Charles Village patrols due in March

January 06, 1995|By Brad Snyder | Brad Snyder,Sun Staff Writer

Residents of Charles Village -- the first city neighborhood to agree to pay more property taxes for safer, cleaner streets -- aren't likely to see their money put into action until March.

The special taxing district's full staff -- 12 to 14 public safety officers, a two- to four-member Clean Team, an administrator and a director of public safety -- won't be hired until March, Thomas J. Shafer, chairman of the interim board, said yesterday.

"It's a challenge to get this thing in operation, now that we have gotten past the financial hurdles and the political hurdles," he said.

Next week, the board is to present its operations plan and budget, by laws and a slate of board members to the city Board of Estimates. The board also is to certify results of the Dec. 1 referendum that created the district.

Selecting an administrator is expected to take six to eight weeks, and that will be followed by the search for a director of public safety. But the district might hire some interim security officers before March, said Mr. Shafer, an administrative partner at Whitman, Requardt and Associates.

The key to beefing up neighborhood security will be coordinating the district's efforts with other law enforcement groups, he said. Representatives from Johns Hopkins University, the Baltimore Police Department's Northern District and other organizations with private security guards will help develop a comprehensive plan.

"If Johns Hopkins says, 'We'll patrol this block for these hours,' we'll use our force elsewhere," Mr. Shafer said.

The Charles Village Community Benefit District is a 100-block area between East 20th and East 33rd streets, from Howard Street to Greenmount Avenue. It includes about 10,000 residents: 52 percent white, 38 percent black and 8 percent Asian.

In December, residents approved a plan to increase their property taxes from $5.85 to $6.15 on each $100 of assessed value in Charles Village, South Charles Village and a small part of Waverly. Homeowners will see an additional $25 to $150 on their property tax bills; businesses will pay more.

The plan was approved by a margin of nearly 2 to 1.

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