Carroll Digest


August 11, 2004

Bid accepted to upgrade detention center door locks

The Carroll County commissioners have approved upgrading the door-locking system at the Carroll County Detention Center in Westminster with the installation of a programmable logic controller. Pinnacle Electronics of West Chester, Pa., won the installation and service contract with a bid of $82,150, the lowest of three offers.

"We have to upgrade to the technology of today," Steven D. Powell, the commissioners' chief of staff, said yesterday.

County officials briefed on local planning efforts

The Carroll County planning staff briefed the commissioners yesterday on local planning efforts in Finksburg, Hampstead, Mount Airy, Union Bridge and Westminster.

Brenda Dinne, bureau chief for comprehensive planning for the county, detailed a seven-step process that leads to official approval of a growth plan and allows opportunities for public comment through hearings, surveys and the county Web site.

"We want to pull as many folks as possible into the process," said Steven C. Horn, director of planning. "We keep folks informed so if they want to get involved, they know when and where."

The commissioners asked that planners share information gathered with other county departments and with the municipalities.

"It is incumbent upon us to make communication a priority across the board," said Commissioner Dean L. Minnich. "If people know what our intentions are and have a chance to weigh in, they won't feel blindsided."

Sykesville council adds two members to Warfield panel

The Sykesville Town Council has appointed two new members to the Warfield Development Corp., a nonprofit panel that acts as the developer of the Warfield Complex, a 96-acre former state hospital property where the town plans a business center.

"We came into being as the corporation to manage development, receive funding and enter into leases," said Michael Burgoyne, a former councilman who serves on the WDC with Mayor Jonathan S. Herman and Town Manager Matthew Candland.

Now that the project is coming to fruition, Burgoyne said the panel needs more than the three original members. He nominated Janice L. Bowen, chief operating officer for Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville, and Dyan L. Brasington, who has led economic development efforts in Howard and Montgomery counties as well as West Virginia. For the past decade, Brasington has been president of the Technology Council of Maryland.

Mobile home parks deleted from jobs campus plans

Proposals to include mobile home parks near Mount Airy and Finksburg in future employment campus zones have been dropped, Carroll County planners said yesterday.

The proposals had been made in drafts of comprehensive plans for the two areas but were withdrawn by county staff Monday night at a work session of the county Planning and Zoning Commission, said Scott Graf, planner for the Mount Airy area, and Matthew W. Simmont, planning manager on the Finksburg corridor plan.

Instead, they said, the Pheasant Ridge Mobile Home Estates south of Mount Airy and the Todd Village trailer park on Route 140 in Finksburg could be given mobile home zoning.

The Carroll County commissioners adopted employment campus zoning in April, in hopes of putting one such zone in each of the eight incorporated municipalities, plus unincorporated Finksburg. The designation allows mixed commercial and light-industrial development in a uniform layout and is intended to bring higher-paying jobs to the county.

Three areas near Mount Airy had been considered for the campus zone, said Graf, but now only the Knill farm is being considered. In Finksburg, the employment campus designation still is being proposed for a large tract beside Gerstell Academy, but about 30 acres occupied by the Todd Village park will be removed, Simmont said.

Both plans drew opposition from area residents at a July 20 work session. Planners and commission members emphasized that the plans are still being developed. When the proposals are complete, public hearings will be held with the planning commission - and again when the proposals are considered by the county commissioners.

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