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What about Fort Ritchie?

November 05, 2002

To the editor:


Please pass this question on to all Candidates for Washington County Commissioner.

I would like to know the candidates plan for dealing with the PenMar Development Corporation (PMDC).

PenMar Development Corp. was created by the Maryland General Assembly in 1997 to redevelop the former Fort Ritchie U.S. Army base for business use. Some

2,000 jobs were lost when Fort Ritchie closed in September 1998. (From The Morning Herald)

Since Fort Ritchie (which, by the way is in Washington County, if you need directions to our corner of the county, please contact me)closed, PMDC was charged, by the County Commissioners, with the re-development of Fort Ritchie.

Since October 1, 1998, PMDC has been "in charge" of the property. As any able bodied person can see, nothing of significance has occurred since the closure. Unless of course you wish to count senseless litigation against a "tenant".

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Now, I'm sure Ms. Kerslake, will sing the praises of PMDC, since the International Masonry Institute just made the announcement that the have purchased land from the ARMY (through PMDC).

The Army still owns the 638-acre former base but has agreed to let the institute purchase the 26 acres through PenMar, Wilson said (as in Brett). (From The Morning Herald).

The Cascade/Highfield/PenMar area has suffered greatly since the closure of Fort Ritchie, and it is high time that someone give PMDC a swift kick start.

PMDC has not been a "good neighbor", when the first took over the property, residents were not even allowed to walk around the beautiful lakes. That, after much argument changed. Not long after though, PMDC in it's infinite "wisdom" put up fences around the lakes. When one resident inquired about the fences, I believe Ms. Kerslake, responded; none of your business this is private property (did I miss the deed transfer ceremony, no I didn't). Now that's real neighborly.

Another example, when queried about the minutes of meetings and the (I have to laugh at this title) "Comprehensive Plan" for PMDC, residents where basically told they are here at the office, come look at them.

No, thank you, as I understand it the "Comprehensive Plan" is quite large, and I doubt that I or anyone else for that matter would be able to take an in depth look at a document of this size in the PMDC office. Well again, thanks to some very persistent residents, PMDC has now, four years later, sent copies to the local libraries.

I look forward to your responses. As election day arrives, your input will help me decide which candidate to vote for.

Note to the Editor: You may print my email address, as I really would like a response from the candidates.

Carl Fulmor

carrhond@innernet.net

Cascade

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