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Confusion on The Block: Was a compromise reached between the business district and lawmakers?

Posted at 8:56 PM, Feb 18, 2022

BALTIMORE — There’s some confusion on The Block as to whether a compromise has been reached relating to that controversial bill that would close certain businesses at 10 p.m.

In a statement released by Senate President Bill Ferguson, lawmakers said: "The 46th District delegation's intent behind the legislation was always to ensure an equitable distribution of police resources across the Central District, not to put the businesses on The Block out of business."

According to Ferguson, the concept agreement includes the consistent use of cameras and sharing video with law enforcement, clubs will also have to pay for a deployment of police during peak hours.

RELATED: State lawmakers, businesses on "The Block" make progress in curfew standoff

The clubs must also have a plan filed with the Baltimore City Board of Liquor License Commissioners.

But a number of club owners tell WMAR-2 News, they never agreed to any of these condition.

“I actually just found this out this morning,” said Donald Savoy, owner of Club Indulge. “I’m not sure what club or clubs may have agreed to this but this is certainly a surprise to me. I am not paying for something I can’t afford to do.”

John Sachs, owner of Chez Joey and president of the Baltimore Street Association said he’s never seen a proposal.

“I’ve never seen one,” he said. “I’ve never met with Bill Ferguson and I haven’t agreed to anything, nor would I.”

Online Bill Ferguson tweeted that a majority of majority of business owners on The Block agreed to these new changes.

“It’s news to me,” said another business owner.

WMAR reached out to Ferguson’s camp for more details on this so called agreement. We asked who specifically agreed to the changes and when this meeting took place. We have not heard back.

It’s important to note that while changes have been made to Senate Bill 222, it still need to go through the legislative process before any of the terms can be enforced.