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Timonium Concerns: Smart Meters, Mays Chapel & Redevelopment

Patch previews issues that will be discussed at the June Greater Timonium Community Council meeting.

Greater Timonium Community Council president Eric Rockel believes BGE smart meters, the elementary school in Mays Chapel and a change in the county’s redevelopment law should be at the top of area residents’ concerns.
 
The council will discuss each issue, as well as welcome lawmakers state Sen. James Brochin and Dels. Dana Stein and Susan Aumann for a legislative recap at Wednesday night's meeting.

Smart Meters

By now you’ve probably heard that BGE will be rolling out a new “smart meter,” which signals back to the utility company with information regarding your home energy usage.

“Of course, BGE says the meters are perfectly harmless in terms of health affects or as a surveillance tool, Rockel said. “But there are people who say these radio frequencies can be dangerous to someone’s health and there’s also the aspect of people feeling like it’s Big Brother watching over what you do and at what times of day.”

Rockel has scheduled a meeting with BGE representatives for October. The electric companies implementing the smart meter are considering offering opt-out policies—but not for free, .

Mays Chapel Elementary School

The divisive plot of land in is back on the docket.

“Previously, the school board experts had said the school would consume about 12 acres of the site,” Rockel said. “They released the preliminary drawings of the things last month and it turns out 16.5 acres, not 12. It’s what I expected.

"It’s consistent with that they did over at Vincent Farms Elementary, which this school in many ways is modeled from,” he continued.

There are further murmurs that school construction opponents may still have an ace up their sleeves. Stay with Patch for updates.

Redevelopment

Finally, Rockel said he will impart this thoughts about the passage of amendments to the county's redevelopment law, particular concerning planned unit development.

He cited Patch associate regional editor Bryan P. Sears's story "" specifically as the source. 

“The legislation as now written, has some good points and some bad points,” Rockel said. 

His biggest concern is “they said that a hearing officer can rely on either the comments of the planning department, a master plan or community plan when making a decision on these developments.

"I thought really it would be incumbent on the  hearing officer to consider all three of those. ... The way the law is written, if the planning department gets a favorable review of the plan, even though the plan may be in contradiction to certain elements of the master plan, the hearing officer has and out to say ‘I agree just on the planning department’s comments.’”

Meeting starts at 7 p.m. at the Cockeysville Library.

M. Sullivan June 13, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Smart Meters should be a very big concern for several reasons: 1) Installations in other states and countries have caused fires and appliance damage due to faulty meters or installation. 2) The RF output for these meters has been proven to be much more frequent than we are being led to believe. 3) Right now, BGE can only monitor monthly use. If they can monitor hourly use, they can adjust their rates accordingly. One study has shown that 80% of recipients of Smart Meters have seen their bills rise. 4) Only $200 million of the $500 million cost is being paid by a Federal govt. grant. Where does the other $300 million come from? These Smart Meters are only to benefit BGE, not us. If you really wanted to monitor your energy use, there are plenty of aftermarket products you can get. We should not be threatened with the extortion of a fee if we choose to opt out!
Edward June 13, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Yeah opting out probably gets you on the DHS terrorist watch list too...
Other Tim June 14, 2012 at 01:27 AM
They can probably hide a camera in the smart meter too so they can really keep tabs on you. Give it a break.
M. Sullivan June 14, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Hey Edward & Other: The issues I presented are not made up. Google is a very simple tool, do some research of your own. We have perfectly good meters now. The simple technology in them has worked very well for many years. They are safe and reliable. I see no benefit to the customer with these new meters for the cost and risk involved. I guess you two are the type that believes anything the government says is good for you must be good.
Edward June 14, 2012 at 12:43 PM
I was being serious, I wouldn't be one bit surprised if opting out got you on the terror watch list. Like Bush said "your either with us or against us" The least bit of resistance like trying to protect your privacy makes you a terrorist. Even if their only purpose for spying on you is to make the economy more predictable and controllable I prefer some rights to opt out and not be coerced by fees for opting out.
M. Sullivan June 14, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Sorry. Edward. I thought you were being sarcastic like Other Tim.
Nikola Tesla June 14, 2012 at 06:03 PM
If you want to really stop these meeter once they are installed, then go to the web and learn how to make a vibrating relay or some other form of broadband static generator. After constricting one of these things it will be easy to place the device close to the antenna of the Smart meter and give them a severe case of front-end overload.
M. Sullivan June 14, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Nikola, nice moniker. I don't know if that would be broadband enough, even with harmonics, to damage the 2.4 GHz. However, if the meter is operating at 902 MHz, you might have a better shot. Either way, you probably wouldn't damage the internal data collection (unless you use a Tesla coil) so, when BGE came to fix your meter, they could just download the usage info and you would get charged a catch-up bill. This could all be a moot point, however. From what I have been reading, these meters are pretty good at destroying themselves and anything connected to them.

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