Council expected to weigh funding for traffic study

November 08, 1992|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff Writer

The head of Carroll County's Industrial Development Authority is expected to ask the Westminster City Council to finance a traffic study on Route 97 near the airport.

Russell A. Sellman is bringing his request to the council in person tomorrow night, four months after sending Mayor W. Benjamin Brown a written request for the study. The county planning office proposed a traffic study to IDA when Marada Industries Inc. announced that it would expand to the east side of Route 97.

The council will meet at 7 p.m. at the Westminster fire hall on East Main Street.

Mayor Brown said Friday that his response to the IDA chairman's July 13 letter was to suggest that Mr. Sellman talk to the council. Mr.Brown said a report that he had denied the request for city aid was incorrect.

He said he understood that Marada officials believe they will not need city or county aid with the expansion.

"I would anticipate that there would not be any move for the city to put any money into this," Mr. Brown said.

Aid from both local government agencies still figures in the project, although Marada will not need a construction financing package put together by a consortium of banks, explained William Jenne, county economic development administrator. He said the $250,000 county allocation will cover installation of public water and sewer and natural gas lines. He said county planners, through the IDA, are also still looking for traffic-study financing. "The [Route 97] area, in the eyes of many, is heavily trafficked and dangerous as we speak," he said.

The State Highway Administration has no money budgeted for relief on Route 97. Mr. Jenne said county planners are worried about potentially serious traffic problems along the air business center corridor.

The traffic study would cost an estimated $25,000.

City Council President William F. Haifley said he understood that Sellman decided to take his request to the council after becoming frustrated in negotiating with the mayor. Mr. Sellman could not be reached for comment Friday.

Also on the council agenda tomorrow night will be a recommendation from the council finance committee to charge property owners who want to join the city's historic district an $85 fee.

Councilman Stephen R. Chapin, who heads the three-member committee, said the committee "just felt like [the city] needed to recover the direct hard costs associated with an application."

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