The County Council passed two bills last night that will enable the county to fund the construction of a fiber optic cable network and the preparation of a dredging spoils site.
One bill will enable the county to use a $300,000 grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Waterway Improvement Program, which was received a year earlier than expected, for the dredging spoils site, said John Scarborough of the county's public works department.
Work to prepare the property where the dredged silt will be dumped will begin this summer, Mr. Scarborough said. That will enable dredging of Cattail Creek, a tributary off the Magothy River near Severna Park, to begin this fall.
The county will lease the site at the corner of Edwin Raynor Boulevard and Magothy Bridge Road and return it to its owner once the dredging project is finished.
Evelyn Kampmeyer, a Severna Park resident who has been an advocate of the dredging project for years, encouraged the council to pass the legislation. She noted that Cattail Creek has excessive silt from numerous sources of runoff.
"Dredging should rectify some of these problems," she said.
The council passed the bill by a 6-0 vote. James E. "Ed" DeGrange Sr., a Glen Burnie Democrat, did not participate in the public hearing and abstained from the vote because he serves on the board of directors of a bank that does business with the owner of the spoils site property.
The council also passed a bill by a unanimous vote that appropriates $300,000 to pay for construction of a phase of the county's fiber optic cable network. Work on the project, which connected the county's health and public works departments and library headquarters to the communications network, was completed last fall.
Chauncy Berdan, the county's cable television administrator, said his agency was able to piggyback on a public works construction project along Harry S. Truman Parkway.
The $300,000 comes from franchise fees received from contracts between the county and the cable companies serving Anne Arundel that were renegotiated in 1988 and 1989.