Superblock renewal high on Boyd agenda

February 24, 1994|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,Sun Staff Writer

Dan Boyd, an admittedly shy man, chooses his words carefully as he talks of his agenda for the North Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce during his term as president this year.

First, there is the redevelopment of the Superblock, a 5.6-acre tract of county-owned land -- now a gravel parking lot -- along Ritchie Highway at Route 648 in Glen Burnie.

"The biggest thing it's going to do for the county is put that land back on the tax rolls," said Mr. Boyd, a partner in Boyd & Dowgiallo, a land-planning and engineering firm, in Millersville.

In addition, Mr. Boyd, a member of the chamber for six years who once lived in Glen Burnie, wants to help revitalize the town's business district. He said the chamber will try to persuade the Mass Transit Administration to extend the light-rail line at least to Marley Station mall.

While the County Council argues over the location of a new detention center -- possibilities are Ordnance Road in Glen Burnie, Crownsville and Annapolis -- Mr. Boyd said he and chamber staff members plan to poll Glen Burnie businesses to see how they feel.

"It's quite possible there would be some suffering by existing businesses," he said.

Since he took office Jan. 1, Mr. Boyd has changed the thrust of the chamber's legislative committee. Instead of meeting over breakfast to talk about proposals that would affect businesses, the committee now "reviews and dissects bills of concern, and we take a formal stand," Mr. Boyd said.

In late January, the chamber successfully persuaded county lawmakers that a proposed surcharge on unemployment taxes would create a hardship for businesses, he noted.

Mr. Boyd credits Griff Hall, his predecessor, with steering the chamber through tough financial times and with passing a healthy operation on to him. Mr. Hall also increased the membership by a third last year.

"If your membership is strong, you will be financially strong," said Mr. Hall, a chamber member for nine years. "The two go hand-in-hand."

Mr. Boyd said he will continue to build on the chamber's membership, help small businesses survive and to encourage businesses to become more involved with education.

He also wants to be a bridge builder, he said, forging closer ties with such organizations as the Glen Burnie Improvement Association, the Pasadena Business Association and the county's Economic Development Corp., with the aim of encouraging businesses to locate in Glen Burnie.

"There's a lot of vacant storefronts in Glen Burnie. There's a lot of vacant land," he said. "I think there's some way the chamber can help the Economic Development Corp. in attracting businesses there."

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