Road access fee proposed

September 03, 1997


Staff Writer

Washington County Commissioner Ronald L. Bowers Tuesday suggested charging developers a road access fee as a way of raising money for a planned four-lane extension of Halfway Boulevard Extended and Newgate Boulevard west of Hopewell Road.

Bowers said the fee could be charged much as a sewer hookup fee is and could help fund a portion of the $22 million in improvements.

Such a fee could be charged to developers of new businesses for access to Halfway and Newgate in order to pay for the road work.


The improvements were anticipated in a study of the road alignments presented in draft form two weeks ago by KCI Technologies of Hunt Valley, Md.

Commissioner James R. Wade said Bowers' suggestion had merit. Wade said he was concerned that different developers were being given different requirements for upgrading roads and other facilities and said all should be treated the same way.

County Administrator Rodney Shoop said the county was looking into several alternatives for funding, including state monies and imposition of special taxing districts on the developers.

Public Works Director Gary Rohrer said no one was recommending that the county go out and spend $22 million now. Initial costs would be significantly less than that because the roads could be built in stages, starting with two lanes with eventual expansion to four lanes, Rohrer said.

Bowers said state funding had been lined up for the extension of Halfway Boulevard when William Donald Schaefer was governor.

Bowers and Wade asked Rohrer and Planning Director Robert Arch to consider changing the proposed alignment for Newgate Boulevard to intersect with U.S. 40 at the intersection of U.S. 40 and Md. 144.

KCI's $225,000 study had the boulevard intersecting with U.S. 40 about half a mile west of the intersection.

Rohrer said the main reason why KCI's plan didn't intersect at U.S. 40 and Md. 144 was to avoid possible conflicts with property owners.

Malcolm Davis, president of Davis, Renn and Associates, has said connecting Newgate Boulevard at that intersection made more sense, in part because U.S. 40 widens to four lanes just east of the intersection.

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