Sunday, March 31, 2013
The fee will be constant for three years.
Two months after Howard County Executive Ken Ulman announced the creation of a new stormwater management fee, the County Council approved a fee that property owners will see on their tax bill beginning in July. This new fee will help satisfy a 2012 state mandate that requires larger jurisdictions to collect money to develop a stormwater management program. The county commissioners set the rate at $15 per 500 square feet of impervious surface for three years. That means the owner of a home with 2,640 square feet of impervious surface would pay $75 per year. A larger home with, for instance, a longer, impervious driveway totaling 12,540 square feet, would pay $375 per year. As for the rate three years from now, stormwater manager Jim …
Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Homeowners and business owners will face a stormwater fee due to a state law passed in 2012.
Depending on how big your house and driveway is, you'll be facing a storm water fee for those impervious surfaces, based on a law passed in the Maryland legislature in 2012. The Howard County Council is currently working on legislation that would institute the state law in the county. Under the rate proposed by County Executive Ken Ulman, the fee would be $7.80 per 500 square feet of impervious surface. Impervious surfaces are any surfaces that do not allow groundwater through, such a roofs, driveways, tennis courts and parking lots, according to the bill's text. The county would figure out how much square footage of impervious surfaces property owners have based on Geographic Information Services (GIS) technology and site plans, according…
Friday, January 18, 2013
Courtney Watson raised more funds than the other members of the County Council combined.
2012 was a great fundraising year for Howard County Council member Courtney Watson. Watson, a Democrat who represents Ellicott City, Elkridge and Hanover in the First Council District, raised $254,410 in 2012, more than the total fundraising numbers of the four other Council members combined. She has a total of $374,457 cash on hand. "I am working hard to make Howard County an even better place to live and work," said Watson in a statement announcing her fundraising figures. "We should all be proud of the progress we are making." Watson has not formally announced whether or not she'll run for County Executive in 2014, when Ken Ulman must step down from the post due to term limits. In a recent Baltimore Sun report, she said she has been …
Monday, January 14, 2013
A new Howard County program is aimed at helping ‘pools at risk of closing.’
A new Howard County program is aimed at helping struggling, private, nonprofit pool facilities in danger of closing, county officials said Monday. The program includes $50,000 in grant funding in the county's FY 2014 budget for qualifying facilities and will be administered by the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks. Grants would be a maximum of $20,000 per pool and they will be targeted to “pool clubs with the highest demonstrated need, based on enrollment, finances and the age of the facility,” county officials said in a news release. The grant comes after the Howard County Council in July of 2011 voted against a measure that would have given a tax credit to nonprofit swim clubs. (The Columbia Association would not have been…
Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Mary Kay Sigaty elected vice chair.
Jennifer Terrasa (D-Dist. 3) was elected chairperson of the Howard County Council at its legislative session on Dec. 3. The Council also elected Mary Kay Sigaty (D-Dist. 4) as the vice chairperson, Courtney Watson (D-Dist. 1) as the chair of the Zoning Board and Calvin Ball (D-Dist 2) as the vice chair of the Zoning Board. Greg Fox (R-Dist. 5) was elected chairperson of the Board of License Commisioners (liquor board) and Ball was elected vice chair. The officers will serve from Dec. 3, 2012 until Dec. 2, 2013. Terrasa, a lawyer by trade, was first elected to the Council in November 2006. She represents North Laurel, Savage, Guilford, and parts of Jessup and Columbia. This will be Terrasa's first time serving as chair. The chairperson is…
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Howard County Council Member Calvin Ball (D-District 2) writes about why he's supporting President Barack Obama at the Democratic National Convention.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
I Am My Brother’s Keeper. I Am My Sister’s Keeper. A slow roar fills the arena as an infectious chant begins… four more years! Tears of joy and hope flow through the crowd while smiles beam from a room of diverse delegates and supporters who are full of pride and excitement for our President, his accomplishments and the prospects on the horizon upon his re-election. For the past few days, Democrats and Americans from all walks of life have been full of increasing energy as we shuttled into Charlotte united in our cause to make America a better place for those who are in need today and those who may look to us for help in the future. Today, we must stand up for those who need us the most. We must stand up for those who have served our …
Monday, August 6, 2012
The Howard County Council member said the caucus will "help support minorities interested in serving in public office."
Howard County Council member Calvin Ball has teamed up with the Maryland Association of Counties to announce the creation of the Minority County Elected Officials Caucus. In a press release announcing the decision Monday, Ball wrote that fewer than 25 percent of local elected officials are of minority descent, despite census figures that show the growth of minorities in comparison with non-Hispanic whites in Maryland. As of 2011, Howard County's population consisted of 58.5 percent non-Hispanic whites, 18.2 percent black, 14.9 percent Asian and 6 percent Hispanic or Latino, according to U.S. Census data. In Maryland, the population numbers were 54.4 percent white, 30 percent black, 5 percent Asian and 8.4 percent Hispanic or Latino, …
Monday, June 25, 2012
The group's work session begins at 4:30 p.m. Monday, June 25.
On the agenda (attached) for today's work session are term limits, referendum policies and the land use proposal for Howard County called "Plan 2030." The Council may vote on some or all of these issues at its July 2 legislative session. Which agenda item matters to you most? Tell us in the comments.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Members turn down Fox attempt to lower the amount of the fire tax increase.
The Howard County Council Thursday approved the county administration's expense and operating budgets for FY 2013, adopting eight amendments but rejecting a bid by Council member Greg Fox to cut the fire tax. Fox’s amendment would have lowered the proposed unified fire district’s tax rate of 17.6 cents per $100 of assessed value to 14.25 cents. Previously, the metropolitan district paid 13.55 cents per $100 and the rural district 11.55 cents. Last week, Fox, the Council’s only Republican, told the Howard County Times he might vote to approve the budget. “There's a chance I might actually go for it this year,” he said, “Other than the fire tax increase." The fire tax increase will fund 42 additional positions in the Howard County …
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
The Republican said the proposal comes amid increasing taxes proposed by state legislators.
The Howard County Council’s only Republican, Greg Fox, filed an amendment to the county's proposed budget Tuesday afternoon that would limit the increase in the fire tax, which officials have said would pay for new firefighters and an additional ambulance. Fox filed the amendment to the Howard County fiscal year 2013 budget at 4 p.m. Tuesday, according to a press release. Previously, Howard County was divided into two fire tax districts. The County Council approved the consolidation and tax increase earlier this year. Howard County Executive Ken Ulman’s proposal is a countywide fire tax of 17.6 cents per $100 of assessed value. For the western part of the county, the current tax rate is 11.55 cents per $100 of assessed property value; and …