Governor says growth, preservation go together

October 25, 2005|by DANIEL J. SERNOVITZ

Maryland Gov. Robert Ehrlich stressed the importance of economic development and land preservation Monday during a five-stop tour to sites in Washington County.

Ehrlich said both are important and can be done at the same time.

"They're not mutually exclusive, it's not a zero-sum proposition," he said. "Maryland's going to grow. To view it as a zero-sum, we reject. We know, given the state of technology today, we can grow appropriately and accommodate the growth."

Ehrlich started a six-hour tour of Washington County at the FedEx Ground facility, where he told a crowd of just less than 300 that he was pleased with the company's decision to build here.


"FedEx could go a lot of places," Ehrlich said. "They chose this place in this state in this time. For us, it's 400 jobs today and more to come, and that's great."

In announcing a $50,000 Maryland Historical Trust Capital Grant to be used to preserve the Boonsboro Trolley Station, Ehrlich said Washington County is not alone in facing development and growth issues.

"This is a beautiful town in a beautiful county in a beautiful region in a beautiful state," he said. "We're going to have to keep the small-town nature of these communities while acclimating ourselves to the growth in the watershed area."

Ehrlich also announced $3.3 million in funding from a variety of federal, state and county sources to buy the easement rights for 828 acres of land adjacent to Saint James School, which served as the middle ground between the battles at Gettysburg and Antietam.

Saint James Headmaster Stuart D. Dunnan said for more than a decade he feared the land would be lost to development, and he praised Ehrlich's assistance in helping to preserve it.

"(Development's) moving, so there is another army moving up the Sharpsburg Pike," he said. "We need to preserve our setting. And, I frankly (have) been terrified about this for 14 years."

Del. Christopher B. Shank, R-Washington, said the governor's announcement helps preserve the historic fabric of Washington County. It reduces the effects development would have on the county's resources and ensures the vitality of tourism in Washington County.

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