Public hearing set on warfare center

April 17, 1995|By John Rivera | John Rivera,Sun Staff Writer

The County Council will add its voice to the chorus of public officials tonight urging the federal government to keep the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Annapolis open.

The council will hold a public hearing on a resolution, co-sponsored by every member, asking the Base Closure and Realignment Commission to reconsider the Department of Defense's decision to close the research facility located across the Severn River from the Naval Academy. The commission will decide by July 1.

About 430 positions would be affected by the closure, with about 280 of them transferred to the Naval Surface Weapons Center in Philadelphia. About 125 positions would be eliminated.

The Pentagon estimates that it will cost $25 million to close the center and transfer the remaining employees. The move would result in an annual savings of $14.5 million, amounting to a net savings of $175.1 million over 20 years.

Facility supporters, including Democratic Sens. Paul S. Sarbanes and Barbara A. Mikulski of Maryland and Republican Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest of the 1st District, say the military research done at the center is unique.

The County Council also will hold public hearings on 10 resolutions declaring pieces of county property surplus so they can be sold.

Anne Arundel owns more than 1,600 pieces of property, many that may have been purchased for projects, such as a storm drain or road, but are no longer needed because the projects never went forward, said Lisa Ritter, a public works spokeswoman.

In order to sell the properties, the County Council must declare them surplus. Each property will then be appraised and put on the market. If an offer is within 90 percent of the appraised value, it can be sold by county officials. If it is lower, the County Council must approve the sale.

The parcels the county will seek to have declared surplus tonight are in the communities of Herald Harbor, Cedarhurst, Woodlawn Heights, Magothy Beach, Brightwater Beach and Severn Grove.

The meeting is at 7:30 p.m. in the council chambers at the Arundel Center in Annapolis.

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