Hahn seeks to relocate nearby

Trucking company losing lease at Lehigh Cement

Town intends to annex new site

County orders testing for well, septic system

Union Bridge

August 19, 2004|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

Hahn Transportation Inc. has to move from its leased space at the Lehigh Cement Co. in Union Bridge but doesn't want to go too far from the plant where it loads 65 to 70 cement tankers a day, a company official said.

So the trucking firm made plans to relocate nearby, on 10 acres of industrially zoned land on the Lease Brothers Inc.'s 70-acre farm just outside town, said Barbara Windsor, president and chief executive officer of the New Market-based transportation company.

Jack A. Gullo Jr., an attorney for brothers Sidney D. "Sam" Lease and David V. Lease, approached Union Bridge officials in June with the Hahn plan, which would require a well and septic system at the trucking firm's new location.

The town was receptive because it wants to keep Hahn, officials said, but doesn't want to lose the long-range planning goal for the area: an industrial park, with public water and sewer service, that would be annexed into the town and increase its tax base.

Although the land now lies outside the town limits, it falls within the Union Bridge water and sewer master plan priority service area. That requires the Carroll County commissioners to convene as the Board of Health to decide whether to allow the Health Department to grant the permits for a well and septic system at the site, said Larry L. Leitch, the county health officer.

Leitch told the commissioners Tuesday that he recommends granting the well and septic permits - with the condition that if water and sewer service is provided to the area, the well and septic system would be properly abandoned.

Leitch and attorneys for the Lease Brothers and for Union Bridge, plus Mayor Bret D. Grossnickle, were among those who attended.

But Carroll County Attorney Kimberly A. Millender called the meeting premature, and the commissioners agreed. They voted unanimously to allow tests to be conducted to determine whether the land will support a well and septic system.

That will take three to five weeks, Leitch said.

Looking to future

Attorney John T. Maguire, representing Union Bridge, emphasized that the town wants the land annexed eventually and a future developer to extend public water and sewer to any businesses there.

"I think it's fair to say we're continuing to discuss the issues," Maguire said later. "I don't think either side is so etched in stone that we can't talk to each other."

Sam Lease declined to comment.

The property is seen as a possible industrial park, which planners prefer instead of piecemeal development, said Daphne P. Daly, the county's comprehensive planner for the area. But there is nothing on the books for preliminary engineering studies for water and sewer service.

"It's not feasible for the town to run it to one property," said Grossnickle. "The Lease brothers need to bring in an industrial developer. They'll make it happen.

"We want it annexed," he added. "That was our intention, that it become part of Union Bridge, when it was rezoned."

Economic development

Most of Lehigh is outside the town limits, the mayor noted, and Union Bridge wants to keep Hahn Transportation.

"Yes I do, with the condition that it becomes part of Union Bridge. It doesn't have to happen now," he said. "Our position is, we want that property in our boundaries. This is economic development in Union Bridge.

"We will ask the county commissioners to support it, with that understanding," Gross- nickle said.

Hahn Transportation's Windsor was pleased at the news yesterday that the county will allow the well and septic system tests to take place.

Hahn's plans to move its Union Bridge facility date back about two years, she said, when Lehigh started its $260 million expansion and told Hahn it would eventually need the land the trucking firm leases.

"We're their primary carrier since 1986," she said. Hahn's hopper tankers carry an average of 65 to 70 loads a day, about 25 tons each of dry cement to blow into silos throughout the Baltimore-Washington area and into northern Virginia and southern Pennsylvania, she said.

"Lehigh's been very good working with us, but we will have to vacate the building we're in," Windsor said, adding that Hahn has moved some of its trucks to the company's New Market headquarters.

She said the Union Bridge building will have to be torn down. The company ordered a new one in January to beat the rising cost of steel.

"We're anxious to get moving, but nothing can happen till we can test," Windsor said. "We had hoped to be in it. The building's already here ... sitting here in New Market, ready to go."

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