Calvin ball’s record on:
Protecting and Preserving Historic Ellicott City
After two devastating floods in two years, Historic Ellicott City was in desperate need of a plan that would not only protect the town from future flooding but also preserve as much of the historic character as possible. Almost immediately after taking office, County Executive Ball announced his Ellicott City Safe and Sound plan, a multi-faceted flood mitigation and economic recovery plan for Ellicott City. In addition to a comprehensive flood mitigation plan, the plan also includes initiatives around emergency preparedness and supporting businesses and property owners. Now that extensive planning and permitting processes are nearly complete, several Safe and Sound flood mitigation projects are expected to break ground in 2021.
Demanding Stronger Protection for Forests
Under the leadership of County Executive Ball, the county’s Forest Conservation Act was updated for the first time since the 1990s. The updated act ensures full compliance with state law, increased replanting obligations to ensure developers contribute to reforestation efforts, strengthened fee-in-lieu regulation, and added new requirements to ensure more forest conservation obligations are met on-site.
Leading on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction
Shortly after taking office County Executive Ball signed the “We Are Still In” declaration to show his steadfast commitment to the global pact to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As part of this initiative, County Executive Ball announced that Howard County would aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of County government operations 45 percent below 2010 levels by the year 2030 and reach zero emissions by 2050. Strategies to reach these goals include reducing County energy use, lowering fuel consumption, and increasing renewable energy generation on County property. Howard County was also the first county in the nation to formally accept the United States Climate Alliance’s Natural and Working Lands Challenge, which calls on jurisdictions to reduce emissions and increase carbon sequestration.
Supporting the Expansion of Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Use
As part of the “We Are Still In” declaration, County Executive Ball committed to add at least 25 electric vehicle stations in public spaces throughout the county by 2024. Charging stations have already been completed at the Howard County Library System’s Miller and Savage Branches. Additional upcoming EV charging stations include the library system’s Central and Glenwood branches, and the County’s Ascend One Building in Columbia. The County has also expanded the use of hybrid vehicles in its own fleet, purchasing 58 new hybrid vehicles.
Expanding the Tree Canopy
Since taking office, the Ball Administration has planted more than 51,000 trees, including giving away more than 4,000 trees for residents to plant on their property. In 2020, the Administration received a $1 million dollar grant for tree planting from the National Fish and Wildlife Federation.
Preserving Green and Open Space
In 2020, at the direction of County Executive Ball the County took ownership of the Savage Remainder property, a 5-acre parcel of land designated by the state as a targeted ecological area. The property had long been a source of controversy due to its environmental significance. By purchasing the property, the Ball Administration has taken between 15 and 35 development units out of the pipeline and will now preserve the land as open space.
Harnessing the Power of Innovative Energy Technology
Continuing his commitment to building a clean and sustainable environment for Howard County, in 2020 County Executive Ball announced a solar power purchasing agreement that would cover approximately 30 percent of the total annual electricity use for County government. This agreement will provide an anticipated $1.2 million in savings over the life of the contract and comes with no capital cost to the County.
Converting all County-owned Streetlights to LED by 2025
By 2025, the Ball Administration has committed to converting all county-owned streetlights to energy-efficient, long-lasting LED lighting. Converting streetlights to LED allows the County to reduce energy use, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save money on electricity and monthly maintenance fees charged by BGE. Over 20 years, this conversion is expected to generate cost savings of more than $2 million and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2,756 metric tons, the equivalent of taking 585 cars off the road.
Strengthening Stormwater Management Regulations
Understanding the importance of adequate stormwater management infrastructure, County Executive Ball proposed legislation to require developers to meet a higher standard for stormwater management. The new regulations, which were passed by the Howard County Council, require developers to manage the short-duration, high intensity storms that have been occurring more frequently. Changes were also made to strengthen fee-in-lieu regulations.
Taking Bold Steps on Pollinator Conservation
One in three bites of food we eat is the result of insect pollination. To ensure the conservation of these insect pollinators, County Executive Ball announced that Howard County would join the “Bee City USA” coalition. As part of this initiative, the County committed to reducing pesticide use and creating sustainable habitats for pollinators, which are vital to feeding the planet. The Ball Administration has already created 55 acres of pollinator-friendly meadow on Howard County parkland and established Monarch Way-stations at two County parks.
Promoting Healthy, Local Foods
Under the leadership of County Executive Ball, the Roving Radish meal kit program has grown significantly. The number of kits sold increased by 500% to over 12,000 kits in 2020, with 31% subsidized for low income residents. To further the success of the program operations moved in 2020 to the Long Reach Village Center as part of the effort to revitalize that area.. This new location allows for better access for the community, more efficient production of meal kits, and the creation of the Roving Radish Marketplace, providing a reliable source for farmers to sell their products throughout the year and provides our community accessibility to farm fresh foods.