Let’s Keep in Touch in 2021!

The River Hill Community Association’s Board of Directors and staff wishes all members of the community a happy and healthy 2021! Like you, we are glad to put 2020 behind us. Though we recognize there are still pandemic-related challenges and uncertainties to cope with, we are hopeful that 2021 will be an improvement over the past year.

One of the pandemic’s silver linings for the association has been the increased level of resident participation at Board of Director’s and committee meetings. Holding them virtually has improved attendance! We are also thrilled with the number of residents who turned out for the virtual Master Gardener talks, paint events, and trivia night. We appreciate everyone who has entered the patriotic decorating, pumpkin carving, and holiday photo contests. We thank the groups who stood outside on a cold morning to see Santa drive past and the families who attended Santa’s virtual story time. Association staff and the Teen Advisory Committee are developing new and exciting events that will keep the community healthy and safe. Stay tuned.

What are the best ways to keep abreast of the latest in our community and on association-related matters?

  • Join our e-blast distribution list! Text CLARETHALL to 22828 or click on the link on our website’s homepage.
  • Visit our website at www.villageofriverhill.org.
  • Follow us on Facebook: River Hill Community Association/Claret Hall.
  • Get updates via Twitter: @RHCAClarksville.
  • Read our monthly newsletter The Villager: Hand-delivered to the homes and businesses in the village and available here on our website.

The Village Board, committees, and staff want to hear from you in 2021. Please let us know what’s on your mind. How can we improve? Do you have ideas for ways to stay connected despite being apart? Do you have news you would like to share? Plan to attend a virtual Board or committee meeting to find out what it is happening in your backyard. Check out the association’s calendar at www.villageofriverhill.org/events/calendar. You may also reach us directly via phone or email (see page 3). We will continue to work hard to keep you informed in 2021; please keep in touch and let us know what is important to you. In the meantime, mask-up River Hill!

Election Committee Forming

The association’s Annual Meeting and elections for the Board of Directors and Columbia Council Representative will take place on April 24, 2021. We are currently seeking residents to serve on the Election Committee. This is a short-term commitment which begins in February and ends following the acceptance of the election results. The committee is responsible for establishing the rules and regulations necessary to conduct an orderly election, organizing a Candidates’ Forum when there is a contested election, and helping on election day. In 2021, due to the pandemic, it is expected that the use of absentee ballots will be emphasized, and the committee will be instrumental in overseeing any related changes in the voting process.  Members of the association eligible to vote in the next election are eligible to serve on the committee. However, members of the Election Committee may not be a candidate for association office or actively campaign for or against any candidate.

The Board of Directors will appoint the committee chairperson and members in February. Residents interested in volunteering should contact the Village Manager at manager@villageofriverhill.org or 410-531-1749.

Winter Weather Reminders for Snow Removal

Howard County does not maintain any sidewalks, including snow removal, with exception of the sidewalks adjacent to County buildings (libraries, offices, etc.). The owner of property abutting a sidewalk in a public right-of-way is responsible for removing snow from the sidewalk within 48 hours after the snow has fallen. In the event of a multi-unit building with more than one occupant, it shall be the duty of the lessor to remove the snow unless the lessor has obligated a tenant who is actually occupying the property to do so. (See Howard County Code, Section 18.402(h)(1).) This applies to public streets and is applicable to sidewalks adjacent to public property. However, per Section 18.402(h)(2), if the County Executive declares a state of emergency under Section 6.103 of the County Code, the County Executive may extend the time to remove snow.

If a property owner has not removed the snow within the allotted time frame, you may want to contact the property owner and advise him or her of the County Code. If you are unsure who owns a property, contact Howard County’s  Real Estate Services Division at 410-313-2330. If you have an exact address, they can look up the property owner and may be able to give you a contact name and number.

Another idea is to reach out and ask the property owner if he or she needs assistance. Although the property owner might like to comply with the law, many residents are physically unable to shovel snow and ice and are hesitant to request help from neighbors or friends. Your thoughtfulness can make a big difference to someone who might otherwise be unable to cope. As a last resort, to file a complaint, contact the Howard County Police Department at 410-313-2200.

Keep in mind that Columbia Association (CA) will clear snow on CA property only. CA does clear the pathways that are on their property. Please be patient because there are hundreds of miles of pathways to clear after snowfall. Openings/Closings can be viewed on the Columbia Association website at www.ColumbiaAssociation.org.

Safety Concerns: Mailboxes, Fire Hydrants, and Storm Drains

The Post Office does not complete snow removal at any of the cluster mailboxes in Columbia. Residents who use the cluster boxes are asked to take some time to ensure that the area in front of the box is shoveled and salted for the safety and convenience of all.

Of similar concern are the storm drains and fire hydrants. If you have one of these adjacent to your property, please ensure that it is shoveled to allow access in an emergency and the melting snows to drain and prevent street flooding. If you notice that the storm drains are blocked or clogged, please call Highways at 410-313-7450 or go to www.howardcountymd.gov/tellhoco.htm  to report.