HAMPSTEAD — Hoping to avoid confusion for emergency vehicle drivers, county officials are changing the house numbers for 24 residents on the older section of North Woods Trail.
The decision rescinds an earlier announcement that 25 residents on the new section of North Woods would have to change their numbers.
It also corrects an error in numbering that would have resulted in even numbers meeting odd numbers on the same side of tdhe street asconstruction continues along North Woods Trail and connects with Boxwood Drive.
Ralph Green, chief of the Bureau of Permits and Inspections, said the development was submitted to his office in sections, allowing for the numbering error. In addition, there have been personnel changes at the bureau.
Citizens may ask questions at an informational meeting at 7 p.m. tomorrow.
SPEED LIMIT LOWERED
HAMPSTEAD -- Red flags are drawing motorists' attention to the new speed limit signs on Route 30 where the limit has been lowered by 10 miles per hour.
Drivers now must stay at 30 miles per houras they drive between the High's store at Ralph Street and the Black& Decker plant.
The limit changed two weeks ago, said Police Chief Kenneth Russell. He said traffic already has slowed down in the last year because of the new shopping center and McDonald's restaurant built along the stretch.
He said police haven't been cracking down yet on motorists, although the red flags should alert them.
"We'llgive them a little time, and then we'll start writing 'em," he said of speeding tickets.
ZONING BOARD TO MEET
HAMPSTEAD -- The Planning and Zoning Commission will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in the Town Hall to hear information about two projects.
Developers for the Oakmont commercial site project for the north end of townon Route 30 will make a presentation on their plans.
Also, the commission will review a request for the town to annex 4.35 acres of residentially zoned land on Upper Beckleysville Road.
Richard and Bonnie Klein of Finksburg are the contract purchasers of the land, now owned by Grace Zepp and Ethel Watkins. The couple, which owns MRB Construction, plans to build 10 or 11 homes on the lots.
The development would include improvements to Upper Beckleysville Road, such as widening. The homes would be along a small road ending in a cul-de-sac.
KLANSMEN VISIT MEETING
WESTMINSTER -- Members of an informal group of citizens and clergy were surprised when two members of the Maryland Invisible Empire of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan showed up at Wednesday's meeting to discuss recent Klan activity in the county.
Roger Kelly, who said he was the grand dragonof the Maryland Klan, told the Carroll County Community Relations Commission that he was concerned about the recent cross-burning in Manchester because his organization was against violence.
Kelly said that his group was not responsible for burning the cross and that he was interested in "sitting down and talking with anybody."
At the meeting, Kelly said that his group was against violence but for racialseparation. He said that Nazis and skinheads were not welcome in hisorganization because they "have hatred in their hearts."
VirginiaHarrison, who heads the Community Relations Commission, said her organization was interested in recognizing potential racial problems in the county and preventing them from growing into ugly confrontations.
The Rev. Bernie Zerkel, another member of the Community RelationsCommission, said that "a lot of people feel strongly against hatred and violence but haven't connected with others. We have a need for networking."
The group heard a presentation from Bent Twomey and Bruce Bessard on their efforts to deal with racial problems that arose out of two nights of trouble last summer in Hanover, Pa.
RESIDENTS OPPOSE RATES
HAMPSTEAD -- About 50 people attended a public hearing before the county commissioners Wednesday to raiseobjections to proposed increases in sewer rates.
The county has proposed raising water and sewer rates for its 5,100 customers in the Hampstead and Freedom districts. Under the proposal, sewer rates would rise by about 85 percent from $148 to $274.
"People living in the town don't have this kind of money," said Gordon Craig, a Ralph Avenue resident. "In times of recession, if you get a 3 percent pay raise, you're lucky."
James Rock, president of a homeowners' association in Hampstead, said commissioners should consider the fact that many residents in the town live on limited incomes. He said there shouldbe a way to come up with the funds without burdening homeowners.
The county wants to raise the fees to offset operation losses.
Water rates in Freedom -- Hampstead provides its own water -- will increase from an annual average of $90 to more than $205, county officialssaid.
Commissioner President Donald I. Dell said the board was sympathetic to residents' concerns.