Wagner's Point awaits reply from mayor on proposal Residents seek package for relocation assistance

June 16, 1998|By Joe Mathews | Joe Mathews,SUN STAFF Sun Staff Writer Heather Dewar contributed to this article.

John Regiec spent yesterday in a chair by his front door on Leo Street, fighting the leukemia certain to kill him within months and waiting for Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke to fulfill a promise to Regiec and his neighbors in Wagner's Point.

Last month, residents deeply concerned about air pollution and a high cancer rate asked the city to help buy their homes and relocate them. Schmoke said on May 15 he would respond within 30 days.

No one in the South Baltimore neighborhood had heard from the mayor by yesterday.

"I'm angry; he said he would at least respond to us," Regiec said. "You know, every day counts. You would understand that if you were in my position."

Clinton R. Coleman, Schmoke's press secretary, said late yesterday that the mayor would respond in writing to the community by Friday, though he offered no clear explanation for the delay.

Rose Hindla, the community association president, was more understanding than many of her neighbors. "I'd like to give him some kind of grace period, but we want an answer," she said.

The proposal, received by the mayor on May 15, calls for a $15.2 million relocation plan to be financed by a combination of city, state, federal and corporate sources. The 98 homeowners in Wagner's Point would receive $115,000 each under the proposal, and the 26 renters would get $30,000 a piece.

Each family also would be paid for their moving expenses. Families would have five years to decide whether to relocate.

Schmoke has asked several city agencies, as well as the empowerment zone and the Baltimore Development Corporation, to evaluate the residents' proposal.

Pub Date: 6/16/98

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