By Sue Miklovic
Village Council held back-to-back meetings on Tuesday evening to facilitate the completion of precious grant applications that needed to be submitted by Friday, and could bring a nice chunk of change in grant dollars to NB if they were to be selected by the funders.
First up though, was the regularly scheduled Committee of the Whole Meeting. Topics discussed included:
^Reminder of Public Opioid Panel Discussion on Thursday at the Library (Write-up on this event to be added soon)
^NB Public Safety Day coming up on May 19th-lots of activity going on downtown-check out the flyer or story (Can be found here): https://www.thenbxpress.com/nb-public-safety-day-may-19/)
^Fire Hydrant Flushing is still going on into next week
^The Village received 16 applicants for the vacant Finance Officer position and has narrowed it down to 8. Interviews will begin as soon as possible.
^ Road patching and paving was discussed. Weather permitting, materials should be available next week to begin working through the worst spots that need immediate attention. East Broadway is on the top of the list. Several small streets on the south side of the tracks need immediate attention also.
^ Fees for cemetery services are going to be revisited and compared to other similar cemeteries in the area.
^A request to assist Henry Township with expenses to resurface Quarry Road will be revisited.
^An explanation of the village’s weed notice, zoning violation, and grass in the street policies were discussed. Someone asked if the Village can be cited for breaking their own policy. “Yes,” was the reply.
^ Parking from Water Street to Walnut Street from “3:00am to 5:00am” policy and “After Snowfall” policies were also discussed. The 3-5am policy may be removed as the streets are no longer swept by the village during those hours.
^The Mayor reminded everyone that in June the village switches to “Summer Hours” and Council only meets twice a month-the 1st and 2nd Tuesdays.
^ The Tree Commission is meeting next Monday. Most of the hazardous trees on the list for removal this year have already been removed.
The hot topic of the first meeting was the final selection of the possible projects to include in the Neighborhood Revitalization Grant application.
The Council ruled out demolition of dilapidated houses as a possible project. Although it was a popular suggestion on the community survey, several steps and expenses can be involved. There must be an asbestos survey completed, the home must be unoccupied, they must be valued at less than $10,000, and be declared a “Nuisance”.
The village will continue to pursue options to take down these properties.
The final list of projects included improvements to streets, the park, and parking at the park. Three categories were chosen, but could have included up to four. The Whistle Stop Public Parking lot upgrade for $145,0000 was the top project. Also included: Fixing Shelter House #1 for $69,000; Paving Walnut Street from Main to Gilette for $138,000; adding ADA parking at the shelterhouses at the park for $16,000; additional paved parking at the park, near shelterhouse#3, $60,000; and enough money left to add paving Northview Drive for $24,000. The remainder of the grant money, if received, would be used to pay Poggemeyer Design their fees.
Council also gave the nod to asking for a new police cruiser for the village through the Community Development Block Grant program. If this project is selected (it is a different program than the Neighborhood Revitalization grant)a Dodge Durango for $32,564 would be selected. Chief Baer was asked to make the choice between the Durango and a Ford Explorer, although he admitted, “I don’t care”(which one was chosen). “The Ford Explorer is kind of known as the go-to police cruiser. Let’s try the Durango” The village would owe a cost-share if selected for this grant.
The “Special Meeting” for Council immediately followed the first meeting, where all the official voting took place to have everything in proper, legal order to proceed with the application process.
Mayor Goldner gave the floor to village resident Carol Sue Crouse who praised the recent progress of some issues being taken care of at Westhaven Aprtments where she resides, and also said, “I am proud to be a citizen of North Baltimore”