LOCAL GOVERNMENT

INTERCOUNTY & REGIONAL AGENCIES

BALTIMORE METROPOLITAN COUNCIL

ORIGIN & FUNCTIONS


In 1992, the Baltimore Metropolitan Council was created as the regional planning agency for metropolitan Baltimore (Chapter 201, Acts of 1992). The Council originated as the Baltimore Regional Planning Council within the State Planning Commission in 1956. It continued as part of the State Planning Department from 1959 to 1963. Renamed the Regional Planning Council in 1963 (Chapter 753, Acts of 1963), it functioned independently until 1972 when it was assigned to the Department of State Planning (Executive Order 01.01.1972.02). In 1983, that assignment was rescinded (Executive Order 01.01.1983.14). The Council was made an independent agency by statute in 1984 (Chapter 373, Acts of 1984). The Council became the Baltimore Regional Council of Governments in 1989 (Chapter 736, Acts of 1989) and adopted its present name in 1992 (Chapter 201, Acts of 1992).
[photo, Terminal Building entrance, BWI-Thurgood Marshall Airport, Maryland] The Baltimore Metropolitan Council promotes cooperation among local governments in the Baltimore metropolitan area to share information, collect data, and solve common problems. It also anticipates future needs in infrastructure, the environment, and economic development. Under formal agreements among its members, the Council provides regional planning for solid waste management and transportation.


Terminal Building entrance, BWI-Thurgood Marshall Airport, Maryland, September 2008. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


The Council is composed of nine members. One member each is appointed by the Mayor of Baltimore; the County Executives of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford and Howard counties, Maryland; and the County Commissioners of Carroll and Queen Anne's counties (Code Economic Development Article, secs. 13-301 through 13-309). Since 2014, the Governor, Senate President, and House Speaker also each apppoint one member (Chapter 520, Acts of 2014; Chapters 302 & 303, Acts of 2017; Code Economic Development Article, secs. 13-301 through 13-309).

BALTIMORE REGIONAL COOPERATIVE PURCHASING COMMITTEE
The Baltimore Regional Cooperative Purchasing Committee began in 1971 as the Baltimore Metropolitan Group with Baltimore City, Anne Arundel County, and Baltimore County as original members. It adopted its present name in the 1980s and became a standing committee of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council in 1989.

The Committee works to save money for member jurisdictions through combining their supply needs and negotiating cooperative contracts in bulk. The Committee also serves as a forum for exchanging cost-effective strategies.

Since electricity deregulation became effective in Maryland on July 1, 2000, the Committee has worked to develop and implement procurement strategies for electrical energy needs. Cooperative purchasing for both public schools and public works departments in participating jurisdictions is a goal of the Committee.

REGIONAL INFORMATION CENTER
The Baltimore Metropolitan Council operates the Regional Information Center, an urban planning and regional library associated with the Enoch Pratt Free Library. The Center provides data on demographic and economic trends, transportation planning, land use, environmental management, waste management, and water quality.

RESERVOIR WATERSHED PROTECTION PROGRAM
The Reservoir Watershed Protection Program stems from a Reservoir Agreement first signed in 1979 and updated in 1984 and 1990. Signatories agreed to act together to improve water quality and stop algal blooms in reservoirs and related watersheds which serve 1.8 million people in Baltimore City and five neighboring counties.

While water quality staff from signatory and participating jurisdictions coordinate and review technical work, the Program promotes public awareness of the need to protect the reservoirs and their watersheds through workshops, exhibits, and a public school curriculum.

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