New ways urged to fund Antrim Blvd. extension

September 29, 1994|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Sun Staff Writer

Creative ways to pay for extending Antrim Boulevard should be examined now to increase chances the project is included in the next county budget, Taneytown and county economic development officials said yesterday.

Both groups recently reconfirmed their interest in jump-starting the project, which eventually would create a bypass around Taneytown from the end of Antrim Boulevard, across Route 194 and looping back to Route 140 north of town.

The bypass project has been on the county and city master plans for several years, they said.

However, economic development officials now are pushing only to extend the road far enough to provide access to about 90 acres of prime industrial land known as the Ohler property, said Taneytown City Manager John Kendall.

Taneytown's City Council voted Sept. 12 to begin annexation proceedings on the property, which was presented to the group about 1 1/2 years ago, he said.

Also, the EDC -- which has argued that Carroll County needs more industrial land and needs to make better use of what exists -- has taken an interest in seeing the land developed soon.

"That's one of the best-kept secrets in the county and one of the best-priced pieces of industrial land," said EDC Chairman Paul D. Denton. "It's very large, and it lays well."

Buyers have been put off by the lack of road access, said Robert A. "Max" Bair, executive assistant to the county commissioners. The property has rail access, and water and sewer are obtainable, he said.

"The government track record for delivering services [to businesses] when they are needed hasn't been sterling nationwide," Mr. Bair said. "There's a little bit of apprehension in buying a site in anticipation of the infrastructure getting there when needed. There's less risk in buying a site that's already developed."

In contrast, there has been considerable activity in a nearby industrial area that is accessible by Allendale Lane, he said.

"There has been development of industrial facilities on the adjacent land," said Mr. Bair, citing All-State Welding Products and Taney Supply and Lumber Corp. "That site does have road access to it."

Antrim Boulevard, which currently dead-ends into Trevanion Road, is a city road that the county helped pay for, Mr. Kendall said.

County officials hope the state will put the bypass on its construction schedule and reimburse the county for what it has paid, Mr. Bair said.

The extension to complete the bypass could be paid for with the same mind of city-county cooperation, he said. He suggested "tax increment financing," which earmarks the increased tax revenues from a developed piece of property to pay for specific improvements, as one form of creative financing.

No cost estimates are available for the project, Mr. Bair said.

"If the project is to occur, we are going to have to look at a variety of funding mechanisms to match money and maximize what it can do," he said.

Another possibility is asking local industries to lobby for the project and possibly contribute money for construction, Mr. Kendall said.

"Woodsboro's [bypass] couldn't have been built if it wasn't for local quarries and large industries speaking out and saying they wanted the project," he said, referring to a bypass planned in Frederick County.

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