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New hospital would require road upgrades

December 22, 2004|by TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

Washington County's director of public works told the County Commissioners on Tuesday that a hospital built in the Robinwood Drive area would bring with it the need for about $1.7 million in road improvements.

As a result, the commissioners voted to approve an agreement that requires Washington County Health System to pay the $1.7 million fee for roads in the Robinwood Drive area.

The charge would increase every year that construction of a new hospital is delayed, Director of Public Works Gary Rohrer said during the meeting.

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The hospital is planned for the west side of Medical Campus Road near its intersection with Yale Drive, adjacent to Robinwood Medical Center.

The fee is part of the county's Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) for roads, which requires developers in the Robinwood Drive and Long Meadow Road areas to pay for transportation-related improvements.

In addition to roads, the APFO helps ensure schools and other infrastructure are adequate to handle growth.

The money paid by the hospital would cover upgrades to Robinwood Drive between Medical Campus Road and Md. 64 and parts of Edgewood Drive and Mount Aetna Road, according to the agreement.

Washington County Hospital spokeswoman Maureen Theriault said after the meeting that the fee was mutually agreed upon by the hospital and county officials.

She said both had been negotiating the fee for about a year.

Commissioner James F. Kercheval said the fee amount was based on various factors, including the number of vehicle trips the new hospital would generate and the cost per trip.

The hospital would be required to pay $750,000 of the $1.7 million fee within 45 days of the issuance of the hospital's building permit. The balance would be due within one year of the permit being issued, according to the agreement.

The county would still receive the money should the hospital agree to or be required to annex the property into the City of Hagerstown, according to the agreement.

Annexation "will not have an adverse impact on this agreement the way it's written," Rohrer said.

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