City of Havre de Grace Weekly Briefing: Week of Monday, February 19, 2018

 

Department of Public Works:

  • CONGRATULATIONS to the Maritime Museum for their grant award to restore the shoreline riparian buffer.  Watch for more improvements to the shoreline many of which will include informational signage to enlighten visitors on purpose and partnerships involved with shoreline and runoff improvements as we strive to keep our waterways clean.

  • The City has 100% design for Lilly Run Phase I, Wetland Enhancement near the current Middle School.  Watch for next steps.  Construction will begin this year.

  • Stormwater pond revitalization and landscape infiltration areas construction has begun at Concord Point Park.  These improvements will help protect the River and Bay from stormwater runoff and the pollutants it carries.

  • Design of pedestrian bridge abutments over Lilly Run near the Lock House continues.  Watch for more information on this connection of the Joe K Trail loop.

  • Design of the City’s stormwater management pond retrofit and habitat creation at Bradford Green is underway.  Watch for these enhancements soon.

  • The enhancements planned for Lilly Run and Bradford Green will be set up to serve as educational opportunities for local students.

  • Inspections for illicit discharges have been completed for the year with none testing positive for harmful elements.

  • WATCH for other stormwater pollution removal projects happening in the City.  The smallest effort counts!!

  • Please report any illicit activity on the storm drains by calling City Hall at 410-939-1800 or by using the “REPORT” button on our website.

  • Be thinking of and planning small measures you can take on your own property to mitigate stormwater runoff around your home.

  • Reminder:  Please keep your storm drains clear of leaves, grass, trash and debris at all times to minimize flooding in the streets and on your property when we have a weather event.

SPOTLIGHT:  NEW… POP UP RAIN BARREL – stores easily over winter

Department of Finance:

 

  • Water/Sewer Turn Offs Tuesday, February 20, 2018.

  • Please Do Not Put Cash in the Drop Box at City Hall.

  • Having trouble paying your water bill or tax bill?  The City will accept monthly payments to your account to alleviate the burden of paying all at one time.  Penalties will apply to any unpaid balance after the due date and tax bills must be paid by May 31st to avoid tax sale.

  • Don’t let a running toilet run up your water bill.  Visit the ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY’S website for tips on eliminating leaks in your home and ideas on how to conserve water at: https://www.epa.gov/watersense

 

  • When making Tax or Water/Sewer payments online, please be sure to use the correct account number for the correct bill for which you are trying to pay.  If you enter your tax id when you are wanting to pay your water bill, the payment will be posted to your taxes.  The payment always follows the account number!

 

  • All “bill pay”  bank checks are sent through the regular mail and are receipted the day of delivery.  Make sure you allow enough time for the bank to print and mail the check to avoid penalty.  Water/Sewer turn offs for non payment will be on Tuesday, January 23rd.  To avoid the turn off fees please pay by Monday, January 22nd.

  • Sign up for Water/Sewer e-Billing at www.havredegracemd.com.  Click on e-Billing Registration.

 

Police Department:

  • Bike club has started at HdGES, at the first meeting we went over bike maintenance and safety. Good job Officer Adam, OFC Coleman, and Mr. Dennison!

    NARCAN SAVES LIVES

  • Narcan® Pharmacy Project
    • Between February 14, 2018 and July 1, 2018 or while supplies last, Klein’s ShopRite Pharmacies (ShopRite) of Maryland will be offering Narcan® at “no cost”.
    • Participating ShopRite Pharmacy Locations: Aberdeen, Bel Air (Festival and Main) and Forest Hill
    • ShopRite’s pharmacy staff will assist individuals to identify if Narcan® is covered fully or partially by their insurance.
    • At any time, the individual may request to receive the Narcan® at “no cost”.
    • Training by MDH’s Online Narcan® Training @ www.getnaloxonenow.org or by a licensed or certified individual or organization is encouraged.

    Havre de Grace Police has specially trained officers who teach Civil Response to an Active Shooter Events if you would like your company, organization, church, or club trained on this please contact Cpl. Petz at 410-939-2121 ordanielp@havredegracemd.com and he will schedule this training for you.

 

 

Office of Tourism:

  • Havre de Grace Restaurant week February 19- 25, visit Explorehavredegrace.com for a list of all the great specials!  

  • Opening week of “Without a Clue” by Tidewater Players is this weekend, why not enjoy a great dinner before the show.

  • Planning for First Friday 2018 has begun, if you would like to be a vendor please contact the Visitor Center at 410-939-2100.  First Friday will run from April through October.

  • The Wedding Place Havre de Grace.  Like the new wedding Facebook page… Havre de Grace Wedding.  Also the new wedding website has launched but is still under construction at hdgwedding.com

  • For more information visit us at 450 Pennington Ave or give us a call 410-939-2100

 

Department of Economic Development:

Learn about HDG A&E District this Friday, Feb. 23

The Havre de Grace Arts Collective is holding a program to provide details about the Havre de Grace Arts & Entertainment District or A&E District. Artists, cultural and arts organizations, property owners and developers are strongly encouraged to attend this free event on Friday, February 23, from 3 to 5:30 p.m., at the Cultural Center at the Havre de Grace Opera House, 121 N. Union Ave., Havre de Grace. Refreshments will be served.

There will be presentations on:

  • What is an A&E District
  • Benefits of being in an A&E District
  • What does the future hold

Special guest Steven Skerritt-Davis, Program Director for A&E District for the Maryland State Arts Council will be on hand as well, as MSAC celebrates their 50th year of service to the arts.

To register call 443-502-2005 or email info@HdgArtsCollective.org by February 21.

 

MD Rehabilitation Tax Credit Workshop on March 20

The Maryland Historical Trust will hold a Rehabilitation Tax Credit Workshop on Tuesday, March 20, at 6 p.m., at Havre de Grace City Hall, 711 Pennington Ave., in Council Chambers. This program is free and open to the public.

If you own a certified historic property in Maryland you may have the opportunity to earn a state income tax credit on qualified rehabilitation expenditures. Whether you are planning to rehabilitate your primary or secondary residence or a commercial property, there are state incentives that may help. Join in this free workshop to learn more about the Maryland Rehabilitation Tax Credit program and opportunities that may be available to you.

Rehabilitation projects include but are not limited to: painting, systems upgrades, roof replacement, window and door repair, floor refinishing….

For more information visit https://mht.maryland.gov/taxCredits.shtml or for information specific to tax credits contact Elizabeth Totten 410-697-9551 or Megan Klem 410-697-9560.

 

Hearings on Crucial Highway User Revenue this week

The municipal priority to fully restore Highway User Revenue (HUR) funding by FY2021 will receive a hearing in both the House and Senate. HB807 is sponsored by Delegates Pam Beidle and Carl Anderton and is scheduled for a hearing this Thurs., February 22, at 1 p.m. in the House Environment and Transportation Committee. The Maryland Municipal League is calling for a strong turnout of municipal officials to attend the hearing to demonstrate MML’s strong commitment to have the HUR restoration bills pass this year.

The Maryland Municipal League (MML) priority Senate Bill, sponsored by Budget and Taxation Committee Vice Chair Senator Rich Madaleno and Senator George Edwards is SB516. That hearing is set for Wed., March 7, with hearings starting at 1 p.m. in the Senate Budget & Taxation Committee.

 

A Night of History at HDG Middle this Friday

Havre de Grace Middle School, 401 Lewis Lane, Havre de Grace will host A Night of History: A Tribute to African-American History, Culture and Heritage. The tribute is being presented by 8th Grade students at HDG Middle. This evening of celebration and education will be this Friday, February 23, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

All proceeds from the event will go directly to the HDG Colored School Foundation to help them purchase the HDG Colored School property by February 26. There will be a silent auction, concessions, and t-shirts. Donations are greatly encouraged and appreciated.

 

Small Business Administration livestreaming Wednesday

Are you ready to create a seamless online shopping experience to grow your business? Join the Small Business Administration, SBA, on Wednesday, February 21, from 12:30 to 2p.m. (EST) for a free livestream workshop, “Open for Business.” The SBA Technology and Innovation Partners (TIPS) program in partnership with Facebook, Google, Constant Contact, and Square is brining expert advice to help businesses put their best foot forward online this year. Questions will also be taken live from the comments section.

Register at https://sbaopenforbusiness.splashthat.com or you can join online via the SBA Facebooks page.

 

HDG Chamber of Commerce seeks scholarship support

Each year the Havre de Grace Chamber of Commerce, through generous donations from the community, raises money to give a scholarship to a Havre de Grace High School senior. As in past years chamber members are asked to donate $25 or an amount you deem appropriate as a gesture of support. Please make checks payable to the Havre de Grace Chamber of Commerce. You may also call the Chamber office at 410-939-3303 to donate using Visa/Mastercard.

 

MD Department of Planning holding listening sessions

The Maryland Department of Planning is debuting a new state development plan called A Better Maryland. The listening sessions will provide an opportunity to seek input from local governments, state agencies, Maryland residents and others with the goal of having A Better Maryland serve as a valuable resource for years to come. Of particular interest to municipalities is that the Department is seeking specific input on identifying local priorities that should be included in A Better Maryland.

Each county will host a listening session with a session scheduled for Harford County on Wednesday, February 28. There will be three specific sessions at the Harford County Administration Offices, first floor conference room, 220 S. Main Street as follows:

3 p.m.                   Local Planning and Other Staff

4 p.m.                   Elected and Appointed Officials

6:30 p.m.             Public session with the community

 

McTier named President of Baltimore Chapter of AABE

The Havre de Grace Office of Economic Development congratulates Ronni McTier who was named the new President of the Baltimore Chapter of the American Association of Blacks in Energy, AABE. She worked with the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland on the Energy Edge Program serving the BGE service area. A kick-off meeting will be held by the AABE this Thursday, February 22, for 2018, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the BGE Office, 110 W. Fayette St., 1st Floor, Baltimore.

Municipal Charter Amendment Legislation out of sub-committee

Legislation introduced by Delegate Mary Ann Lisanti was heard last week in the House Environment and Transportation Committee and has been passed by the subcommittee. The Maryland Municipal League, MML, originally opposed HB-615 which would have required public notification and a public hearing prior to any charter change. The bill was objectionable in that it stipulated that if a municipality changed its “form of government” the proposed charter change would automatically be brought to referendum at the “next municipal election.” It was noted that municipalities do not stipulate a “form of government” in their charters and the requirement that a proposed charter change be voted on at the next municipal election could mean delays of between two and four years. MML worked with Lisanti to submit an amendment at the hearing to eliminate the “form of government” and automatic referendum language from the bill, leaving only a public notification and a public hearing provision when a charter change is proposed. In discussing the proposed legislation with the Committee and various members of the League, it was noted that the majority of Maryland municipalities already utilize the practice, so the legislation if enacted as amended, would not impose any new mandate on most municipal governments.

MML testifies against A&A Tax reduction in Municipalities

HB-549 would exempt from the admissions and amusement (A&A) tax golf entertainment, drive-in movie theaters, skating rinks and agri-tourism sites that are located in municipalities. Stemming from an issue in Cecil County this bill would have a significant negative impact on municipal revenue. Golf entertainment alone accounts for almost $900,000 in revenue which would be lost if this bill passes. As municipal tax authority is already limited, MML strongly opposes this bill.

 

Langston Hughes Oratorical Contest set for Sat., Feb. 24

The 2018 Langston Hughes Youth Oratorical Contest will be Sat., Feb. 24, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Helping Hands Ministries, 3237 Level Rd., Churchville. The event is sponsored by Dr. Roosevelt Barfield and students in grades six-12 will perform original works inspired by Langston Hughes’ poem Dreams. Langston was a frequent visitor to the Colored School. The event celebrates students’ achievements and raises awareness of the Havre de Grace Colored High School Foundation’s efforts to purchase the building and preserve the legacy of the students, faculty and community leaders who endeavored to obtain a quality education for African-American children in Harford County. This event is free to the public.

Startup Breakfast slated for Wed., February 28

The GroundFloor, 2021 Pulaski Hwy., Havre de Grace, will welcome Venture Access, Inc., with a Startup Breakfast on Wed., Feb. 28, from 8 to 9 a.m. (Access your tickets at www.impactflow.com) Startup Breakfast is the place to meet other Entrepreneurs, makers, innovators and inventors from around Harford County. Mingle with investors, lenders and mentors or enjoy a demo or explore a topic – it’s different each time. Current Venture Access members will receive free admission.

Supporting HB-855 on Small Business

The House Health and Government Operations Committee heard from the Maryland Retailers Association and others supporting HB-855 Tuesday, February 20, at 1 p.m. The bill would require the Office of Legislative Audits to conduct a performance audit of certain units of State Government every three years; establish an electronic registry and post on the registry a proposed legislation that has a significant small business impact; require certain units to create compliance guides to assist small businesses in complying with regulations, etc.

Seeking Small Business Relief Tax Credit

SB-134 authorizes a tax credit against the State income tax for certain small businesses that provide certain employer benefits to qualified employees. It also requires the Department of Commerce to issue a tax credit certificate under certain circumstances. This bill will be heard in the Senate Budget and Tax Committee Wed., February 21, at 1 p.m. It is supported by the Maryland Retailers Association as the Small Business Relief Tax Credit SB134. As HB-99 this will be before the House Ways & Means Committee at the same time and on the same day.

Polystyrene Hearing set for Wednesday

HB-538 prohibiting a person from selling in the State of Maryland certain expanded polystyrene food service products on or after January 1, 2019, will be heard in the House Environment and Transportation Committee Wed., Feb. 21, at 1 p.m. Opposed the Maryland Retailers Association, the bill would prevent food service businesses and certain schools from selling or providing food in expanded polystyrene food service containers. The county health department would impose penalties for violations of the Act and would require the county health department to notify the Department of the Environment of violations.

Supporting Back-to-School Tax-Free shopping extension

The Havre de Grace Office of Economic Development and Maryland Retailers Association is in support of HB-671 which is being heard in the House Ways and Means Committee Wed., February 21, at 1 p.m. Known as the Sales & Use Tax: Tax-Free Period for Back-to-School Shopping and School Supplies bill, HB-671 expands the tax-free period for back-to-school shopping to include certain school supplies. Supplies, in this instance, is defined as: pens, pencils, crayons, binders, folders, notebooks and loose-leaf paper, etc.

Save the Date for MD Smart Growth Workshop

The National Center for Smart Growth and Education at the University of Maryland College Park is hosting an afternoon workshop on Wednesday, April 18, to reflect on 20-years of smart growth in Maryland and explore new ideas for moving forward. This is a great opportunity for municipal planners to engage and swap ideas. The workshop will be at the Lowe House Office Building from noon to 6 p.m. Contact Nick Finio at nfinio@gmail.com if you would like more details as they become available.

Additional Upcoming Economic Development Events:

  • Feb. 19 – Sun., Feb. 25 – Havre de Grace Restaurant Week
  • Jack Gerbes Lecture at the Cultural Center at the Havre de Grace Opera House at 7:30 p.m. at part of the Shank Lecture Series; Maryland Department of Commerce Film and Digital Images
  • WHGM Smash Hits FM will hold a Business after Hours: An Evening of Networking at the Cultural Center at the Havre de Grace Opera House, on Thurs., March 1. RSVP by February 27 to executivedirector@hdgartscollective.org

Cultural Center at the Opera House

  • “Iris” (POV Film Series) on Tuesday, February 20 at 7:00pm
  • “Learn More About the Havre de Grace Arts & Entertainment District” on Friday, February 23 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm.
  • Tidewater presents “Without A Clue” on Friday and Saturday, February 23 & 24 at 8:00pm as well as Sunday, February 25 at 2:00pm.

“Spread the Love for Historic Places” The Havre de Grace Colored School Foundation:

“Spread the Love for Historic Places”

February 2018, Heartbombing Event

Photo, Bobby Parker

 

The Havre de Grace Colored School Foundation:  www.hdgcoloredschool.net

Contact: Ms. Patricia Cole, Foundation Chair (703) 398-6133

Location of photo: 555 Alliance Street, Havre de Grace

Why we love it! :  

The Havre de Grace Colored School Foundation showered the former Havre de Grace Colored School with love.  More than just brick and mortar, the school symbolizes the lives and legacy of those ancestors who fiercely advocated for better educational opportunities for African-American students in Harford County, Maryland.  Built during the days of segregation, the building tells a story of determination and perseverance of parents, teachers and concerned citizens who simply wanted to give African-American children a better chance at life.

To preserve the rich history and legacy of the school, the Colored School Foundation is spearheading a series of nonstop fundraising activities to purchase the one-hundred-year-old historic school.  The foundation’s theme is “honoring the legacy of those who came before us.”  In keeping with that theme, the building will stand as evidence of a diverse community and the combined efforts that exemplify greatness in our historic hometown.

Today’s county residents applaud the countless deeds of the courageous citizens of earlier generations who had faith in their community and were passionate about equality. They successfully met the challenges of their time, seized every opportunity to improve their lives, and passed on to those who followed a generation with greater opportunities than they found.

For more information of the Havre de Grace Colored School or to make a tax-deductible donation to save the school, visit www.hdgcoloredschool.net. Donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 799, Havre de Grace, MD  21078.  Please make checks payable to, Community Projects of HdG, and note on the memo line: Colored School Foundation.

Please Help!  Each One – Reach One!

We are trying to reach our goal of $160,000 by Feb 26th.

City of Havre de Grace Weekly Briefing Week of Monday February 12, 2018

City of Havre de Grace Weekly Briefing
Week of Monday February 12, 2018

 

Office of The Mayor:

  • On Saturday, February 10, 2018, The Susquehanna Hose Company President Joe Miller and Chief Scott Hurst presented an automated external defibrillator (AED) to the Culture Center at the Opera House. The City of Havre de Grace would like to thank SHCO for their donation and unwavering commitment to the citizens of Havre de Grace.
  • By order of Mayor William T. Martin, the downtown district was illuminated blue Saturday, February 10, 2018 in honor of Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey and Deputy First Class Mark Logsdon of the Harford County Sheriff’s office. 

Police Department:

  • Bourbon Street comes alive for Mardi Gras this year. Join in the festivities as we parade down Bourbon Street to Washington Street ending at American Legion on St. John’s Street. Starts Tuesday, February 13th at 6:30 p.m. Please be mindful of pedestrian traffic!

  • Havre de Grace Police has specially trained officers who teach Civil Response to an Active Shooter Events if you would like your company, organization, church, or club trained on this please contact Cpl. Petz at 410-939-2121 or danielp@havredegracemd.com and he will schedule this training for you.
  • If you know where any illegal drug activity is taking place around Havre de Grace please fill out the Havre de Grace Drug Tip Form https://goo.gl/SnD2v9 Together we can stop the drug trade in our community.

Narcan® Pharmacy Project

  • Between February 14, 2018 and July 1, 2018 or while supplies last, Klein’s ShopRite Pharmacies (ShopRite) of Maryland will be offering Narcan® at “no cost”.
  • Participating ShopRite Pharmacy Locations: Aberdeen, Bel Air (Festival and Main) and Forest Hill.
  • ShopRite’s pharmacy staff will assist individuals to identify if Narcan® is covered fully or partially by their insurance.
  • At any time, the individual may request to receive the Narcan® at “no cost”.
  • Training by MDH’s Online Narcan® Training @ www.getnaloxonenow.org or by a licensed or certified individual or organization is encouraged.

 

Department of Planning:

  • Please remember, property owners or their lessees are responsible for removing snow and ice from public sidewalks fronting their properties within 24 hours of any weather event resulting in snow and/or ice.
  • Building permits are required for sheds, fences, renovations, decks, and other alterations to buildings and property.  If your property is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area, there may be State requirements to comply with also.  When hiring a contractor, be sure they are licensed by the State of Maryland and all the required inspections have been approved.   Contact the Department of Planning (410) 939-1800 ext 1102 for permit fees and details.
  • Per the International Building Codes, Property Maintenance Codes, and for Emergency Services, please be sure your dwelling or business is clearly identified with proper address numbers – numbers should be a minimum 4″ tall, contrasting to their background, and visible from the street.  Rear or side entrances should also be clearly identified.

Department of Public Works:

  • BGE has begun Phase III of the gas line replacement project.  Weather permitting, the contractor  will begin paving the roadways disturbed by this project. 
  • Promenade Re-decking is on scheduled and will begin shortly. 
  • Disposing of household batteries – City Hall has 2 containers in the lobby for your household Alkaline Batteries.  SPOTLIGHT: The City of Havre de Grace is the only municipality in the area to provide this recycling service. 
  • Recycle Reminder: The following items are considered TRASH – bubble wrap, styrofoam, packing peanuts and pizza boxes.  Please remember to keep these OUT of the recycle bin. They go into the trash can. 
  • You can now Like Us on Facebook! For updates of projects happening around town and helpful tips for residents who call Havre de Grace home, the Department of Public Works is pleased to announce our very own Facebook page.  @PublicWorksHDG                     

 

STORMWATER MANAGEMENT:

 

  • CONGRATULATIONS to the Maritime Museum for their grant award to restore the shoreline riparian buffer.  Watch for more improvements to the shoreline many of which will include informational signage to enlighten visitors on purpose and partnerships involved with shoreline and runoff improvements as we strive to keep our waterways clean. 
  •  The City has 100% design for Lilly Run Phase I, Wetland Enhancement near the current Middle School.  Watch for next steps. 
  • Stormwater pond revitalization and landscape infiltration areas construction has begun at Concord Point Park.  These improvements will help protect the River and Bay from stormwater runoff and the pollutants it carries. 
  • Design of pedestrian bridge abutments over Lilly Run near the Lock House continues.  Watch for more information on this connection of the Joe K Trail loop.
  • Design of the City’s stormwater management pond retrofit and habitat creation at Bradford Green is underway.  Watch for these enhancements soon. 
  • Inspections for illicit discharges have been completed for the year with none testing positive for harmful elements. 
  • WATCH for other stormwater pollution removal projects happening in the City.  The smallest effort counts!! 
  • Please report any illicit activity on the storm drains by calling City Hall at 410-939-1800 or by using the “REPORT” button on our website.
  • Reminder:  Please keep your storm drains clear of leaves, grass, trash and debris at all times to minimize flooding in the streets and on your property when we have a weather event.

SPOTLIGHT:  NEW… POP UP RAIN BARREL – stores easily over winter


Department of Finance:

  • Please Do Not Put Cash in the Drop Box at City Hall. 
  • Having trouble paying your water bill or tax bill?  The City will accept monthly payments to your account to alleviate the burden of paying all at one time.  Penalties will apply to any unpaid balance after the due date and tax bills must be paid by May 31st to avoid tax sale. 
  • Don’t let a running toilet run up your water bill.  Visit the ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY’S website for tips on eliminating leaks in your home and ideas on how to conserve water at: https://www.epa.gov/watersense
  • When making Tax or Water/Sewer payments online, please be sure to use the correct account number for the correct bill for which you are trying to pay.  If you enter your tax id when you are wanting to pay your water bill, the payment will be posted to your taxes.  The payment always follows the account number!
  • All “bill pay”  bank checks are sent through the regular mail and are receipted the day of delivery.  Make sure you allow enough time for the bank to print and mail the check to avoid penalty.  Water/Sewer turn offs for non payment will be on Tuesday, January 23rd.  To avoid the turn off fees please pay by Monday, January 22nd.
  • Sign up for Water/Sewer e-Billing at www.havredegracemd.com.  Click on e-Billing Registration.

 

Department of Economic Development

Happy retirement to Audrey Morse & welcome to Mike Kates

Audrey Morse is retiring after 32 years with State Farm Insurance at 104 N. Washington St., Havre de Grace. As we bid a happy retirement to Ms. Morse, the Havre de Grace Office of Economic Development would like to extend a warm welcome to Mike Kates who is taking over at the Havre de Grace State Farm office at 104 N. Washington Street. Stop by to say, Hello, or give Mike a call at 410-939-1881.

Chamber of Commerce seeks scholarship support

            Each year the Havre de Grace Chamber of Commerce, through generous donations from the community, raises money to give a scholarship to a Havre de Grace High School senior. As in past years chamber members are asked to donate $25 or an amount you deem appropriate as a gesture of support. Please make checks payable to the Havre de Grace Chamber of Commerce. You may also call the Chamber office at 410-939-3303 to donate using Visa/Mastercard.

Polystyrene Foam Product Ban Bill

The Maryland Retailers Association and HDGOED are keeping a close eye on the Baltimore City Council Ordinance 17-0117 Food Service Facilities Polystyrene Foam Products. Sponsored by John T. Bullock, Ryan Dorsey, Kristerfer Burnett, Bill Henry, Zeke Cohen, Shannon Sneed and Mary Pat Clarke, the ordinance is currently in committee. It went before the Judiciary and Legislative Investigations in public hearing and a work session earlier this month after having been introduced back on September 11, 2017.

The legislation would prohibit food service facilities from using disposable food service ware made from polystyrene foam, and impose penalties. Last week three hours of testimony was heard – much of which came from children in favor of banning polystyrene – making it clear the Baltimore City Council will be moving the legislation.

The Maryland Retailers Association will fight for amendments this week, during a work session, to amend all pre-packaged items out of the ban as well as the use of polystyrene for meat, dairy and seafood use.

What you need to know about HB1

            Yesterday the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act went into effect. The Department of Labor has made a draft sample employee notice poster for your place of business available on their website at www.dllr.maryland.gov/paidleave. The department is also developing sample policies that will be available on the department’s website in the near future. To the extent that the Commission of Labor and Industry receives complaints immediately after the law goes into effect the commissioner will work closely with employers and employees to make sure both parties understand the requirements and limitations of the law and resolve any issues as informally as possible. The commission will work closely with all stakeholders to ensure fair and equitable implementation.

            Governor Larry Hogan issued Executive Order 01.01.2018.04 creating the Office of Small Business Regulatory Assistance to assist small businesses in complying with House Bill 1 (HB1). Questions can be sent to this office at its dedicated email: small.business@maryland.gov

HB459 and traders licensing fees

            HB-459 allows counties and municipalities to lower traders licensing fees. HB-459 authorizes the governing body of a county or municipality to select a uniform trader’s license fee instead of using the existing tiered license fee. The uniform fee is $15, except in Baltimore City and Baltimore County where the fee is $20. Selecting the uniform trader’s license fee is a one-time, irrevocable decision. As opposed to tiered licensing, in which most licensing revenue is retained by local governments, all revenue from uniform traders’ fees accrues to the State general fund. In local jurisdictions without a uniform license fee, the clerk of court must verify the accuracy of each applicant’s business location prior to issuing a trader’s license. The bill also makes minor changes to the licensure of visually handicapped applicants.

            In a local jurisdiction an applicant for a trader’s license must pay an annual license fee to the clerk of the court ranging from $15 to $800, based on the value of the person’s stock-in-trade. There are specified exceptions to these general fees. The revenues are generally split between local government (92%) and the State general fund (8%). If a business is located in a municipality, the local government portion of the revenue is distributed to the municipality; otherwise the revenue goes to the county in which the business is located. Licenses are typically renewed on May 1 of each year. There is no separate fee amount for municipalities – the fee is determined by the county in which the business is located. In FY16 there were approximately 56,300 trader’s licenses issued by the clerks of the court with revenues totaling $9.5 million across state and local government. Of that amount $7.1 million went to counties, $1.6 million went to municipalities; and $740,100 went to the State.

            For illustrative purposes only, if every local jurisdiction chooses to establish a uniform fee, State general fund revenues increase by about $176,000 annually. However since local governments must forego all revenue from the trader’s license fees to establish a uniform fee, this is unlikely to occur in any local jurisdiction that collects significant revenue. Therefore, general fund revenues are not materially affected.

            The uniform trader’s license fees are relatively low. Small businesses with significant stock-in-trade (i.e. inventory) in local jurisdictions that choose to adopt the uniform fees – even though it is unlikely – benefit from reduced license fees. All small businesses in those local jurisdictions benefit from reduced complexity associated with the tiered trader’s license structure.

(Analysis by: Stephen M. Ross, Inquiries, 410-946-5510 or 301-970-5510)

HCOED offers HR Essentials on Feb. 21

            The Harford County Office of Community and Economic Development will offer a Human Resources Essentials program at the GroundFloor, 2021 Pulaski Hwy., Suite D, Havre de Grace, Wed., February 21, from 6 to 8 p.m. Since people are the foundation of a good business you are invited to attend this free seminar to learn how to attract and attain the best workforce.

Langston Hughes Oratorical Contest set for Sat., Feb. 24

            The 2018 Langston Hughes Youth Oratorical Contest will be Sat., Feb. 24, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Helping Hands Ministries, 3237 Level Rd., Churchville. The event is sponsored by Dr. Roosevelt Barfield and students in grades six-12 will perform original works inspired by Langston Hughes’ poem Dreams. Langston was a frequent visitor to the Colored School. The event celebrates students’ achievements and raises awareness of the Havre de Grace Colored High School Foundation’s efforts to purchase the building and preserve the legacy of the students, faculty and community leaders who endeavored to obtain a quality education for African-American children in Harford County. This event is free to the public.

Startup Breakfast slated for Wed., February 28

            The GroundFloor, 2021 Pulaski Hwy., Havre de Grace, will welcome Venture Access, Inc., with a Startup Breakfast on Wed., Feb. 28, from 8 to 9 a.m. (Access your tickets at www.impactflow.com) Startup Breakfast is the place to meet other Entrepreneurs, makers, innovators and inventors from around Harford County. Mingle with investors, lenders and mentors or enjoy a demo or explore a topic – it’s different each time. Current Venture Access members will receive free admission.

CSSC named 2018 Great American Defense Community

            The Chesapeake Science & Security Corridor, CSSC, is one of five communities across the country named to the 2018 Class of Great American Defense Communities, the Association of Defense Communities, ADC, has announced with USAA, the initiatives first official sponsor. The CSSC, with offices at 2021 Pulaski Hwy., Havre de Grace, will be honored at the 2018 Defense Communities National Summit, June 18 to 20, 2018, in Washington DC.

Additional Upcoming Economic Development Events:

      • The MD/DC District Export Council (DEC) has put together a series of Export Education programs to expose prospective exporters to the issues surrounding exporting, through industry and government exports well-prepared to address the topics. The first session Finding Customers is scheduled for Thurs., February 15. Visit www.mddcdec.com for details.
      • Thurs., Feb. 15, 5-7 p.m.– Route 40 Business Association Meet & Greet, Island Spice, Edgewood
      • Thurs., Feb. 15, the Harford County Chamber of Commerce will hold their Annual Dinner at Richlin Ballroom, Edgewood at 5:30 p.m.
      • Mon., Feb. 19 – Sun., Feb. 25 – Havre de Grace Restaurant Week
      • The Northeastern Maryland Technology Council (NMTC) Visionary Awards will be held February 22. These awards honor neighbors, colleagues, family and friends building a STEM educated workforce and advancing technology and innovation. Details are available at www.nmtc.org/nmtc-visionary-awards
      • 2018 is the 60th Anniversary of Harford Community College. Join the celebration Sat., March 10, at 7 p.m. at the APGFCU Arena with proceeds to benefit the HCC Foundation. Mark your calendar and get your tickets now at www.harford.edu/illuminate

Office of Tourism:

  • Artists’ Emporium will be hosting the largest exhibition of sculpture in the State of MD.  They are open Friday through Monday throughout the month of February for guests to see the pieces on view. 
  • Fat Tuesday, February 13- Annual Mardi Gras Parade beginning on Bourbon Street, continuing onto Washington Street and ending at the American Legion on St. John Street.  Join us for this family friendly parade beginning at 6:30pm.  The parade will be led by our very own Havre de Grace High School Jazz band!. There will be over 250 crew members in the parade and over 8000 beads thrown to the parade attendees.  After the parade have dinner at one of our local restaurants featuring their very own Mardi Gras menus. 
  • Prior to the parade stop in to the Havre de Grace United Methodist Church for their annual Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner from 5-7pm. 
  • Valentines Day, Wednesday, February 14- Stop by Amanda’s and get flowers, Bomboys for chocolates or one of our many local stores to find that unique gift for that special someone in your life.
  • February 14- Free movie and discussion “What the Health” at the Havre de Grace Maritime Museum.
  • Friday February 16- Tourism group will be traveling to Annapolis for Tourism Day.  We will meet with delegations and legislators to discuss the importance of Tourism and how Tourism works for Maryland! 
  • February 18- The Dan Meyer Choir presents “Love Songs of the First Ladies” at St. John’s Episcopal Church. 
  • For more detailed information please call or visit us at 450 Pennington Ave, 410-939-2100 or our website at ExploreHavredeGrace.com

Cultural Center at the Opera House

  • “Akeelah and the Bee” (Children’s Film Series) on Saturday, February 17 at 11am
  • The Dan Meyer Choir presents “Love Songs of the First Ladies” on Sunday, February 18 at 3pm.  PLEASE NOTE: This event takes place at St. John’s Episcopal Church at 114 N. Union Avenue.

 

Havre de Grace Cultural Center at the Opera House Receives Prestigious Maryland Preservation Award.

 

The City of Havre de Grace announced today the Havre de Grace Cultural Center at the Opera House received a Maryland Preservation Award for Project Excellence: Community Impact from the Maryland Historical Trust at the 43rd Maryland Preservation Awards ceremony held in Annapolis.

According to the Maryland Historical Trust, the Preservation Awards “are the highest level of recognition for historic preservation, heritage education, and community development projects in the state.” The category of Project Excellence is awarded to projects that “demonstrate superlative historic preservation standards.”

Renovation of the Havre de Grace Cultural Center at the Opera House began in 2014 with funding provided from numerous private and public sources. In 2016, The Martin Administration fast-tracked the completion of the renovations after the citizens of Havre de Grace overwhelmingly supported a bond bill through voter referendum. “We are dedicated to the infusion of cultural arts throughout our community,” said Mayor William T. Martin. “It’s a great honor to receive this award on behalf of the citizens of Havre de Grace. It was our community’s collective voice and determination that brought The Havre de Grace Cultural Center at the Opera House to fruition.”

The recently opened Cultural Center at the Opera House will serve more than 20,000 people annually. It will bring the highest quality entertainment to our community and the region. “It was an honor to work with the Maryland Historic Trust to make a 19th century building come alive again as a 21st century state of the art performing arts center,” said William Price, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Havre de Grace Arts Collective.

 

 

 

City of Havre de Grace Partners with Vietnam Veterans of America

The City of Havre de Grace is pleased to announce a partnership with the charitable organization, Vietnam Veterans of America. Beginning Friday, December 15, 2017, select household items scheduled for the City’s Bulk Collection Program will be set aside when we find they are in decent condition. Gently used chairs, tables, lamps, bedframes, etc. will now go to veterans who can use it rather than going into the Landfill!

You have heard the expression, “One man’s junk is another man’s treasure.” This is certainly true for some of the items residents put out at the curb as trash. During the weekly scheduled Bulk Item Collections, City staff has found household items that are in fairly good condition such as patio furniture, cabinets, dressers, coffee tables, desks, and other discarded items that just need a little care. Unfortunately, most of these items end up in a landfill. With landfill fees increasing, the City began to explore ways to reduce this cost.

Director of Public Works Timothy F. Whittie asked staff to find ways to decrease the amount of trash going into the landfill. Mr. Whittie said, “I thought local charities might be interested in taking these discarded items and giving them to those in need. It is a win for both as we need to reduce the amount we pay in monthly landfill fees. We are very pleased that Vietnam Veterans of America embraced the invitation to partner.”

The City of Havre de Grace encourages everyone to consider alternatives to the landfill. Many organizations will take gently-used household items and clothing, including:

• Goodwill: 1A Aberdeen Shopping Plaza, Aberdeen, MD 21001, ph. 410.297.9136
• GreenDrop: ph.1-888-944-3766 to schedule a home pickup. (GreenDrop collects items on behalf of the American Red Cross, Purple Heart, Maryland School for the Blind and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.)

Havre de Grace’s Finest – Officer Rittershofer

The City of Havre de Grace is the home of countless individuals that on a variety of levels serve to protect us each and every day, both at home and abroad. We refer to these individuals as ‘Home Town Heroes.’ Today, Friday, November 30, 2017- we as a City honor one of Havre de Grace’s Finest who has decided to retire after a 37 year career as a Havre de Grace Police Officer.
It is great admiration and honor that the City of Havre de Grace Salutes the career of Mr Dennis Rittershofer for his dedication and commitment to our City.

For those citizens that lived here during the mid 1980’s, we can recall the mayhem and the overnight siege of the city, and the events of Sept. 18, 1986, when Frank Edward Green, of Far Rockaway in Queens, shot and killed Officer Pyles, a Toll facilities Officer, along with the shooting of two Havre de Grace Officers and a Harford County Deputy.
Upon responding to the call Officer Rittershofer received a serious and debilitating gunshot wound to the head. After a number of surgeries and rehabilitation, Officer Rittershofer returned to the force and completed his career in the Havre de Grace Police Department’s Administrative Services Division.

Today, as is customary for its retiring Police Officers, the Havre de Grace Police Department will fly it’s  Flag with Officer Rittershofer’s name embroidered on it , signifying the end of a career in Law Enforcement as one ‘Our Finest ‘ and ‘A Job Well- Done , to one of our Home Town Heroes’!

Congratulations and a heartfelt thank you from the City of Havre de Grace and its citizens who you unselfishly protected.

THE SECOND ANNUAL GREAT HAVRE DE GRACE OYSTER FEAST RAISES OVER $5,000 FOR LOCAL NONPROFITS.

​​The City of Havre de Grace would like recognize the following nonprofits, who collectively raised $5,169.93 selling tickets to the second annual Great Havre de Grace Oyster Feast.

– American Legion Joseph L. Davis Post 47, $105.00
– Community Projects of HdG, Farmers Market, $45.00
– Community Projects of HdG, Public Art Committee, $492.77
– Gold Star Families MD Committee (Md Marine Corps League), $867.77
– Havre de Grace Arts Commission, $357.77
– HdG Colored School Foundation, $432.77
– HdG Green Team, $387.77
– HdG Independence Day Commission, $957.77
– HdG Recreation Basketball, $417.77
– HHS Sophomore Class Of 2020, $372.77
– The Susquehanna Museum at the Lock House, $627.77
– Winter Wonderland, $105.00

Established in 2016 by the Martin Administration as a fundraiser for local nonprofits, The Great Havre de Grace Oyster Feast is now held every year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving at the Havre de Grace Community Center. Nonprofits this year raised $5,169.93 compared to $2,730 raised in 2016. Tickets this year cost $55 with nonprofits keeping $15 from each ticket sold. Additionally local artist Shawn Forton sold his artwork at the event and donated $250 to be divided equally among all the local groups.

MAYOR WILLIAM T. MARTIN ANNOUNCES THE APPOINTMENT OF CASSANDRA B.Y TOMARCHIO TO FILL THE CURRENT VACANT COUNCIL SEAT.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2017

Today, Mayor William T. Martin announced he will nominate Cassandra B.Y. Tomarchio to fill the current vacant city council seat at the Monday, November 20, 2017 regularly scheduled city council meeting.

Pending confirmation by the city council, Ms. Tomarchio will serve the remainder of this term, which ends Monday, May 21, 2018.

Cassandra Tomarchio holds a B.A in Politics from Ursinus College. Throughout her career, Ms. Tomarchio has held senior-level management positions in both the private and public sector, working within the field of communications and public policy. Currently, she serves as a Management Analyst for the U.S. Army CECOM Software Engineering Center at Aberdeen Proving Ground.

“I have had the privilege of knowing Cassandra Tomarchio for a very long time. I believe her views, and positions are consistent with our citizens,” said Mayor William T. Martin. “I have always respected her devotion to our community, most notably her tireless efforts advocating for a new middle/high school. In addition to her community work, Cassandra possesses a high level of professionalism she has developed from her many years of experience working in senior policy positions. I look forward to working with her and the rest of the city council as we continue to make Havre de Grace a 21st century city.”

STATEMENT FROM MAYOR WILLIAM T. MARTIN REGARDING THE RESIGNATION OF COUNCIL MEMBER STEVE GAMATORIA.

This evening at the regularly scheduled City Council meeting, Council member Steve Gamatoria announced his resignation from City Council effective immediately. For full disclosure, I have solicited Steve to accept a position in my administration as Chief of Staff. On or about Monday October 30th, 2017, Steve Gamatoria will begin his new role. As Chief of Staff for the City of Havre de Grace, Steve will have broad oversight of the day to day operations of City government and will report directly to the Mayor.

I would like to personally thank Steve for his many years of dedication to the citizens of Havre de Grace as a member of the City Council.  In his new position, Steve will continue working for our community and citizens as we mutually share the same desire for government transparency and efficiency.

In accordance with section 57 of the City Charter, in the upcoming weeks, I will submit to the City Council my nomination for their approval to fill the current vacant Council position.

CITY OF HAVRE DE GRACE PROMOTING COMMUNITY PRIDE WITH #HDGPROUD CAMPAIGN.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 13, 2017

Today the City of Havre de Grace launched #HdGProud, a new hashtag campaign to promote community pride and civic engagement.

The City is encouraging members of the community to use the #HdGProud campaign to showcase activities and events that promote community pride. Examples include but are not limited to sharing photos with the city flag when traveling, recycling, volunteering, or helping a neighbor.

“We want to engage with our citizens. We want them to share with us why they are proud to call Havre de Grace home,” said Mayor William T. Martin. “Whether it’s winning Friday night’s game, recycling every week, or helping a neighbor shovel snow, we are proud of our citizens, and we would love for them to share their stories with us.”