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Myers: 'Smart, Green & Growing' initiatives put 'us in a bad situation'

September 08, 2010

SMITHSBURG --Smithsburg Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers is voicing frustration over state regulations designed to result in better planned annexations and more effectively planned drinking water and sewage treatment projects in municipalities.

The initiatives stem from Gov. Martin O'Malley's "Smart, Green & Growing" efforts and are related to Chesapeake Bay pollution issues, officials have said.

Although Smithsburg's development coordinator said he realizes the new regulations are important, he and other Smithsburg town officials have been complaining about the money that has to be spent to comply with the requirements, and they question why they have to be dealt with now as they wrestle with other issues in a struggling economy.

Towns are faced with developing a "water resource element" and a "municipal growth element" for their growth plans after the passage of House Bill 1141 in the Maryland General Assembly in 2006, officials said.

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The issue came up at a Smithsburg Town Council meeting Tuesday night.

On Wednesday, Myers said one of the biggest problems is that suggestions state officials have made for the town will affect language in the town's comprehensive plan.

And those changes will cost money, Myers said, adding that the situation is complicated by the fact the town is losing state funding.

"It just really puts us in a bad situation," Myers said.

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