DRC partners with Code Enforcement in Old Dundalk
Wednesday, 10 July 2013 10:47

Family Dollar building gets $250 fine

by Ben Boehl

    One goal of the Dundalk Renaissance Corp. (DRC) is to keep the Dundalk community clean.
    Jacqueline Murray, the DRC’s Volunteer Maryland coordinator, says that is not always an easy task.
    Getting the message out about littering is possible, she told The Eagle, but the DRC needed some help to prevent people from consistently littering.
    “We are partnering with [Baltimore County] Code Enforcement. We are looking to clean the area around Main Street,” Murray said. “We sent out letters to businesses in the shopping center. Some people complied and others didn’t.”
    According to Leah Bunck, DRC’s Community Projects Coordinator, the draft letter warned businesses about violations such as open dumpsters, tall grass and graffiti. 
    The DRC said one of the businesses that did not comply was the owner of the Family Dollar building on Shipping Place.
    According to the DRC, the property owner was fined for excessive litter, graffiti, uncovered dumpsters and rat holes around their property.

Lionel van Dommelen, who heads the Baltimore County Bureau of Code Inspections & Enforcement, confirmed that the fine was issued.
    “The Dollar Store hearing was held on July 3 for a citation for graffiti, open dump conditions, rats, improper storage of trash and cans without lids, with a proposed fine of $2,500,” van Dommelen wrote in a statement. “As this was their first hearing before the administrative law judge, he reduced the fine to $250 and lectured the property owner regarding the issues and warned him not to appear before him again about them.”   
    According to the Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation, the Family Dollar building is owned by Shipping Place II LLC. No one from that company could be reached for comment.
    On July 3, the DRC continued its cleanup efforts by recruiting teenagers from the organization New Horizons. The teens were put to work cleaning around The Dundalk Village Shopping Center.
    Two of the New Horizons workers are Patapsco High School Center for the Arts students Nathan Girard and Vernon Vadem. Both students will be sophomores in the fall.
    “They came to my house asking for my help,” Girard said.
    Vadem chimed in, “I decided to help. It’s nice to clean up the community and to make a difference.”
    Among the tasks at the shopping center was sweeping up around the Family Dollar store.
    One criticism of the county involved the removal of a trash can in front of the Family Dollar. With no trash cans in place, trash has been found on the ground outside the store.
    Bunck explained that the county had an agreement to empty the trash can twice a week, but the can regularly overflowed. She said the trash can became filled with trash bags and was not being used as a proper trash receptacle.
    “People were putting large bags of trash in the trash can. People were abusing the trash cans,” she noted. “My argument to that is there is a trash can right in front of the Subway or over by (Veteran’s) park. There are trash cans everywhere.”
    Bunck added that the teenagers clean up different neighborhoods daily, but they were working around the Dundalk Village Shopping Center on July 3 to have the area cleaned before the parade.
    After the parade was over, the county sent a street sweeper through the route, too.