Released on November 10, 2009 - 11:48am
Apr 21

Mayor Craig A. Moe and the Laurel City Councilmembers wish to thank
those in attendance at the City Council’s general public comment section
on April 13, 2009, who expressed their support for the Laurel Boys and
Girls Club. The City has never wavered in its support of the Club as
evidenced by the significant provision of budgeted resources expended in
the Club’s behalf and other assistance provided. It is unfair to state
that the City of Laurel does nothing for the Club. This statement is
simply not correct. This Press Release is in response to the many
members of the Laurel Boys and Girls Club that suggested to us that we
send a letter stating what the City has done in the past and what it is
currently providing.

The City’s Management Staff has reviewed their records to determine the
level of City support for the Club in the last five years. The following
is a breakdown by City department of budget resources and assistance
provided to the LBGC.

Community Planning and Business Services: 2004 - $415 Building Permit
Fees waived; 2005 - $6,166 Building and Electric Permit Fees waived;
2007 – $250 Use and Occupancy Permit Fees waived; TOTAL - $6,831.00

Parks and Recreation: 2004 - Mayor Moe forgave the remaining balance of
their debt for the improvements to the Laurel High School baseball field
in the amount of $3,298. 2005 – $126,097 Fees Waived; 2006 - $163,246
Fees Waived; 2007 - $92,093 Fees Waived; 2008 - $106,445 Fees Waived;
2009 - (to date) $151,561 Fees Waived; TOTAL - $642,741.00

Police Department: Since 2004 Mayor Moe has waived all Police Department
fees to provide security at LBGC Dances and Club events held at the
Phelps Center. It is difficult to provide exact figures for this, but it
is estimated to be $68,000.00.

Public Works: 2008 - $1,178 Refuse Collection and Recycling Services.
2009 to Present - $600 Refuse Collection and Recycling Services.
Additional Services - $2,017 Modifications to LBGC Parking Lot. Includes
costs of labor and materials. TOTAL - $ 3,795. Prior years are
unavailable. In 2008 Public Works assisted in the disposition of the
Club’s old blue and white school bus, Canteen and the Club’s portable
stage. All of these were significantly deteriorated and could no longer
be used by the Club so Public Works disposed of all three vehicles at a
cost of $ 500.00.

Budget and Personnel Services: Payments made to the Laurel Boys and
Girls Club for lease payments for the Phelps Senior Citizens Building,
2004 to Present: TOTAL -$166,232.00. The current monthly lease payment
is $3,605.25. The City pays for all utilities and maintenance of the
Phelps Senior Center.

City Council: The Laurel City Council approved and passed legislation
exempting LBGC from City real estate taxes. Previously paid taxes
totaling $16,075.00 were refunded to the Club. In 2007 Councilmembers
Leszcz and Smalls presented the Club with $1,000 to purchase athletic
shoes for children participating in the Club's programs. At the City
Council meeting in June 2007 a donation of an automated external
defibrillator (AED) to the Club was presented at a cost to the City of
over $2,000. TOTAL: $ 19,075.00

Resolution 9-07, Passed by the Mayor and City Council for the return of
McCullough Community Field to the City ($90,000 scheduled for payment
over 3 years, advanced to allow payment in 8 months at request of LBGC.
Also per Resolution paid $183,000 for HVAC and LBGC operations).

Additionally, in Fiscal Years 2005, 2006, and 2007, the City Council
authorized donations to the Club in the amount of $5,000.00 for each
year. TOTAL $15,000.00

References were made at the April 13, 2009 meeting to the City’s recent
purchase of the Patuxent Greens Swimming Pool and abutting property and
the City’s efforts to preserve the dam ruins along the Patuxent River.
The City was advised several years ago by the Citizens Master Plan
Review Committee and the State regarding Land Use that it is deficient
in green space and recreational space/facilities. In an effort to
correct these deficiencies and using State funding, the City did
recently purchase the Patuxent Greens swimming pool and the tennis
courts as well as other green space next to the already City owned
property. After several public hearings the City purchased the property
for $910,000. We feel it was a good offer especially since the property
was appraised at $1.2 million.

The City of Laurel was founded upon the banks of the Patuxent River
where the River powered the mills that Laurel was built upon and was
famous for. The funding for preservation efforts of the dam ruins come
from the State of Maryland as passed by the General Assembly and signed
into law by the Governor. These funds can only be used for the
preservation efforts of the dam ruins. This is very similar to the
$570,000 in capital funds the Laurel Boys and Girls Club received in
2003 from the State for building improvements; i.e. window replacement,
ADA compliance, and energy improvements

The City Council joins me in our commitment to work with the members of
the Laurel Boys and Girls Club to determine ways the City can help the
Club succeed with its goals and objectives. We hope to help find short
term and long term solutions in the very near future. A detailed Letter
to the Editor has been sent to both the Laurel Gazette and the Laurel
Leader. We realize that letter is long, longer than what the newspapers
are allowed to print in their “Letters to the Editor” section. It had to
be long to demonstrate the levels of support the City of Laurel has
provided the Club with City tax dollars in years past, and the levels at
which the City will continue to do so. It was also important to clarify
the misinformation about monies spent for the Patuxent Greens
Recreational area and on the dam ruins. We encourage all readers to
visit the City of Laurel web site, www.laurel.md.us, or the City Blog
site, www.laurelstraightup.blogspot.com, to read this in its entirety.

City Seal

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