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Date: Apr 6, 2017

Three stage pilot to target 9 neighborhoods at cost of $770,000

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced an enhanced rat eradication program this morning for nine communities in Baltimore County. The communities were selected after an analysis by Code Enforcement officials and discussions with County Council members and community leaders.  The Plan will provide intensive extermination treatment, increased trash pick-up, and educational follow-up to all homes in the pilot area.  The intensive extermination treatment will cost $170,000, as determined by a competitive bid award.  The increase in trash collection for the targeted areas will cost $600,000 annually, for a total pilot program cost of $770,000.

“We have been working closely with the County Council and community members over the past few months to take a fresh look at how the County can control the rat population,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “We believe that this multi-pronged approach will yield results, and by creating a pilot in 9 targeted neighborhoods, we can evaluate its effectiveness before expanding to other communities.”

The pilot will be comprised of three components. During Phase I, the County has selected two pest control companies to target nine neighborhoods with intensive treatment for eight weeks, with follow up treatments where needed.   Phase II will implement an additional weekly trash collection in these nine communities.   Phase III will involve working with community groups to increase education and to sponsor community cleanups. Baltimore County’s Department of Public Works will provide dumpsters to communities to assist in this effort.

“This is a really important initiative, and I am very pleased that the County will pilot the project before expanding it,” said 1st District Councilman and Council Chair Tom Quirk. “It will be interesting to see the results. It will be very exciting if we can move forward.”

“I am very appreciative that the administration has been so responsive and is willing to try a new approach to control the rat population,” said 6th District Councilwoman Cathy Bevins. “This is a real quality of life issue for families in my district, and I will be monitoring the progress of this effort very closely.”

“This is very good news for my area,” said 7th District Councilman Todd Crandell.  “A lot of people are working very hard to combat this issue, and I am pleased that the County will dedicate additional resources to this fight.”

“The Riverview Community Association, is extremely pleased with the new proposed initiatives and we are more than ready to support and work with County Executive Kamenetz and Councilman Quirk in this effort,” said Ron Whitehead, President of the Riverview Community Association.

“Code enforcement and fines alone have not been as effective as desired,” Kamenetz said. “Partnerships like this and community education must be part of the solution to our trash and rodent problems, and give us pride in our neighborhoods.” 

Over the past three years, Baltimore County has spent $100,000 and eradicated nearly 16,000 properties.

The proposal will be discussed at the County Council work session on April 25 and voted on at the Council’s May 1 Legislative Session.

By Fronda Cohen, Baltimore County Office of Communications

I was rummaging through an antique shop and a book called out to me: Baltimore County Serves the People. It was a junior high school text book, copyright 1961 by the Board of Education of Baltimore County.

More than fifty five years later, there are fundamentals about Baltimore County government and its people that have stayed constant. So with thanks to the authors, the Baltimore County Public Schools Curriculum Department, I’d like offer some direct quotes from this prescient book.

“Baltimore County established its first framework of government 300 years ago, and that framework became the foundation upon which the present system rests. For three centuries the people and their government have worked together toward the solution of problems bound up with the business of living. As this business of living becomes more involved, the services grow in complexity. In order to meet the needs of time and to be truly ‘of the people, by the people, for the people,’ the government adapts itself to growth and change.” 

“Services made possible through the government include means of providing public safety, guarding community health, insuring security from want, equalizing opportunity, organizing public recreation, and educating the children. These services are paid for through taxes.”

“A ride through Baltimore County shows what planned growth has done for the communities. Trim new housing subdivisions, an ever-growing system of fine roads, efficiently managed utilities, and the establishment of residential, commercial, and industrial areas are products of the controls the government imposes through the operation of a master plan.”

“As our communities grow and our ways of living change, we have to modify our means of providing public safety. When new dangers arise, we devise new means of protection. But in every case the purpose is the same: to safeguard life and to protect property.” 

Edward G. Stapleton, Superintendent of Baltimore County Public Schools in 1961, wrote in the book’s introduction: “Time has not changed our basic community problems. Problems of public safety, health, economic security, recreation and education remain from generation to generation, only assuming new aspects which call for new solutions. How well a community faces up to these problems and solves them through its services to the people is an index of where in the scale of communal life that community stands.”

Baltimore County Serves the People was published in 1961, one in a series of resource volumes written by the Baltimore County Public Schools. The books were used in junior high school classrooms. Today, we'd call them middle school classrooms. 

Revised September 11, 2017