Public Input Session Minutes November 14, 2019

    DATE: November 14, 2019
    6:00 p.m. Council Chambers, City Hall
    711 Pennington Avenue, Havre de Grace, MD 21078

    Public Input Session concerning Capital Improvement Projects for Water and Sewer Infrastructure
    Patrick Sypolt, Director of Administration – recording.

    Purpose: To gather public input from citizens regarding capital improvement projects for water and sewer infrastructure and the funding mechanism to cover the forecasted expenses totaling 15 million dollars over three to five years.

    Mayor, City Council and City Staff Present: Mayor William T. Martin; Council President Glenn; CM Ringsaker; CM Zinner; CM Boyer; CM Martin; CM Robertson; Tim Whittie, Dir. of Public Works and George DeHority, Dir. of Finance.

    Minutes: CP Glenn read a statement: Tonight’s public in-put session is intended for the Council to listen and take into consideration those comments made by our citizens as it relates to the Fund 9 Capital Improvement Plan for infrastructure throughout the City and the means which such improvements may be funded. Citizen comments will be limited to between 5and 8 minutes.

    1st Citizen: I don’t see any other means to accomplish the public safety issue of the W&S fund than with a bond. Public safety should be addressed by the General Fund as opposed to the Enterprise Fund.
    I am curious about the 18% of water loss throughout the system.

    2nd Citizen: Have you developed a plan? Are there any grants available?

    CM Martin: We cannot count on grants. I will get you a copy of the CIP. We are looking at a worst case scenario. We don’t have the capability to take it all down at once.

    3rd Citizen: What is the priority? Is it selling water to Aberdeen? Getting revenue would be great.

    CP Glenn: We are waiting on Harford County.

    3rd Citizen: Let’s not wait on Harford County.

    Tim Whittie: We have begun moving forward with engineering and design for the construction of a transmission line between Aberdeen and Havre de Grace.

    Mayor: There is an existing transmission line, owned by the County and we have asked permission to utilize the line while I was being constructed and the County said no. As such, it will take time while the new line is put into place and it is part of the CIP.

    3rd Citizen: What about the water tower at Bulle Rock?

    Tim Whittie: It will take approximately two years to complete the repairs of the interior coating and welds. It is our responsibility.

    3rd Citizen: Regarding the 18% water loss, do we have our crews out looking for the losses? There is a gulley near the reservoir that appears to remain wet most of the year. I like the CIP package.

    4th Citizen: Can I get a copy of the CIP. What is the City’s bond rating?

    George DeHority: The City will use the State’s bond rating which is Triple A.

    4th Citizen: What appears to be causing the 18% water loss?

    George DeHority: Increases in the number of water line breaks and the size of the lines is our primary suspicion.

    4th Citizen: Reason given by the County for not permitting our using their line?

    CP Glenn: They told us that they didn’t want to co-mingle water even though we have sent our water through their line for more than 30 years.

    4th Citizen: Any projections for new hook-ups and what are the numbers?

    George DeHority: We budget for 60 hook-ups per year.

    4th Citizen: Have you had a discussion with the County concerning a water authority?

    Mayor: That concept was reviewed by the County and municipalities and was rejected.

    3rd Citizen: We share social pages, nobody disagrees with the plan. Perhaps the each Council Member needs to get on social media to generate support. I’m afraid that the referendum will not pass. Get out on social media and stir it up.

    2nd Citizen: When Mayor Montgomery was in office there was talk of sending our sewage to Aberdeen in trade for our water.

    5th Citizen: I appreciate what everyone has done. The plan is on the web site. I agree that it has to get done. As a property owner it is my responsibility to make certain of infrastructure but the consumer needs to be responsible for usage. I suggest placing the question on the ballot asking the people to choose between a bond or a special assessment tax.

    6th Citizen: The CIP is difficult to find, it needs to be easier to locate on the web site.

    CP Glenn: Thanks to all the citizens that have attended tonight’s meeting and commented.

    CM Martin: Echoed the CP’s comments and thanked everyone. Then made motion to adjourn.

    Adjournment: Meeting ended at 6:40 p.m.

    No additional meeting was scheduled.