Towson Chamber of 
Commerce to Recognize Towson Community Contributors

The Towson Chamber of Commerce recently announced a new award series dedicated to honoring those who make significant contributions to the Towson community. This year’s event, which will be hosted April 14 at the Towson headquarters of Stanley Black and Decker, will present awards in six categories: build, lead, serve, inspire, innovate and host.

Nancy Hafford, the executive director of the Towson Chamber of Commerce, says the new award series is an opportunity to recognize members of the Towson community and reflect on the progress that Baltimore’s county seat has seen over the last few decades.

“There’s been so much growth and positive energy,” Hafford says. “The real reason our community has grown in a positive way is the people, and we want to recognize that.”

County education officials have proposed a $1.65 billion operating budget for the Baltimore County School System, a 5.7 percent increase over the current budget. Roughly $40 million—about half of the increase—would be allocated to increasing the salaries and benefits of teachers and staff. The budget also includes funds to create another 80 positions in the school system to keep up with Baltimore County’s increasing student enrollment. While the burden of the increase would fall mostly on the shoulders of Baltimore County taxpayers, county officials argue that the increase would allow them to add a wide range of new programs and provides necessary resources for the county’s growing school system.

West Towson Resident Nominated for Baltimore County Commission

Margaret Willis King, a resident of West Towson, was recently nominated to join the Baltimore County Human Relations Board of Directors. King, who was nominated by Baltimore County Councilman David Marks, will be considered to join the 15-member board that enforces the county’s anti-discrimination laws in education, finance and employment as well as housing and public accommodation. King has served as the president of the Morningside Community Association since 2009 and has also volunteered at several of Towson’s churches and schools.

“I am honored to have been chosen for this appointment and thank Councilman David Marks for nominating me,” King said. “I will do my best for the citizens of Baltimore County.”

Knollwood-Donnybrook Improvement Association Awarded $115K for Herring Run Improvement Plan

Towson’s Knollwood-Donnybrook Improvement Association was recently awarded an $115,000 grant by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to study proposed improvements for the Herring Run tributary, a 31-square-mile watershed that begins in eastern Towson. The grant is a result of an application submitted by the Knollwood-Donnybrook Improvement Association to the Chesapeake Bay Trust’s Watershed Assistance Two-Year Milestone Support grant program, which helps communities take the first steps in environmental restoration projects. Knollwood-Donnybrook residents hope that the grant will help them create a sustainable trail system that connects neighborhood parks buffeting the Herring Run bank.

Dave Riley, president of the Knollwood-Donnybrook Improvement Association thinks the grant helps the project take a step in the right direction.

“It’s a great thing,” he says. “Now it really becomes a reality in the fact that a great organization like the Chesapeake Bay Trust has shown faith in the project.”

Baltimore County Approves $43 Million for Towson Row Project

The Baltimore County Council recently approved a $43 million assistance package for the Towson Row development. The package, proposed by Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, is the most recent attempt to jumpstart the long-stalled project at the intersection of York Road and Towsontown Boulevard. While plans for development were first announced in 2013 and followed by the demolition of old structures in 2015, the project has languished over the last three years due to disagreements over design and funding.

The current design calls for a 220-room hotel, a 905-bed student housing complex, 250 apartments, 140,000 square feet of office space, 140,000 square feet of retail shops and a parking garage.

Kamenetz said the upfront investment on the part of the county will provide a benefit in the long run. 

“Today is a great day for Baltimore County,” he said the day the package was approved. “We just created 3,500 construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs.”

Young Women from Baltimore County Public Schools 
nominated for Towson University Leadership Conference

Earlier this year, members of the Baltimore County School community nominated scores of local students to attend this year’s Women in Leadership Conference at Towson University. The conference, which is organized and sponsored by a partnership between Towson University and Baltimore County Public Schools, will welcome 100 students selected by school deans, faculty members and staff. Over the course of the conference, students will have the opportunity to connect with women in prominent roles and explore the fundamentals of professional success and college selection.

According to Towson University President Kim Schatzel, this is a great opportunity for young women to explore the value of leadership.

“The ability that we have to bring them on to campus, have them network with adult women, as well as their peers, to be able to understand what it means to be a leader and to be a woman today is a very important experience,” she said.

This year’s conference will be held in early April on the Towson University campus.