County Hopes To Take Ocean City By Storm

Summer Conference Is More Than Hot Air

August 21, 1991|By Adam Sachs | Adam Sachs,Staff writer

Hurricane Bob may have been a washout in Ocean City this week, but Carroll's commissioners hope to take the beach resort by storm.

TheBoard of County Commissioners and several department heads will meetwith the Schaefer administration about county projects and state policy at the 41st annual Maryland Association of Counties Summer Conference.

Transportation projects, recycling, the proposed Gillis Falls reservoir, delayed Project Open Space reimbursements and the status of the state's agricultural preservation and Resident Trooper programs top the county's agenda.

The four-day conference begins today at theOcean City Convention Center. The officials brainstorm and exchange ideas like growth management and fiscal issues.

The beach resort conference does not come without a cost to taxpayers.

The county isspending about $7,500 to send 14 representatives, including the three commissioners, for three days.

The registration fee is $140 per person, and the county has imposed daily limits of $130 for lodging and $25 for food.

The commissioners plan to push several projects with state Department of Transportation Secretary O. James Lighthizer,including financing for a joint Maryland-Pennsylvania study of the Hanover Pike corridor and an overpass for the Kate Wagner Road project.

The Hanover Pike study -- Route 30 in Maryland and Route 94 in Pennsylvania -- would create a safer highway and reduce congestion from southern Pennsylvania through Carroll and Baltimore counties to Interstate 795.

Pennsylvania has grant money for the project, said Commissioner Julia W. Gouge.

The Kate Wagner Road extension would provide a southern route around Westminster, diverting traffic from heavily traveled Route 140.

The commissioners will urge state officials to increase recycling efforts. State law mandates that counties recycle either 15 percent or 20 percent of their waste stream by 1994, depending on their size.

The state has not done enough to develop markets for recyclables, say the commissioners, causing a glut in collected materials.

"We feel instead of each county trying to make markets for themselves, there should be a statewide market to funnel into," said Gouge.

"That would help us all. We won't be fighting for the same market."

The commissioners plan to question state officials about how to keep the tenuous Gillis Falls project "alive," saidCommissioner Elmer C. Lippy. The proposed reservoir, planned for more than 20 years, would supply water to South Carroll. But the projectfaces several obstacles, including losing of wetlands and disturbinga trout stream.

They also plan to inquire about the state Resident Trooper Program, the main law enforcement in Carroll. During the 1991 General Assembly session, legislators threatened to cut the program.

"Pulling the money would have devastated us," said Gouge. "We need to know if there's a time line, whether they plan to phase it outand when. It would help our planning."

Because of budget problems, the state has not reimbursed, as promised, several Carroll municipalities through Project Open Space. The commissioners plan to seek clarification.

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