New Market asked to delay annexing vote

November 30, 2006|By Timothy B. Wheeler | Timothy B. Wheeler,Sun Reporter

State planning officials have urged the town of New Market in Frederick County to delay a vote on annexing enough land to enable a 17-fold growth in population, but the mayor said yesterday that he sees no point in waiting.

In a letter released yesterday, assistant planning secretary Tom Rimrodt urged town officials to postpone the annexation for more study of whether there will be enough water and sewage treatment to accommodate 3,050 new homes planned on former farmland. The historic town of fewer than 500 residents, known as the "antiques capital of Maryland," could add 8,000 more.

Rimrodt urged officials to secure a "binding commitment" from the county, which provides water and sewage treatment, or from "other sources" to handle the planned development.

Mayor Winslow F. Burhans III said he had not seen the letter, which was sent to the town's lawyer. He said he could not discuss water and sewer needs with the county until the land is annexed.

Two developers seeking to have the town annex 1,200 acres west and north of town have pledged $79 million to build a bypass and a school, finish a water line through town and help with several other public facilities. A public hearing was scheduled last night.

The mayor has said that he wants the expansion approved before Jan. 1, when a new state law takes effect imposing additional conditions on annexations.

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