Taneytown asks school officials for extra work

April 21, 1994|By Traci A. Johnson and Mary Gail Hare | Traci A. Johnson and Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writers

While school officials are expanding Taneytown Elementary, Taneytown officials want water lines extended to the school, plus improvements to a small bridge and 1,000 feet of Trevanion Road.

"The city is requiring that the roadway be improved from the development east of the school to Kings Drive," Vernon Smith, county director of school support services, told the Carroll school board yesterday.

"It is not uncommon to have a city planning commission impose off-site improvements for school projects," Mr. Smith said.

But he noted that the added improvements would strain the $6 million project's "tight" budget. "If they impose this on us now, it could jeopardize the start-up of the project," he said.

County engineers estimate the cost of the improvements at $500,000.

The county "is not in concurrence" with the city and sees no need for road improvements, said Mr. Smith.

John Myers, the school board president, said, "People think we have deep pockets, and they are out there slicing at us."

Board member C. Scott Stone said Taneytown officials have allowed development on both sides of the school and should not "put the monkey on the school system."

Superintendent R. Edward Shilling said he echoed those sentiments.

"The Board of Education is fiscally dependent," Mr. Shilling said. "We have no place to go but to the [Carroll County] commissioners for additional money."

Taneytown City Manager John L. Kendall said the idea to have the county put in sidewalks and curbs on a portion of Trevanion Road is in the negotiation stage.

Mayor Henry I. Reindollar Jr. said city officials discussed their suggestion with Dr. Lester Surber, supervisor of services, informally last week.

"When the city began looking into the school board's proposed addition to the elementary school, it appeared that an extension to the water line should also be done," Mr. Kendall said. "It was then suggested that as part of the process, [the county] could provide other off-site improvements, such as putting in a sidewalk, which would include curbing."

City and county officials hope they can reach a compromise because the state has provided only enough money for the school work.

"We will defer any road improvements to fiscal 1996 and continue on a timetable for school," Mr. Smith said.

Plans call for building the addition during fiscal 1995, which begins in July, and waiting until the next budget year to apply to the state for money for the off-site improvements.

"It doesn't mean the state will fund it, but we have promised to ask," said Mr. Smith.

Dr. Surber is to discuss the issues with the Taneytown Planning and Zoning Commission Monday night.

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