Campaign for bypass is postponed

January 25, 1994|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Elected state, county and Hampstead officials say they will wait until March to start a campaign to get the state to commit money to build a bypass on congested Route 30.

They made the decision at a lunch meeting that was closed to the public Saturday at Bullock's Airport Inn in Westminster.

The commissioners organized the meeting, their Executive Assistant Robert A. "Max" Bair said yesterday.

The officials said they decided to wait until they hear from state Transportation Secretary O. James Lighthizer before beginning a letter-writing campaign or possibly erecting a billboard on Route 30.

Mr. Lighthizer promised last fall to respond to the Carroll request by March, Commissioner Donald I. Dell said yesterday.

Last month, town and county officials discussed writing letters to state officials. Commissioner Julia W. Gouge suggested the billboard.

Maryland transportation officials say the state cannot afford to pay for the project in the next six years. The Hampstead bypass would cost $35 million; a Manchester bypass would cost $25 million to $30 million.

Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy and Mr. Dell said Del. Richard N. Dixon, a District 5A Democrat, suggested officials wait until they hear from Mr. Lighthizer.

Mr. Dell and Mr. Lippy said yesterday they agreed. Hampstead Councilman Dwight Womer, who heads an ad-hoc committee on town roads, also said he agreed.

Mr. Dixon said he did not want officials to erect the billboard.

Mr. Lippy and Mr. Dell said they agreed a billboard might not help their cause. Gov. William Donald Schaefer might consider it attack on him, Mr. Dell said.

Mrs. Gouge has been out of town at a conference in California since Saturday morning.

The idea for Saturday afternoon's meeting came in early December at the commissioners' annual meeting with Hampstead officials. They talked about the lobbying effort, and Mr. Bair suggested local legislators be involved in the planning.

At the closed meeting were Commissioners Dell and Lippy; Mr. Dixon; Del. Donald B. Elliott, a Republican from District 5B; Del. Richard C. Matthews, a Republican from District 5A; and Sen. Larry E. Haines, a Republican from District 5.

Also, Hampstead Councilmen Arthur Moler, Wayne Thomas and Mr. Womer; Hampstead Business Association President Ed Cross; and Carroll County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Helen Utz. Carroll County Economic Development Administrator William E. Jenne and Mr. Bair also attended.

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