County negotiating land sale to developer


February 17, 2007

The Baltimore County government expects to announce in coming weeks the sale of 18 acres in Essex to a developer who would build housing for senior citizens and low-income families, a government spokesman said yesterday.

The county has been trying to sell the land for nearly two years as part of the planned redevelopment of Kingsley Park, a formerly crime-ridden apartment complex at Old Eastern Avenue and Back River Neck Road.

Donald I. Mohler, a spokesman for County Executive James T. Smith Jr., said officials are close to a deal with a well-known developer, whom he did not identify, and hope to announce an agreement in the next four to eight weeks.

The county paid the previous owner $2.2 million and then acquired the land from the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development in a three-way deal in 2004. At one point, county officials hoped to sell the land by September 2005, but government officials said yesterday only two developers submitted bids.

"The thing that I think folks were not willing to deal with were all the HUD restrictions" that require much of the land to be used for affordable housing, said Mary L Harvey, director of the county's Office of Community Conservation. "This is not a typical development."

Josh Mitchell


Senior writers, artists sought

The Baltimore County Department of Aging is accepting submissions for its 2007 creative writing and art contest.

This year's theme is "From Within."

Original drawings, paintings, writing, poems and photography from county seniors will be compiled into an anthology, and the art works will be exhibited in May at the Catonsville Senior Center.

A dessert reception for all participants will be held at 1 p.m. May 31 at the senior center. There is a limit of three entries per person.

The deadline for submissions is April 20. The entries must be created within the past 18 months.

Information: 410-887-3655 or 410-887-0900.

Energy seminar

Institute highlights conservation

The Regional Manufacturing Institute is hosting a seminar, "Energy Conservation -- Wise Choices for Using Energy," for manufacturers interested in learning ways to reduce energy costs.

The seminar, sponsored in part by the Baltimore County Department of Economic Development, is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday at the Loyola Graduate Center, 2034 Greenspring Drive in Timonium. Cost is $25 per person, which includes a continental breakfast.

Laurie Wiegand-Jackson, president of the International Association of Energy Engineers, will be the keynote speaker. Participants will receive information on energy studies, programs that pay for energy conservation reduction efforts, and examples of area companies' efforts to reduce energy costs.

To attend, register online at Seating is limited.

Fire grant

Reisterstown to buy equipment

The Reisterstown Volunteer Fire Company will use a federal grant of nearly $107,000 to buy equipment such as the "jaws of life," used to free accident victims from cars, and to pay for rescue training.

The grant was announced by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski and is funded through the Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. Baltimore County fire departments have been awarded $449,909 so far this year through the program, according to Mikulski's office.


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