Kamenetz addresses issues at NPVCA meeting
Wednesday, 05 March 2014 13:34

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz paid a visit to NPVCA president Dave Patro and his community group. photo by Ben Boeh

Group happy to get meeting after two years

by Ben Boehl

    North Point Village Civic Association (NPVCA) president Dave Patro has long wanted Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz to speak before his association, and to hear some of its requests for local action.
    He finally attained his goal at the NPVCA meeting held last Thursday at Battle Grove Elementary School.
    “I was happy to meet with him after two years. I told him his administration has been slow [in responding to requests], but I’m satisfied  that he is looking into things, and we are waiting for the results,” Patro said.
    Kamenetz met with the NPVCA executive board a half hour prior to the community meeting.
    “You have a great group here. They really care in getting things done,” Kamenetz said at the public meeting. “Dave, you are doing a great job.”
    Patro said he had a laundry list of requests that included a new community center for seniors, increased access to the Southeast Area Recreation Center for North Point Village residents, a marquee sign for NPVCA events near the Wawa store on North Point Boulevard and an additional playground at Battle Grove Elementary specifically for 3- and 4-year-olds that is also handicapped-accessible and fenced in.
    “We are doing this for the principal at the school and for the community,” Patro explained.
    “That playground could be used by the school and kids from the neighborhood after school hours.”
    Patro said that Kamenetz seemed receptive to some of the requests and that he hopes to hear back from the county executive’s office.
    “If I could get half of what I asked for, I would be happy, because that would be more than what I got before — which was nothing,” Patro said.
    Another idea Patro floated out at the meeting is how to handle vacant houses in the community.
    Patro complained that many of these houses become home to squatters who move in illegally. He wants to see a plan under which injured members of the military can have a place to stay when they are in town for treatment.
    “I believe we should have military people come back and stay here. We have soldiers that have to say in hotels while visiting Walter Reed,” Patro said.    
    “Bringing in a military person in the neighborhood would solve the problem of the vacant houses and get rid of the squatters.”
    Kamenetz said that the state department of housing would be the agency to address that issue.
    Kamenetz gave the NPVCA an update on county government, stressing that the county property tax rate has held steady for the 25th straight year and the income tax has remained the same for the 21st straight year.
    He also gave a few details about plans for the bicentennial of the War of 1812.
    According to Kamenetz, there will be a re-enactment in which soldiers will march from Baltimore City to Battle Acre, and a new mural will be introduced.
    “We want to bring in visitors so we can show off this beautiful neighborhood,” Kamenetz noted.
    Kamenetz was asked if he had an update on any plans by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to turn the former Fort Howard hospital site into a housing community.
    “I know as much as you know,” Kamenetz respond.     “No permits have been applied [for in] Baltimore County. We are waiting for the VA.”