March 5, 2015
Harper's Choice Voice
The e-Newsletter for the Village of Harper's Choice

Keeping You Informed
This weekly e-newsletter serves as a recap of news and events we share with our community throughout the week via other social media channels. Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter to receive more regular announcements and information from us.
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H20 = Help to Others
New HoCo Program Helps Neighbors in Need with Water/Sewer Bills
Howard County unveiled a new program, H2 O Help to Others for county residents who need assistance in paying water and sewer bills. The program will be funded by residential customers who voluntarily round up their bills to the nearest dollar.

Residential water and sewer customers will be able to make donations to the fund starting with the March bill. On those bills, customers will see a check box to opt in to participate by rounding up their payments to the next highest dollar. Residents will also be given options to make on-going, or one-time, donations to the program.

The funding will be used to assist customers with delinquent accounts who are facing disconnection of service. The County has selected a non-profit, Family and Children Services, to administer the program and verify the need of those seeking assistance.

Legislation to authorize the program was approved by the Howard County Council in October, and the implementation details have been in development since then.

In a typical year, the County's Department of Public Works Bureau of Utilities will disconnect more than 600 accounts with past due amounts. The average residential water and sewer bill in Howard County is $160 per quarter. The Department of Public Works has agreed to set aside at least $50,000 for the program.

Those residential customers facing disconnection of water services should contact the County's Department of Finance Water and Sewer Division at 410-313-2058.
Employment Opportunity
Asst Covenant Advisor/Facility Coordinator Needed in Owen Brown

Assistant Covenant Advisor/Facility Coordinator needed at the Owen Brown Community Association. Part-time position, 15-20 hours per week. Experience with covenant enforcement/property inspections and/or facility rental a plus. Basic computer knowledge needed. Some nights and weekends may be required.  Must be able to set up and break down tables and chairs.  $16-$18 per hour, depending on experience.  


Send resume to  Application deadline is March 20, 2015.


Sister Cities High School Student Exchange 2015
Application Deadline Extended to March 16

Slots remain for CA's annual summer Sister Cities High School Student Exchange program with Columbia's sister cities in France and Spain. Students can be in level 2 of Spanish or French and above.  


Deadline for applications has been extended to Monday, March 16. For more information, visit or contact Laura Smit  at 410-715-3162 or email


Run for the Harper's Choice Village Board
Village Board Nomination Period is March 1 - March 14
Are you interested in taking an active role in your community? Run for the Harper's Choice Village Board! The current two-year terms of office for five Village Board seats expire on April 30, 2015. Village Board members attend one meeting a month where they oversee village finances; they advise and take action on such matters as street and house maintenance; and advocate for changes that will benefit all Harper's Choice village residents. The nomination period runs from March 1 - March 14, 2015. Information and nomination petitions are available at Kahler Hall and must be returned by 5PM on March 14. Information and nomination petitions are also available for download. For more information, contact Village Manager Steve Ingley at 410-730-0770 or via email.


Searching for Spring 2015
Event Information for Annual Spring Family Event
The Annual Searching For Spring Egg Hunt, co-sponsored by the Villages of Columbia, will be held on Saturday, April 11 from 10AM-11:30AM at the Columbia Sports Park in the Harper's Choice Village Center located at 5453 Harper's Farm Road.  No admittance permitted after 10:45AM .

Here is the schedule of events:
  • 10AM Crafts and Balloons 
  • 10:45AM Egg Hunt (While supplies last! Please bring your own basket!)
  • 11AM Entertainment with Turner, Dean of Magic

This event is especially planned for children ages 2-8. Tickets are required for this FREE event and will be available at Kahler Hall and all village community centers beginning March 9. Tickets are for Columbia lien-paying residents only.



HCPSS School Start Time Surveys
HCPSS Needs Your Input Regarding School Start and Dismissal Times
Like many school systems around the country, the Howard County Public School System is reviewing the options for school start and dismissal times for our 76 schools. HCPSS parents and community members are invited to share their views by completing a survey by March 8.


Appraisal Roadshow - Reserve Your Seat Today!
Register NOW for the Appraisal Roadshow and Vendor Fair 2015
Do you have trash or treasure in your home? We will have a gemologist and a generalist appraiser on hand at Kahler Hall on Saturday, March 21 at 9:30AM and 11:30AM to offer appraisals of up to two items per person. Items to consider bringing include jewelry, silver, coins, time pieces, furniture, glass, porcelain, paintings, bronze, toys, documents, and any other items (except stamps). For each item, the entire audience will learn what it is, what it's worth, and what they can do with it. You do not need to bring an item to come and enjoy the show. Click here for more information about the event!

Register online to have your item(s) appraised or to attend the show.

Vendor and advertising opportunities are available. Click here to reserve a table or promote your business.


Did You Know...
Howard County is Updating its Pedestrian Master Plan?

The Howard County Office of Transportation invites the public to join them at community meetings to gather input regarding improvements to the Pedestrian Master Plan, also known as WalkHoward. The purpose of WalkHoward is to guide the development of a plan to make Howard County a more walkable and sustainable community. The plan continues efforts to build a system of ADA accessible sidewalks, pathways, bus stops and roadway crossings to make walking easy and safe.

The Office will host two meetings; the first will take place on Monday, March 16 from 7PM - 8:30PM at Slayton House in the Wilde Lake Village Center (10400 Cross Fox Lane in Columbia). A second meeting will be held on Saturday, March 28 from 1:30PM - 3:30PM at the North Laurel Community Center (9411 Whiskey Bottom Road in Laurel).

Those unable to attend either meeting may also provide input online at which includes an interactive "crowdsourcing" map.

To request a sign language interpreter or other accommodations to attend the meetings, please call the Department of Citizen Services at 410-313-6400. For more information, visit the WalkHoward website or contact the office at 410-313-3130.     

Upcoming Events
Baby Expo
The Prenatal through Preschool Baby Expo will be held on Saturday, March 7, 2015 from 10AM - 2PM at the Owen Brown Community Center (6800 Cradlerock Way, Columbia, MD 21045)
Co-sponsored by the Owen Brown Community Association and the Oakland Mills Community Association, the Expo is designed for individuals and families looking for information about programs and services for ages prenatal through preschool.  Admission is FREE.   

There will be exhibitors with a variety of information including local mom's groups, baby clothing stores, and organizations that promote everything from infant health to readiness for preschool. Speakers will give short informational sessions about cloth diapering, breast feeding, car seat safety and other important topics.

Whether you are thinking about starting a family, have a brand new little one or are in the throes of toddler or preschooler fun, the Baby Expo will have something for you!

Purim Palooza & Kids Activities
Join the Jewish Federation of Howard County on Sunday, March 8 from 12:30PM - 3:30PM at Reservoir High School (11500 Scaggsville Road, Fulton) for Purim Palooza & Kids Activity Expo, an afternoon of fun featuring:
  • DJ Doug's Simon Says and Other Games
  • Airbrush Hats & Shirts
  • Carnival Games
  • Arts & Crafts
  • PJ Library Story Room
  • Prizes
  • Hot Dogs, Chicken Nuggets, Falafel, Hamantashen and more!

Cost is $5 per person/$15 per family (includes 10 tickets). 

XBox 360 Game Mania
Howard County high school students are invited to take part in a free video game competition, XBox 360 Game Mania, which will be held on Friday, March 13, from 7PM - 10PM at The Barn (5851 Robert Oliver Place, Columbia, MD 21045).

The games to be played are FIFA 14, Madden NFL 15, and NBA2K. Three winners (one per game) will receive a $75 gift card to GameStop.

Participants must be in grades 9-12 and must register prior to "Game Day." The deadline to sign up is Monday, March 9.

For more information, please call 
CA Camps Open House
Learn about the camps Columbia Association is offering this summer by coming to one of two free open houses. The open houses are scheduled for Saturday, March 21, from noon to 3PM at Columbia Athletic Club, 5435 Beaverkill Road; and Wednesday, May 13, from 6PM - 8PM at Columbia SportsPark, 5453 Harpers Farm Road. The open houses also will include drawings, entertainment and giveaways.

For more information, please call 410-715-3165 or visit
Columbia Clean-Up Day


Columbia can be even more beautiful, and the environment can be healthier, after just three hours on what has become another tradition - Columbia-Wide Cleanup Day.


Columbia-Wide Cleanup Day will take place on Saturday, March 21, from 9AM to Noon, taking place simultaneously at locations in all 10 villages.


People who would like to participate can show up at one of the meeting locations and clean-up areas listed on the CA website.  


Residents participating in Harper's Choice are asked to register in advance. Please call 410-730-0770 or email us to sign up.  

Movies & Minions on Ice
The Columbia Figure Skating Club announces its annual spring production, featuring multiple performances at the Columbia Ice Rink, located at 5876 Thunder Hill Rd., Columbia, MD 21045. Tickets are on sale now for the performances during the weekend of March 21st-22nd, 2015. Showtimes on Saturday, March 21st are 3PM and 6PM; Sunday, March 22nd, 2PM and 4:30PM.

Each spring show is unique, showcasing original choreography and custom-designed costumes that dazzle the audience.  Our skaters will enact scenes from favorite movies, such as Annie, Mary Poppins, Frozen, and of course, Despicable Me.  Beloved characters such as Little Orphan Annie, Mary Poppins and the Banks children, Anna and Elsa, and the Minions will come to life on ice.

This thoroughly entertaining ice skating show features almost 70 performers, pre-school through high school ages, and includes many advanced-level skaters who have competed in regional- and national-level competitions. Convenient to both Washington and Baltimore, this show is a special event for people of all ages. Movies and Minions is sanctioned by US Figure Skating.

For tickets and more information, please visit the Club's website:
Upcoming Meetings
Architectural Committee Meetings
Changes made to the exterior of homes in Harper's Choice require the approval of the Village Architectural Committee. The AC meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month at 7:30 PM to review applications. The deadline to submit applications for approval is two weeks prior to the next meeting date. Upcoming meetings are scheduled for: 3/10, 3/24, 4/14.  

Village Board Meetings
The next meeting of the Village Board is scheduled for March 18 at 7PM. Agendas and Meeting Minutes are available on our website.