings.  I also guided the adoption of a new Master Plan for the community in 1978, as well as several successful updates. That plan still stands to this day, and has provided guidance for all land use decisions. Most recently I have joined the Administration of the City of Havre de Grace, MD. as a Member of the Board of Appeals.

As Municipal Clerk I was responsible for a variety of regulatory and licensing functions as well as the oversight of the election process and all records management and codifications for the municipality. I was also a Member of the Wayne Township Open Space Committee. During my tenure, Wayne Township adopted the first formal open space preservation plan for that community.

EDUCATION: Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering – New Jersey Institute of Technology (NCE)

PROFESSIONAL LICENSES:       Licensed Professional Engineer  (P.E.) –
State of New Jersey
Licensed Professional Engineer  (P.E.) –
State of Pennsylvania
Licensed Professional Engineer  (P.E.) –
State of Maryland
Licensed Professional Engineer  (P.E.) –
State of California
Licensed Professional Planner    (P.P.) –
State of New Jersey
CURRENT CERTIFICATIONS:             Certified NJ Instructor – Planning and Zoning

Havre de Grace’s lights up gazebo entrance to promenade

The City of Havre de Grace has enhanced the Yacht Basin entrance to the Havre de Grace Promenade. North East (Cecil County, MD) based I-Lighting LED Lighting Solutions installed low-voltage lighting on the entrance gazebo to the popular Havre de Grace Promenade this week. The gazebo was fully lit for the first time at dusk on Monday, October 3, following the installation. The LED lighting is reliable and affordable offering safety, security and ambiance to this outdoor space for the residents of and visitors to Havre de Grace.



K-9 Cody Park opens to plenty of “A-Paws”

Press Release
September 6, 2016

View as PDF

K-9 Cody Park opens to plenty of “A-Paws”

                HAVRE DE GRACE – The Havre de Grace Activity Center at 100 Lagaret Lane went to the dogs this weekend. Not the community center itself, rather the half-acre fenced area behind the Activity Center where a soft opening was held for the K-9 Cody Dog Park.

The dog park features a fenced in area for both small dogs and large dogs, for safety. It also offers a water drinking fountain for both bipeds and quadrupeds, after dogs work up a thirst romping with new found canine friends.

“Havre de Grace residents who knew we were actively working on installing a dog park were eager to bring their pets to the park so we decided to open it early dawn to dusk,” explained Havre de Grace Mayor William T. “Bill” Martin. An official opening with ribbon cutting ceremony and activities is being planned for Saturday, October 1, with additional information to be announced as the opening date draws closer.

Despite the goal of adding more amenities in future, the fenced in area where dogs can run and play off leash was a wild success attracting visitors to the park from throughout Havre de Grace, Harford County, and even a couple who drove to Havre de Grace from Howard County for First Friday and stayed, with their pet, to visit Cody Park the next day.

Media Inquiries:

Patrick Sypolt Director of Administration 410-939-1800 or patricks@havredegracemd.com


2017 Independence Day Commission

Press Release
September 6, 2016
View as PDF 


2017 Independence Day Commission

 The 2017 Independence Day Commission was created by action of the Mayor and Council of the City of Havre de Grace during their Council meeting on Tuesday, September 6, 2016. It will resemble the Havre de Grace Arts Commission in structure with a President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. Any members of the community who enjoy the Havre de Grace Independence Day Celebrations and wish to volunteer are welcome to join at-large.

The 2017 Independence Day Commission will be able to raise funds and receive tax deductible donations and sponsorships of the numerous activities and events that go into the celebration each year. The Commission is charged with developing the traditional events for the Havre de Grace Independence Day Celebration – the fireworks and the parade – in such a way as to continue this popular summertime celebration in perpetuity.

The previous committee is electing to dissolve their 501c3 status without election of new officers for personal reasons. To ensure planning and fundraising can continue seamlessly, the City of Havre de Grace and citizen volunteers have formed the 2017 Independence Day Commission to keep the tradition alive in the City of Havre de Grace