Baltimore County News
County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and BCPL Director Paula Miller celebrate with community
Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Baltimore County Public Library Director Paula Miller celebrated the start of major renovations of the Randallstown Library Branch with elected officials and local business and community leaders this morning. They shared details of the $1.1 million project to completely renovate this popular library branch with an interior redesign and technology upgrades by this summer. During construction, the BCPL Bookmobile will be in the library parking lot every Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.
“It will be like a brand new library with exciting new technology enhancements, an expanded collection of books and audio-visual materials, and a comfortable modern setting for people to take advantage of all of the resources the library has to offer,” said Kamenetz. “It’s going to be like Barnes and Noble meets the Apple Store!”
The renovated branch will feature an attractive modern design with more than 30 public computers, free WiFi, laptop bars with charging stations, a large meeting room, an enclosed children’s area, an enclosed teen space, a bigger collection of print and audio-visual library materials, three study rooms, a quiet reading room, self-service checkout stations and digital media displays, new shelving, spacious and comfortable new seating, single use and collaborative workspaces, updated public restrooms, and BCPL's newest Center of Excellence — CoLab, a computer/technology/maker hub to bring the community together to create, collaborate and learn.
“The Randallstown Branch is a busy library, especially in terms of providing technology access, and it serves as a real community anchor for residents,” said BCPL director Paula Miller. “Beyond books and electronic resources, this renovation will enable us to provide experiences and user-friendly spaces that make a positive difference in the lives of our customers.”
“Libraries are a very important community resource for all County residents and I am very excited about this upgrading of the Randallstown library, and I can’t wait for the new state of the art facility to open this summer,” said 4th District County Councilman Julian Jones.
The project is funded through Baltimore County’s capital budget in conjunction with a $170,000 grant from the Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Library Development and Services. The library branch is scheduled to reopen this summer. Updates and progress photos will be posted periodically on the branch page of the BCPL website, at http://www.bcpl.info/hours-locations/randallstown.
Completes important connection between Owings Mills and Liberty Road Corridor
Dozens of cheering community leaders from the Randallstown and Owings Mills areas came out this morning to help Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz cut a ribbon to officially open the final stretch of Owings Mills Boulevard, completing a much-anticipated link between these residential and business communities.
This new 1.2 mile roadway connects Winands Road to Liberty Road (Route 26), joining existing portions of the boulevard to form a continuous 3.8-mile route from Reisterstown Road to Liberty Road and connecting two centers of development.
“Completing Owings Mills Boulevard not only promotes economic prosperity, but will ease local traffic congestion and diminish cut-through traffic,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “This is a major infrastructure investment for our community.”
About the new roadway
Construction for the $13 million dollar construction project began in the fall of 2013 and has been part of the County’s Master Plan since the County purchased the land for highway construction in the 1980s. The landscaped roadway is four lanes, has a raised median and features sidewalks on both sides – one designated for both pedestrians and bicycles. The retaining walls feature an attractive faux-stone finish.
The Department of Public Works worked closely with area residents and businesses to ensure that the construction would have the least impact possible. Construction was scheduled to take into account residential and customer parking needs and the County accommodated businesses along Liberty Road, as well as businesses and residents of Kings Park Estates and Woodridge with landscaping, lights, signs and new paving.
“This final section of Owings Mills Boulevard opens up a major artery and will relieve traffic by keeping drivers from zig-zagging through side streets to get where they need to go,” said 4th District Councilman Julian Jones.
$30 million in roadway investments for Randallstown
The newly completed $13 million route is part of Baltimore County’s $30 million investment in the Randallstown growth area since 2008. In addition to this important roadway extension, transportation infrastructure in this area has been enhanced with the previous extension of Owings Mills Boulevard from Lyons Mill Road to Winands Road (completed in 2012), and the widening of Lyons Mill Road between Owings Mills Boulevard and Marriottsville Road (completed in 2012).
Small Watershed Action Plan Meeting on May 13
Baltimore County’s Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (EPS) encourages people from communities within the Upper Patapsco River watershed to participate in an upcoming public meeting on the evening of Friday, May 13 to discuss ways to protect the Upper Patapsco River watershed. This watershed includes portions of Randallstown, Woodstock and Windsor Mill.
This is the first of two public meetings regarding the creation of the Upper Patapsco River Small Watershed Action Plan, or SWAP. It offers a chance for communities to get involved and learn about the history and project to date, and most importantly, provide suggestions about their vision and priorities for the watershed. The purpose of the SWAP is to collaboratively form a Vision Statement and Goals document with the public and identify goals and objectives to improve natural areas in the watershed.
Baltimore County stresses the importance of public participation in creating the Vision Statement for the SWAP. The SWAP process helps build on the philosophy that citizen involvement and feedback is critical when it comes to reaching environmental goals that benefit our communities in a well-rounded fashion.
The May 13 community meeting will take place at the Randallstown Community Center (3505 Resource Drive, Randallstown, MD 21133) from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. It is free and open to the public.
For more information on Baltimore County’s Small Watershed Action Plans (SWAPs), please visit http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/environment/watersheds/index.html
The Baltimore County Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability is responsible for the protection of the environment and the improvement of the quality of life for the citizens of Baltimore County. This is accomplished through programs that manage and enhance natural and man-made resources, and that provide environmental guidelines to our constituents.
Background of Small Watershed Action Plans in Maryland
In the late 1990s, national stormwater permits required major counties in Maryland to reduce pollution from roads and neighborhoods that drain to local streams. Counties began monitoring programs and prepared watershed plans to identify projects and programs that could reduce pollution from these non-point sources. Many projects were completed and reductions tallied in annual reports. Much progress was made, however additional reductions are needed to have clean water that meets water quality standards.
To reach these additional reductions, Baltimore County is developing Small Watershed Action Plans (SWAPs) to focus on communities as smaller groups and to identify specific solutions that are tailored to local areas. They are used by Baltimore County in conjunction with citizen groups to implement actions that create and maintain healthy watersheds.