$240,000 bond is recalled Carroll Fields delays move Sykesville to act

July 29, 1996|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Sykesville officials are recalling a $240,000 public works bond after a developer repeatedly failed to finish roads, sidewalks and a storm water management pond.

The developer, B&H Investments of Eldersburg, has missed three town-imposed deadlines to finish road and sidewalk improvements and deepen and fence a storm water management pond, officials said. Other unfinished work includes tree planting and construction of a tot lot and hiking trail.

"The money should be enough to finish the work," said Councilman Michael H. Burgoyne.

B&H Investments broke ground on Carroll Fields, a 60-home development, three years ago. About 75 percent of the quarter-acre lots off Second Avenue have been sold, many to Dorsey Family Homes, one of several builders.

Faced with complaints from residents, who paid $180,000 or more for their homes, town officials said they had little choice but to revoke the bond, which a developer pays at the outset of a project to ensure public works are finished.

The town will place the money in an escrow account, while officials decide who will finish the project, which was begun by B&H owner Henry Blevins.

Blevins did not return calls to his offices in Sykesville and Westminster.

"We just want the things we were promised, like paved streets and sidewalks that don't crumble," said Nancy Voss, who bought her Carroll Fields home in 1994. "We want somebody to know things are still not done. Somebody has to take charge." Since moving to Autumn Sky Court, Voss has attended every town meeting with Carroll Fields on the agenda. She, too, hoped deadlines would hasten the work.

The third missed deadline, July 1, was the final affront. Mayor Jonathan S. Herman refused further extensions.

"We feel it is in the best interest of the town and the subdivision to get this work done," said Town Manager Matthew H. Candland. "The residents have been very patient, but this is getting old."

The final asphalt surface is not laid on any road in the subdivision. Last winter, an exposed manhole cover caused about $1,000 damage to a town snowplow. After that, town maintenance crews refused to plow streets in Carroll Fields.

The developer is supposed to deepen the storm water pond and surround it with a split-rail fence. He also agreed to build a playground and walking trail, and to plant 400 trees.

"We have a duty to the residents to get the work done as quickly as possible and with the best quality possible," Burgoyne said.

Last week, the town engineer, building inspector and Candland visited the subdivision to determine what remains to be done. Candland expects a complete engineering report this week.

Sykesville has several options in completing the work, including acting as general contractor, a prospect Herman opposes.

"We have no desire to become a general contractor for Carroll Fields," he said.

The town also could hire a contractor, who could charge far more than the $90,000 B&H estimated for the work.

"There are not a lot of contractors who want to finish somebody else's job," Burgoyne said. "We also don't want to do this for bargain basement rates."

The last option would be to pay B&H, with the bond money, for the work. Money remaining after the work was done would be returned to the developer.

Pub Date: 7/29/96

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