HAMPSTEAD — Rethinking recycling
The county commissioners plan to meet at 9:45 a.m. tomorrow at the County Office Building in Westminster to consider adopting an ordinance that will establish guidelines for curbside recycling in Carroll.
The commissioners have proposed making recycling voluntary for residents, backing off from an earlier plan to make it mandatory.
Under the proposal, all trash haulers serving residents in the county would be required to offer recycling to customers.
The county has contracted with Phoenix Recycling Inc. of Finksburg to accept recycled materials, such as glass, aluminum and paper. But haulers and residents would be allowed to take their recyclables elsewhere for processing.
The county is required by state law to recycle at least 15 percent of its waste by 1994.
Carroll mayors criticized the commissioners last week for proposing to make recycling voluntary rather than mandatory, and for advocating a decentralized system of trash collection and recycling they say will be too costly for residents.
The commissioners say they decided to support voluntary recycling after listening to public comment at a recent hearing.
"I've reached the peak of my vacillation," said Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy.
Commissioner President Donald I. Dell said the plan likely won't be changed, but he didn't rule out the possibility Monday.
"I'm not committing myself until I sign it," he said.
Curbside recycling is targeted to begin by July 1, but it could be delayed to give trash haulers more time to prepare equipment, said Dell.
HAMPSTEAD -- The town budget was approved Monday during a public hearing in which no resident had anything to say.
One reason for the lack of public comment could be that the tax rate tied to this budget is lower than the current year's rate.
The $660,235 budget takes effect July 1. The town tax rate will be 53 cents per $100 of assessed value, as compared with the current rate of 58 cents. Most homeowners will pay about the same taxes as last year, however, because their property value has risen.
On a house worth $134,000, the owner would pay $284.08 in town taxes, plus $1,259.60 in county taxes.
Town Manager John A. Riley said he was able to lower the tax rate because residential development in the town since last year has increased the tax base.
Tree panel named
Hampstead -- Mayor C. Clinton Becker has appointed a 10-member Tree Commission of residents and area specialists.
The commission will review the planting and maintenance of trees in town and inventory existing trees. By appointing the commission, drafting a tree ordinance and setting aside money each year in the budget, Hampstead will qualify for state grants for planting trees.
The commission chairman will be Leo Hastings, a town resident and owner of a nursery.
Other members will be Neil Ridgely, the county's landscape and forestry plans reviewer; Donna Baker of the Maryland Forest Service; Jim Piet, a town resident who also works with developer Martin K. P. Hill; Emile Deckert, a resident and gardening and tree expert; Tom Young of Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.; and North Carroll High School teachers Dick Weaver and Kelly Baxter.
The commission also will have as members two North Carroll High School students who will be appointed in the fall, Becker said.
Pool opens Saturday
HAMPSTEAD -- In a break from tradition, the town pool will open on time Saturday, said Councilwoman Jacqueline J. Hyatt.
The opening coincides with Hampstead Day, the town's annual festival along Main Street.
Every year, the pool was scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend, and almost every year the opening had to be delayed.
No one in town is sure it ever opened on time.
"It opened late more than it opened on time, let's put it that way," said Town Manager John A. Riley.
The mayor and council assigned Hyatt to the pool this year, and she has worked to get it in shape so that it will pass an inspection this week by the Carroll County Health Department.
Pool memberships will be $150 for a family and $75 for one person. Daily admission will be $4 for adults or $2 for people 16 and under.
Budget vote delayed
UNION BRIDGE -- The Town Council delayed approval on the proposed budget pending a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. June 2.
Town Attorney John T. Maguire II said at Monday's session that due to the increase in assessments, the town needed to advertise its 17 percent corresponding increase in the constant yield tax.
Mayor Perry L. Jones Jr. proposed a $356,800 budget April 27 that would keep the tax rate at 68 cents per $100 of assessed value.
Maguire also is preparing an ordinance regulating the use of a Denver boot for chronic parking violators. He said members should consider putting all existing parking regulations into one ordinance.
"Some of the town's parking laws date back to 1920," he said. "We need to update."
The budget included $400 for the purchase of the boot, which, when attached, renders a car inoperable. The town will designate someone to attach and remove the boot and to collect overdue fines.
Members decided the boot would be attached on the writing of a third consecutive unpaid ticket, but no sooner than 30 days after the date of the first ticket. The violator will also pay a $50 booting fee.
In other news, the mayor said Saturday's spring cleanup was a success, with five truckloads of trash collected.
Festival raises money
WESTMINSTER-- The county's first Renaissance Festival earned about $4,500 for Carroll Hospice and the Winchester Inn.
"We hope the festival will become our signature event," said Julie Flaherty, executive director of the hospice.
About 1,500 people attended the two-day event on the grounds of the inn last weekend.
"Even though the weather was against us, we heard a lot of positive feedback," said Jo Fleck, patient family coordinator for the hospice.