TANEYTOWN - A seven-acre tract of land along Trevanion Road won't be the site of new homes or new businesses, and it won't even generate any property tax revenues.
But the City Council wants to annex the parcel -- home of Taneytown Elementary School -- anyway.
"We're just looking to the future," said City Manager Neal W. Powell.
"It just sits out there like a sore thumb."
The property, surrounded on three sides by the city, could one day be what Powell called a municipal enclave, an island of county property surrounded on all sides by the city.
Municipal enclaves are against Maryland law.
"Should we annex the land on the other side of Trevanion Road someday, we would have to have the school inside the city anyway," Powell said.
"They already are served by city water and sewer."
The city approached the school board earlier this fall and introduced the annexation proposal at a council meeting last month.
"They introduced the proposal and came to us," said Vernon F. Smith, director of school support services for the Board of Education. "As long as the board doesn't object -- I don't think they will -- the annexation will go through."
The annexation is not expected to cause any day-to-day disruptions to school students or staff. Indeed, both Smith and Powell believe bringing the property into town -- as the nearby Northwest Middle School is -- has several benefits.
Although the school is hooked up to Taneytown's water and sewer system, as an out-of-city property it is charged a much higher rate to use it.
The school uses about 900,000 gallons of water a year, and in 1989, its water and sewer bills totaled more than $4,050.
Once it becomes part of the city, however, it will be charged a third less, a savings of about $1,350 a year.
Smith said that increased police protection is another benefit of annexation.
"Being a part of the city, we'll have more in-depth police services," he said, noting that four-member police patrols protect the city, along with the state police.
This annexation is unusual in that most requests for annexation are initiated by the property owner, not the municipality. But Powell said the city "needs to look to the future" every now and then, and making sure the school doesn't get surrounded by the city is one way to do that.
The school sits in the middle of a potentially high-development part of town, adjacent to the Taneytown Industrial Area and near the housing developments of Trevanion Terrace, Green Meadows, Wheatfields and Fairground Village.
The council next considers the annexation during a public hearing at 8 p.m. Dec. 10 at City Hall.