Frederick County to continue, possibly expand municipal recycling program

Frederick News Post
Bethany Rodgers
Bottles and cans might soon have to cover less distance to land in a recycling bin near Brunswick or Thurmont. The Board of County Commissioners decided Thursday to continue and possibly expand the county's municipal recycling program. Middletown, Walkersville and Emmitsburg each have the recycling drop-off sites, and under the pilot program, have received county dollars to reimburse them for running the centers. Commissioners on Thursday unanimously opted to make the recycling incentive program permanent and set aside $50,000 to fund the current sites and support Brunswick and Thurmont if they join the program. "This is a program we started. It's been very, very popular. So this is to take it to another level," Commissioners President Blaine Young said. The fiscal 2014 funding levels represent a reduction from last year, when the program was budgeted for up to $100,000. However, Phillip Harris, the county's superintendent of solid waste management, said the three participating municipalities together used only about $12,300 of the available funds.

City Limits

The Frederick Citizen
Jack Lynch
Looking ahead towards the upcoming City of Frederick Comprehensive Planning process, and looking back over the last two previous Comp Plans, yields a few insights into various theories and outcomes from our public process that suggest alternatives to continued municipal growth. Rather than a growth, no-growth argument and its corresponding fallacy of economic benefit, we would achieve better results and improve citizen’s lives by following a model of ”benefit area” as our thinking. To try to summarize this concept of benefit area, let’s consider the current model, which assumes that a physical and economic growth model improves the quality of life.

Frederick County growth plans criticized

Young: State’s stance is political, former commissioner involved
Sherry Greenfield
A letter sent this past week from the Maryland Department of Planning, marks the second time the agency has criticized the commissioners’ plans to give 163 property owners permission to build homes and businesses on what now is open space.

Frederick County library director accused of getting political

Library director says county gave back $450, 000 state grant
Sherry Greenfield
The debate over building a new library in Walkersville took a new turn this week when the president of the county commissioners accused the library director of political posturing. “It sounds like Darrell Batson is becoming very political,” Frederick County Commissioners’ President Blaine R. Young (R) said of the county’s public library director, Darrell Batson. At issue is Batson’s criticism of proposed cuts to funding for new libraries and his assessment that the current Board of County Commissioners dismissed a $450,000-grant from the state to help construct a new Walkersville branch. Batson, who was hired by the county in 1998, also said that the commissioners effectively “stopped libraries dead” by halting the construction of all new libraries in 2010. It was that decision that forced the county to return the state grant that would have paid for a portion of a new $6-million building in Walkersville

The final chapter?

Shreve suggests shuttering Walkersville library
Frederick News Post
Pete McCarthy and Courtney Pomeroy
Building a new library in Walkersville would put Frederick County on the hook for a $6.1 million tab, and at least one county commissioner is asking whether there is a cheaper alternative. Commissioner Billy Shreve has proposed dropping the new construction and merging the town's Frederick County Public Libraries branch with the Walkersville Middle School library. "My thought is why not just expand the library in the school," Shreve said Thursday. "One of the things we have to look at in these budget times is how we spend taxpayer dollars." The commissioners are reviewing the five-year Capital Improvements Plan -- a document that outlines future construction projects for the county. Building a 15,250-square-foot library does not sound like a priority, Shreve said.