Route 3 bypass gaining favor in Crofton Crain Highway issue is major one for area

January 04, 1996|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

A western bypass for congested Route 3 tops the list of priorities for Crofton-area leaders this year.

A task force of representatives from Crofton, Bowie and other affected areas and state transportation officials has spent more than three years studying ways to reduce traffic on Crain Highway.

Suggestions include turning it into a limited-access highway, building a western bypass and widening the road into a landscaped, seven- or eight-lane boulevard.

Marcia M. Collett, president of the Greater Crofton Chamber of Commerce, said that turning Route 3 into a limited-access highway or making other improvements would isolate businesses on the western side. The chamber supports the western bypass because it is the alternative least disruptive to Crofton businesses, she said.

The bypass proposal is also supported by Edwin F. Dosek, president of the Crofton Civic Association board, which runs the area's special tax district. The association is represented on the task force studying Route 3.

Another issue facing the special tax district is the proposed 1997 budget of $574,000.

At the civic association general membership meeting Jan. 22, Crofton residents will get a chance to vote on the budget under a change in the bylaws approved a year ago. They can approve the plan, with an increase in spending of about 1 percent, or send it back to the board for changes.

Increases in the proposed budget include a 2 percent cost-of-living raise for town employees, $300 more for entertainment and recreation and $700 for a new computer for Town Hall.

The property tax would remain at 26 cents per $100 of assessed value.

A year ago, voters amended the bylaws to require a vote by residents on a budget if it includes any spending or revenue increase. Before that, the budget required a general membership vote only if it increased by 5 percent or more.

The budget must be submitted to County Executive John G. Gary by Jan. 31.

"One of my worries is that we get a quorum" of voters, said Mr. Dosek. Seventy-five homeowners are needed for a quorum on a budget vote.

"The ones that will be against the budget will certainly be out. The ones that might be in favor of the budget might be apathetic," he said.

Each household in the special district will be mailed a newsletter outlining the budget approved by the board in November.

Another issue likely to come before Crofton residents is the need to expand Town Hall to bring the split-foyer building into compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act.

Design and construction of a proposed $70,000 addition and improvements such as curb cuts, ramps and accessible bathrooms will be put out for bids and then submitted to voters for approval, Mr. Dosek said.

Other concerns for Crofton include getting the County Council to pass legislation allowing the board to enforce covenants and ending disputes over Crofton police jurisdiction, Mr. Dosek said.

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