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Roads, utilities costs to be decided at HCC site

November 04, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

The governor's staff is trying to determine who would pay for more than $9 million in road and utility costs if a university center is built at Hagerstown Community College.

Gov. Parris N. Glendening has told his staff to determine road and utility expenses and who would pay for them, spokesman Michael Morrill said Thursday.

Glendening wants those questions answered so he can choose a site in December for the proposed University System of Maryland Hagerstown Center, Morrill said.

Costs would include building a larger intersection at Edgewood Drive and U.S. 40, and expanding Robinwood Drive between the Robinwood Medical Center and HCC from two to four lanes, Washington County Planning Director Robert Arch has said. Edgewood becomes Robinwood at Mount Aetna Road.

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The road costs alone are about $8.5 million, according to county documents. That does not include the cost of the intersection and problems caused by the site being in a flood plain.

The county has plans to widen the portion of Robinwood between the medical center and HCC in fiscal 2003 with developers paying the $2.77 million cost through the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance, according to the county's six-year capital improvement program.

The ordinance requires developers to provide information showing adequate road, water, sewage and schools capacity before a project can be approved. The developer must contribute toward any needed improvement.

In this case, the state could be considered one of the developers.

The county has no plans to widen or reroute Robinwood between HCC and Md. 64 during the next six years, Rohrer said.

But when the county does, as planned, reroute Robinwood through the Woodbridge subdivision it will cost about $5.8 million, according to a January 1999 report by Rohrer.

Rohrer said Thursday a new traffic analysis would be needed to take into account increased traffic if a campus were built at that site.

Steering committee members have said the road and utility costs were a main reason they endorsed Allegheny Power's Friendship Technology Park off Interstate 70 over the HCC site in January. Since than the college bought the land with a $1.4 million loan from the county.

Washington County's legislative delegation and four members of the steering committee this week switched their support to the HCC site, saying it met the governor's Smart Growth Initiative more closely than the Allegheny Power site.

The third site being considered by the governor is the Baldwin House complex in downtown Hagerstown

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