City likes flowers for Route 140

December 14, 1993|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Staff Writer

The Westminster City Council seems likely to accept trees, shrubs and flowers for the median of Route 140 that the county commissioners turned down last week.

The council gave its consensus endorsement last night to a State Highway Administration (SHA) offer to plant trees, shrubs and perennial flowers in the Route 140 median between the intersections with Route 97 and Route 31.

The plants are valued at $100,000.

Final council action is not to be taken until after a discussion about the project with SHA representatives.

The state agency seems prepared to make the city the same offer that the county commissioners turned down, Mayor W. Benjamin Brown said last night.

The SHA will plant the median and the city will be responsible for maintenance, which may cost about $5,500 to $6,000 a year.

Councilman Stephen R. Chapin suggested that a local service club might pay the maintenance costs.

Mr. Chapin praised the idea as a potential boost to the city's business development effort.

Development experts advise, "Beautify the entrances to the city," he said.

Councilwoman Rebecca A. Orenstein and Council President Kenneth A. Yowan also supported the idea.

Neil Ridgely, county program manager for landscaping, said that recent figures from Anne Arundel County's horticulturist show annual maintenance costs of $5,500 to $6,000.

Anne Arundel County has two years' experience with maintenance costs on landscaped highways.

County Commissioner Donald I. Dell rejected the state's offer on grounds that highway money should be spent only on roads projects, not on plantings or trails.

Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy said he opposed the state's offer out of concern for maintenance costs.

The commissioners had received maintenance cost estimates last month ranging from $8,500 to $10,000 a year from the landscaping staff, to $24,000 a year from the land-management staff.

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