UNION BRIDGE — The Town Council voted Monday to renew its hauling and recycling contract with Haden Trash Removal for one year.
The council decided that Haden's was the most reasonable of the four bids the town received.
The company offered several options, including regular trash pick-up and continued use of recyclable bags for $275 a week or for $350 a week, if the town uses Haden's plastic bins for recyclables. The hauler agreed to replace any damaged bins.
The council, hoping to reduce the cost, asked Town Clerk Kathleen D. Kreimer to look into the purchase of bins for town residents before the Haden contract expiresJuly 1.
The county's trash tipping fees would be added to those costs.
Mayor Edward L. Williar urged the council to accept the least expensive contract.
"We got by this year without any increase inthe tipping fees," he said. "That won't happen again next year."
In other business, the council voted on proposed changes to the town's water regulations. The changes call for an increase in the quarterly rate from $7 to $10 for the first 5,000 gallons of water used, plus$1.50 for each additional 1,000 gallons.
The council had voted previously to increase its water and sewer hook-up fees from $500 to $1,000.
The increase in water rates allowed the town to lower its tax rate from 72 to 68 cents per $100 of assessment. The council will vote on the proposed budget at a rescheduled May 13 session.
Elections for mayor and two council seats will take place from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 14 in the Town Hall. Residents may register to vote weekdaysfrom 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. through May 13.
The town also has scheduledits spring cleanup day for 9 a.m. to noon May 18.
DELL QUESTIONS STUDY
County Commissioner President Donald I. Dell expressed concern Monday that hiring a consultant to conduct a proposed study of truck traffic on county roads could be a waste of money.
The study, which was deferred for the upcoming budget year, was proposed by the Department of Planning. The purpose of the study would be to identify themajor truck routes in Carroll, determine current truck traffic, and project volumes for the next 20 years. It would also be used to help the county establish priorities for road construction projects in itscapital program by identifying roads likely to be overburdened.
Dell said he is concerned the county is spending "big amounts of moneyfor studies we don't use," adding that such studies should be performed by county staff whenever possible. He also said a truck traffic study would be difficult to conduct because some variables, such as future industrial park development, remain undetermined.
Transportation planner Rob Yingling said a truck traffic study will allow planners to head off traffic capacity problems, rather than reacting once atraffic situation worsens.
If the study does not take place, "we'll make a lot of guesses, but they won't be educated guesses," said Yingling.
Planning Director Edmund R. "Ned" Cueman said the department does not have the personnel or the expertise to conduct the studyin-house.
County officials discussed for two hours Monday the development of a refined adequate facilities ordinance.
The ordinance would set criteria outlining the stage at which public facilities and services such as schools, roads, water, sewer, and police and fire protection would be considered inadequate to serve any new proposed growth. At that point, the county could invoke the law to prohibit development until facilities are expanded.
The county now has an adequate facilities law, but does not have specific standards clearly identifying when the law should be invoked for such facilities as schools and roads.
County officials said criteria mustbe legally defensible to withstand challenges from developers.
Representatives from county planning, zoning, permits, public works anddevelopment review agencies attended the work session, as did the County Commissioners.
CITY ADDING 33 ACRES
WESTMINSTER -- The City Council voted Monday to annex and rezone 33 acres near the county airport for a planned upscale business park.
Theannexation and rezoning requests came from the Baltimore-based National Instrument Co., which plans to develop the parcel -- on the east side of Route 97 near the Carroll County Regional Airport, and known as the Poole property -- into the Carroll County Commerce Center, which would house a mix of office, retail and warehouse space.
The council action also rezoned the land from restricted industrial to planned industrial.
The business center will include some 233,300 square feet of business space, with about half planned as warehouse spaceand about one-quarter as office space.
Also on Monday, the council denied a request by the county school system to have the city waivefees for hooking up utilities to six portable classrooms to be placed at the Multi-Service Center this fall.