Baltimore County News
Project to Improve Boating Navigation and Safety
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and 6th District Councilwoman Cathy Bevins visited the Bird River waterfront in the Middle River area this morning to announce a dredging project to support recreational boating on the upper Bird River and enhance the County’s waterfront communities.
“Our waterfront is one of Baltimore County’s best amenities and this project will help homeowners and recreational boaters access the Bird River and benefit from being on the water,” said Kamenetz. “With more than 200 miles of waterfront and 2,000 miles of streams and tributaries in the County, we are committed to protecting our waterways and our Clean Green County initiative is restoring streambanks and shorelines, planting trees, even sweeping streets, all to protect the Bay.”
The project will dredge sections of Bird River and Railroad Creek in order to improve boating navigation and safety. The upper reaches of Bird River and Railroad Creek have become silted in from sedimentation of the river, resulting in reduced channel depth. Bird River and Railroad Creek were previously dredged in 2002-2003.
“This is a project that everyone is certainly looking forward to, especially at the upper reaches of the river to allow people to get their boats out,” said Bevins.
The design and permitting of the Bird River maintenance dredging project will be initiated in FY18 with construction anticipated to begin approximately two years from that date. The project will restore the river channels to the previously permitted design depths, removing an estimated 50,000 cubic yards of material from 25,650 linear feet of the channel.
The estimated cost is $4.5 million, with partial funding provided through grants by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Waterway Improvement Fund. The County will fund 55% of the project cost with the remaining 45% coming from the State grant.
Hydrographic surveys were conducted in 2015 to assess the need for maintenance dredging. The results of the survey indicated that portions of the channel upstream from Stumpf’s Marsh and Railroad Creek have filled in two feet or more than the design depth of the channel. The dredging will remove about 50,000 cubic yards of material from 25,650 linear feet of the channel and place it at the Baltimore County dredge material containment facility adjacent to Bowerman Lane.
Waterfront Residents May Choose to Finance Spur Channels to Restore Boating Access to their Properties
In the upcoming year Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) will conduct a community meeting to discuss the proposed waterway dredging. At that time waterfront property owners may elect to have a spur channel dredged from the County’s main channel to their individual pier or boat ramp at their own expense. EPS will provide assistance with spur design, permitting and construction. Additionally, the County will offer 10-year interest free loans to qualified individuals.
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Adds more than 1,700 seats to address middle school overcrowding in the northeast area
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced today that the budget he presents to the County Council this Thursday will include $7 million in planning and design funding for a new 1,500 seat middle school in Perry Hall and a 200-300 seat addition at Pine Grove Middle School to relieve overcrowding in the northeast area. Construction on the projects is expected to begin in 2019 with the school and addition opening in 2021.
“I have been reviewing this issue for over a year. Superintendent Dance and his team proposed a solution for the Perry Hall area, and I am delighted to include funding for these projects in my budget proposal,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz.
In 2011, Baltimore County Executive Kamenetz embarked on a $1.3 billion Schools for our Future program to address the school system’s dual dilemma of rising enrollment and aging infrastructure. It’s the most ambitious school construction initiative in the history of the State in such a short period of time.
With those funds, the County is building, or is in the midst of building, 16 new schools, 12 additions and 7 significant renovations. Baltimore County has contributed $2 for every dollar from the State to complete these projects.
"We are extremely appreciative the County Executive has addressed our need for middle school seats. By focusing on a comprehensive solution, we can now work to bring relief to several of our middle schools that are at capacity or scheduled to be within the upcoming years," said Dr. S. Dallas Dance, Baltimore County Public School Superintendent.
“We have spent a tremendous amount of money in the County and in my district on school construction over the past six years, but the issue of middle school overcrowding was an area that still required a solution,” said 6th District Councilwoman Cathy Bevins. “I’ve been talking with Dr. Dance and the County Executive about funding projects to address this issue, and adding 1,700 middle school seats in the northeast area is great news. It would make real sense to build the new school on the Nottingham property that the school system already owns.”
“This is fantastic,” said long-time Perry Hall advocate Bill Paulshock, who graduated from both Perry Hall Middle and Perry Hall High. “Since the day he was elected, County Executive Kamenetz has supported the Perry Hall-White Marsh area more than any elected official in history. His commitment to recreation and parks and our schools is nothing short of phenomenal.”
“By any standard, this is remarkable progress,” said Kamenetz. “Our students and teachers deserve no less.”
Fourth Time Website is Honored by Prestigious “Best of the Web” Competition
County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced that Baltimore County’s website took second place honors in the prestigious “Best of the Web” competition hosted by the top national research and advisory institute on information technology for state and local government.
This high ranking marks the fourth time in a row that the County’s website was honored by the Center for Digital Government and Digital Communities Program.
Office of Information Technology Team
“Earning such a high rank in this national award program is very gratifying because we are focusing so much of our energy on applying the latest technology to help solve real-world issues for our residents, businesses and everyone who relies on County government services,” said Kamenetz. “It is really a huge compliment to our talented Office of Information Technology team, especially when you consider that they do most of our website design and development themselves — not costly outside vendors.”
“Congratulations to the whole Information Technology staff on this excellent achievement. It’s even more impressive given that only one other county on the entire East Coast made it to the finalist round at all,” said County Council Chair Cathy Bevins.
The Best of Web program considers a long list of factors in evaluating county websites, including elements such as eCommerce capability, designing to accommodate mobile devices, an intuitive search function, transparency and integration of social media.