Millersville turns up heat on jail CENTRAL COUNTY Arnold * Broadneck * Severna Park * Crownsville * Millersville

November 05, 1992|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Staff Writer

More than 1,000 angry Millersville residents gathered at Old Mill High School last night to let the county know that their densely populated area is unsuitable for a jail.

The crowd was not happy that a task force chose Millersville as the best location for a new 650-bed detention center, and they let several County Council members who attended the meeting know it.

"Are you telling me that in all of Anne Arundel County, you have to put it in a residential area?" Robin Deuell of Olde Mill shouted at Council Chairman David G. Boschert while the councilman was speaking to the gathering.

Mr. Boschert answered that the Millersville site "is only a recommendation and we must look at it that way."

The site for the new jail, adjacent to the county police and fire headquarters on Veteran's Highway, was selected last week by the task force appointed by County Executive Robert R. Neall and the County Council. The committee chose the site over other possibilities in Pasadena and Crownsville, where the county met opposition from property owners unwilling to sell. A site in Davidsonville was rejected as inadequate.

But the committee, in considering the Millersville site, acknowledged it has several problems. It is bisected by wetlands, which reduce the acreage that can be used for construction. In addition, there is the question of the 1,100 homes that are located within a half-mile.

"We are not simply another group of people standing up and saying "not in my back yard," said Michael Bridgeland of the St. Stephens Association. He said that the prison should be located in a non-residential area, preferably on public land, where sewer facilities are available.

"We should not be going out after residential or agricultural sites when industrial sites are available," he said.

Council members Diane R. Evans and Edward Middlebrooks both voiced opposition to the Millersville site, as the crowd roared approval.

Mr. Middlebrooks said the North County already has its share of public facilities. "It irks me off," he said. "It seems we get the dumps and we get the jails and the other parts of the county get the swimming pools . . . and $18 million parks."

Next Tuesday, the council will hold a work session to discuss each of the 10 sites that originally had been considered by officials.

At the Nov. 16 council meeting, members will submit resolutions supporting individual sites. The council will hold a public hearing Nov. 18 at Arundel Senior High School in Gambrills and will vote on its final site recommendation after the hearing.

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