Sykesville completes work on roads, sidewalks, pond at Carroll Fields Release of bond money depends on last inspection

January 30, 1998|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

After nearly 18 months, Sykesville has completed roads, sidewalks and other work at Carroll Fields, projects the subdivision's developer failed to do.

The Town Council voted to release the remainder -- about $80,000 -- of the original bond money posted by B&H Investments of Eldersburg, developer of the 60-home subdivision on Second Avenue.

The release, however, depends on a final inspection. A portion of the money must also be reserved for a one-year maintenance agreement in case any problems occur.

About $570,000 was posted with the town before ground was broken for Carroll Fields in 1993. As work was completed, the bond was reduced to $240,000.

But B&H failed to finish roads, sidewalks and a storm water management pond. In July 1996, faced with repeated complaints from development residents, the town revoked the remaining $240,000.

The town acted as a subcontractor and put much of the work out to bid. All attorney fees and staff time related to Carroll Fields were paid from the bond.

"We will make sure everything is done down to every last nut and bolt," said Mayor Jonathan S. Herman. "We actually saved them money and completed the work in a timely fashion."

Sykesville requires public works bonds to cover the cost of improvements, should the developer default on work. B&H missed three town-imposed deadlines to complete roads and sidewalks, deepen and fence a storm water management pond, plant trees and build a tot lot and hiking trail.

Residents, who paid $180,000 or more for their homes, looked to town officials for relief. The Town Council said it had little choice but to revoke the bond and ensure the work was done.

Sykesville took over the remaining projects. Although its maintenance crew handled part of the work, most of it had to go out by bid to private contractors. The tot lot has been graded in preparation for new equipment.

"We are done with all the work," said Matthew H. Candland, town manager. "Trees that died in the drought have been replanted, and the tot lot equipment is due to arrive any day."

Pub Date: 1/30/98

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