The following were among actions taken at Tuesday's Committee's of the Whole meeting of the Prince George's County Council. Public hearings have not yet been scheduled on the following issues.
BONDS -- A resolution was introduced to sell $33 million in county bonds to finance expansion of both the nearly full Brown Station Landfill in Upper Marlboro and the Sandy Hill Sanitary Landfill in Bowie and to construct the county's first two refuse and recycling drop-off facilities, in Cheltenham and Aquasco.
The money would also be used to expand the county's abandoned vehicle lot which has become overcrowded.
HIGHER TAXI FARES -- Emergency legislation was introduced to allow the county Taxicab Board to approve a 40-cent surcharge on each taxi fare if gas prices rise by as much as 50 cents a gallon.
According to the American Automobile Association, whose figures the county will use in determing gasoline prices, fuel prices in the county have already gone up 30 cents a gallon since early August. The legislation would become effective 45 days after enactment and remain in effect for one year only. Persons confined to a wheelchair, or aged 60 or over, or blind would be exempt from paying the surcharge under the proposed legislation.
SIGNS -- The council gave preliminary approval to legislation introduced by Council member Frank Casula allowing institutitons such as churches, libraries, schools and community centers to hang freestanding signs and attached signs on the front of their property instead of the one attached sign per property front permitted under current law. Passage of the legislation would not affect the maximum size allowed (48 square feet; not taller than eight feet), and such signs would continue to be required to be at least 15 feet from adjoining residential property.
PERCY HILL -- A resolution was introduced to issue county resident Percy Hill, of 9508 Ardwick-Ardmore Rd. in Lanham, building permits to construct four single-family dwellings and build a road on his property. The homes would not be for sale but instead would be given to his children.
ETHICS BILLS -- The council gave preliminary approval to a package of ethics bills introduced at the request of County Executive Parris Glendening which would establish guidelines for future land transactions involving county surplus property.
The bills seek to tighten the procedures for enacting emergency legislation, the usual vehicle for county land sales. The bills would also require a public hearing and full review by the county Board of Ethics before any land transaction involving elected officials or their relatives was approved. Procedures would also be established for offering any waiver, abatement, adjustment or deferral of county fees, charges or taxes to a potential buyer of county land.