Alumni group's zoning request before council Laptops for aldermen also will be considered

January 22, 1996|By Ellen Gamerman | Ellen Gamerman,SUN STAFF

After postponing meetings twice because of the weather, the Annapolis city council finally will take action on a wide range of issues tonight, from the future of a Victorian house to buying computers.

Aldermen will vote on a zoning change that would allow the Naval Academy Alumni Association to convert a Victorian house it owns at 49 College Ave. into an alumni fund-raising center.

The association has its Alumni House headquarters in a historic mansion, at King George Street and College Avenue, and wants to convert the 49 College Ave. property into offices with a garden to be used for entertaining. The required switch from residential to commercial use for the house needs council approval.

Some residents fear that summer fund-raising parties would make the historic district neighborhood noisy. The alumni association says it needs to expand because it now must meet with donors in a cramped attic at its headquarters.

The council will also vote on whether to buy each alderman a laptop computer. The measure would allow residents and their representatives to be connected by e-mail.

Several of the council's younger aldermen are eager to conduct political business on the Internet and say the proposal to allocate $16,000 to buy 10 computers is a wise one. The money would come from the city's capital budget.

Other members say the plan would waste money. Only wealthier constituents own computers and would be able to take advantage of the technology, they say.

In other matters, Alderman Carl O. Snowden will introduce a bill to establish an independent financing organization with control over spending on high-cost transportation projects. The Annapolis Revenue Authority would work to ease congestion, create more parking and establish traffic patterns without using taxpayer dollars.

Revenue authorities sell bonds and collect fees to finance projects such as roads. They are governed by board members who are appointed by local government officials. Under Mr. Snowden's bill, the city council, with a majority vote, could override decisions by the five-member authority.

Mr. Snowden's bill is the first outline for a revenue authority since the council approved a charter amendment authorizing such a body last spring. The council will hold public hearings, and the matter is expected to come up for a vote in three months.

The council will meet at 7 p.m.

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