Commissioners postpone decision on repayment plan for road upgrade

April 26, 2000|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,SUN STAFF

The county commissioners have postponed until today a decision on when to begin adding the cost of paving Homedale Road to the county tax bills of the 17 homeowners living on the street.

The homeowners are to pay 75 percent of the $211,039 cost of resurfacing the road through a 10-year, no-interest loan. The county would pay the remaining 25 percent. The bill includes a $66,772 charge from Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. for moving power lines, which residents say they should not have to pay.

When several residents protested yesterday having to pay the added cost of moving power lines, Carroll County Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier said she wanted to know more before making a decision.

"I'm glad you all came today," Frazier said to Homedale residents. "We'll discuss it tomorrow and see what we can come up with." Frazier was briefed yesterday by county staff and residents.

The Homedale development began with about four homes in the 1970s and was completed in the late 1990s with another 13 homes. At least three developers have been involved.

When the first four homes went in, residents and the developer disagreed over the type of road that would be built, and residents sought to stop further development until the disagreement was settled, county staff said. Until all sides reached an agreement and the road was finished last year, Homedale Road was a gravel lane.

The original four residents needed utilities, and BGE installed utility lines for those four homes. Those lines, and cable lines installed later by Prestige Cable, had to be moved when the road was reconstructed.

"The existing power lines had to be moved because they were not put in the right place," said Joyce Craig, a resident of the newer section. She and four neighbors attended the hearing yesterday. They said they were glad to pay for the road, but not the utility lines.

Craig said that if she had known the cost of the new road would include the expense of moving utilities, she would have chosen to keep the old road.

The county took over maintenance of the road two years ago and, with residents' consent, put the road construction project out to bid. Reisterstown-based Bosley Inc. won the contract, and charged the county $124,778 to pave an 18-foot-wide road with 6-foot shoulders.

"The residents voted to proceed based on our preliminary engineering costs," said county engineer Howard Noll.

"They should not be surprised" by the cost, he said.

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