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.

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