The following were among the actions taken at Tuesday's meeting of the Prince George's County Council. For more information, call 952-3718.
HOSPITAL EYE BANK-The council voted unanimously to urge the private health corporation which oversees operations of Prince George's Hospital Center to reconsider its plans to affiliate with a Baltimore eye-donating bank, ending its long affiliation with the county hospital's Lions Eye Bank.
Council members Frank P. Casula and Sue V. Mills made the motion to send a letter to Winfield M. Kelly Jr., chairman of the board of directors of Dimensions Health Corp., asking the corporation to reevaluate its decision to affiliate with the Baltimore Tissue Banks International.
Council members said they were especially concerned about the hospital's new affiliation because, of the 65 corneas donated at Tissue Bank International in 1986, only four remained in the greater Washington area for transplantation. By contrast, 70 percent of the tissues procured from local donors by the Lions Eye Bank were used by local residents needing transplants.
Council members said the Lions Eye Bank provides numerous services to the community, such as a mobile unit for glaucoma, vision and hearing testing, as well as a grant program designed to defray the medical expenses of area residents who require eye surgeries and treatments, all of which could be in jeapordy if the Lions bank loses its only source of tissue.
George S. Malouf, president of the medical staff at the Prince George's Hospital Center, said in a letter to Kelly, that Tissue Bank was chosen in part because, in some legally-contested cases, tissue cannot be removed from donors without approval from the staff forensic pathologists, all of whom are located in Baltimore, Tissue Bank's home.
SNOW REMOVAL -- The council voted 5 to 1 to require that owners of commercial and industrial property, remove snow from their sidewalks within 48 hours after a snowstorm.
The requirement is based on county law that currently gives owners of residential properties 48 hours after a snowfall to clear sidewalks next to their homes.
The commercial snow-removal bill was initially rejected by the council 4 to 2 with Chairwoman Pemberton and Sue V. Mills dissenting. But minutes after consulting with Pemberton, Casula made a motion to reconsider the bill, saying he and Pemberton upon reading the bill again, realized they had not fully understood its ramifications.
"Why should homeowners be treated any differently than businesses?" Pemberton asked.
The council subsequently approved the bill in a 5-to-1 vote. Mills again voted against it because she said she thought the snow regulations were unfair to homeowners as well as business-owners, since they are made responsible for snow and ice injuries that occur on their properties.
Businesses that fail to comply with the new snow law will face a maximum $50 fine.
The snow-removal bill was first introduced in July by James M. Herl and was supported by the Department of Public Works and Transportation, which cited the hazards of uncleared sidewalks to elderly citizens.
QUALITY DEVELOPMENT -- The council voted unanimously to approve a two-year program to improve the quality of new county residential and commercial development by more careful review of all designs and plans submitted to the county.
The program is a result of recommendations made by a 19-member task force established by the council to look into ways to enhance county development.
The program calls for such improvements as preserving existing trees, better site grading and improved landscaping.