Harford pulls plan to buy Prologis Park for incinerator access

Site was also considered for new energy facility

December 04, 2009|By Jonathan Pitts | Baltimore Sun reporter

Facing opposition from Edgewood residents, Harford County Executive David R. Craig has pulled the bill to have the county purchase Prologis Park, a 113-acre lot in Edgewood.

Craig made the announcement hours before a County Council meeting Monday at which the issue would have been decided.

The main goal in pursuing the purchase, administrators said, was to make room for an access road to the waste-to-energy facility at Aberdeen Proving Ground, an incinerator that burns solid waste and turns it into energy-producing steam.

Plans have long been under way to build a new facility on the site, one that would burn four times the amount of solid waste the current one does. The project would take six years to finish.

But administrators recently said they would consider using the Prologis land as the site for a new incinerator, should that project fall through.

The possibility sparked outrage because the Prologis property stands across the street from Cunion Field, a park popular with county children. Some said the APG incinerator creates a hazard for neighbors and objected to building a larger one in residential Edgewood.

Dozens said as much at sometimes-emotional community meetings.

"This is a hot-button issue," said Councilman Dion F. Guthrie, whose district includes the property. "The county has had a pattern of trying to put unpleasant things in Edgewood," an unincorporated area and one of the county's poorest.

About 100 residents who had not learned of Craig's reversal were at the council meeting Monday.

In a statement, Craig made no mention of the opposition to the bill he had proposed.

The county is attempting to attract a "strong national firm" that could bring as many as 500 jobs - and that might locate its office in a building adjacent to the Prologis site that once housed a GAP Co. building, the statement said. The county continues to support an enlarged waste-to-energy plant at APG and will continue working with the Army to seek better access.

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