1. Call to order – Michael R. Leszcz, Chairman
2. 2. Approval of minutes from Tuesday, December 15, 2020
3. 3. Community Survey sent to Communications Department
4. 4. Update on letter to WSSC
5. 5. Update on Three Year Action Plan
6. 6. Next meeting
7. 7. Adjournment
ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE
TUESDAY, JANUARY 26, 2021
Attendees: Mike Leszcz, Monta Burrough, Kyla Clark, Bill Bailey, and Kenya Barno
Motion to approve Minutes from Tuesday, December 15, 2020, made by Mike Leszcz and seconded by Bill Bailey. No objections, Minutes accepted.
Steve Allen has been doing work regarding soil in the Patuxent River. Susceptible to erosion issues that eat into those pathways. There is one under repair currently. The more they opened the water and release the gates the heavier the water flow, its eating away the current path as we know it.
Bill Bailey: “Currently at the Riverfront path there is an area by the playground that is currently being eroded from the water. Trying to put riff raff and stones down but that didn’t work.
City engineers has been brought in, they are currently working on surveying the area and putting together a plan. In the long run there is a flood mitigation project that Steve Allen has been working on for several years (thirty-seven miles of water way). The City has been asking for partners to help fund this project. Trying to develop a plan that will help with flooding issues that currently hurts the City of Laurel when there is heavy rain or flooding. They have surveyed the whole river and they are going to be looking at the best way to mediate this flood issue in Laurel and along the river.
Looking at $30,000.00 to $40,000.00 just for the Headwall itself but it’s needed because it’s cutting off the path right now. The City is doing the best they can with the little bit of pathway that’s there, there is a roundabout and they have placed some pallets that people can walk on. Hopefully they can get the Headwall fairly quickly before it splits the pathway into two”.
One of the ways to get around this is to close the Riverfront Park and let it become a Static Park, like in Howard County (the water flows and it floods). They have all types of invasive species over there on the Howard County side. We have a different perspective for our Park. We want the residents to enjoy it and people to walk down there. However, every solution has its own set of issues to deal with.
We want to maintain Riverfront Park for the people to enjoy. People go to dinner, walk their dogs, or even walk themselves. This is a real asset to the City.
This is not a short-term solution that’s why Steve and Christina are working so critical to solving some of these problems.
Community Survey: Waiting to hear back from Administration Department to move forward. We have received the “Fillable” version from the IT department. Then we can get it up on the City’s website.
We spoke about taking wood from a log and creating pencils from it. There was some research done regarding this. The big thing now is to make pencils out of newspapers. They are reusing newspapers that don’t have real value anymore. Before the next meeting there will be prices presented on that.
Developers and Car Dealers (manufactures) are impacting the environment the most. They said the only thing that wooden pencils are better than is plastic.
That’s something we can do once schools reopen. We can hand out the pencils to the second and third graders and explain to them how they are reusing newspapers in which have no real value anymore, our purpose is to educate.
Talked about a letter to the WSSC regarding the removal of approximately 50% of silt. Had a long chat with one of the PhD Water Technicians. Are we shooting ourselves in the foot by not removing more silt? It turns out that this area, in thirty years (they think) will have a drinking water shortage.
The water for this region comes out of WSSC Reservoirs and Patuxent River. We are competing with Virginia with the Potomac River. They have a continuous study of available drinking water. We will wait to write a letter in 2022.
Met with the Mayor this week it was driven by something that happen in Anne Arundel County. There’s been some flooding in the county (really bad) and it turns out that the hydrologist is studying the region regarding the water table. We want to listen to the doctor from WSSC he has been very forthcoming.
Every house in Laurel prior to the 1900’s had water wheels. They stop using the wheels when the water tables came up. There is also clay under neath all of Laurel. The Laurel library is built on a bunch of springs. They used to also ice skate there before the return of the century.
There was a good article that appeared this week regarding the rivers in Montana. When you buy a piece of property you don’t buy the rights to water on that property, it’s own by someone else.
By the end of February, we need to have the “Three-year Action Plan” completed.
This meeting was adjourned 6:45pm
Administrative Assistant I