Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

From the Past – Impact Study Proposed by Merdon

Posted by David Keelan on Wednesday, April 12, 2006

What ever happened to this? Since Growth and Development are the big issues in this election cycle what ever happened to this study that Chris Merdon asked for in the 2005 budget?I remember receiving this at the time.

As you may have read in the newspaper recently, County Executive Robey has turned down my request to include money in the FY05 budget for a fiscal impact study of major developments in the County. A spokesperson for his office was quoted in the newspaper as saying that fiscal impact studies are "not a priority right now." I believe Mr. Robey's refusal to fund a fiscal impact study is irresponsible and shortsighted. We all know too well the impact that development has had on our community, particularly on the roads and schools. The County has an obligation to our citizens to analyze the affects of development and to properly plan the necessary infrastructure to support it. Recent proposals to rezone portions of Turf Valley, the impact of Maple Lawn Farms development and the reality of the rezoning associated with the comprehensive zoning process cause me to ask the question – when will funding fiscal impact studies become a priority for the Robey administration?

While I have heard that Mr. Robey will entertain the idea next fiscal year, I believe that is too late. Impact studies are a key to successful planning; and waiting until development is underway or completed defeats their purpose. The time must be now. We can't simply wait and see what happens and hope for the best. We have seen that policy put in place the last six years and have seen record-setting operating and capital budgets, plus significant tax increases in six years. Funding fiscal impact studies today is the responsible thing to do. They are an investment in the health of the County, not a drain on operating expenses. My suggestion to County Executive Robey during a recent work session was to add $50,000 to the budget for fiscal impact studies in the FY05 budget. So far, he has refused. On Friday, May 21 at noon, the County Council will adopt the FY05 budget. The County Council does not have the authority to add money to the budget for fiscal impact studies. The County Executive is the only one who has the authority. I am asking you to join me in persuading the County Executive to add $50,000 to the FY05 budget for fiscal impact studies. If you agree, please email the County Executive jnrobey@co.ho.md.us and let him know that impact studies are necessary to ensure that the County will be able to adequately plan for future classroom space, road improvements and other services that will maintain the quality of life in Howard County.

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One Response to “From the Past – Impact Study Proposed by Merdon”

  1. Hayduke said

    It is my hope that a lot of these issues will be discussed by the BRAC committee. But, as I said, it is just my hope. We’ll see what happens in practice.

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