Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008

Commissioner Muth proposes ordinance banning portables

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Thurmont Commissioner Glenn D. Muth this month proposed an ordinance that would ban portable classrooms at Thurmont’s four public schools. The move, Muth said, would force Frederick County Public Schools to address crowding issues more proactively.

‘‘Several years ago, when the primary school got overcrowded because the Board of Education wouldn’t build it to the right size, I came up with the idea to ban portables under a zoning regulation,” Muth said at a Jan. 15 town meeting. ‘‘I’d like to pose that idea again, so that we won’t ever get overcrowded again. They aren’t overcrowded, so now’s the time to act on it.”

Muth distributed copies of a draft of his proposed ordinance to fellow commissioners at a Jan. 22 town meeting.

Muth hopes the ordinance will come up for a vote by the end of February, he said. He believes the ordinance prompted Frederick County to fund an addition project to Thurmont Primary School when he last proposed it.

Town, county differ on industrial parkway

Thurmont officials on Tuesday approved, by a vote of 4-0, a resolution supporting the concept of keeping an ‘‘industrial parkway” in Frederick County’s Thurmont Region Plan.

The plan depicts the county’s vision for growth in the area encompassing Thurmont and Emmitsburg, and the surrounding countryside. County planners are currently updating the plan, which is updated every six years.

The Frederick Board of County Commissioners may scrap the parkway when it votes on the plan later this year, according to Commissioner Kai Hagen.

The parkway, which is on the town’s 20-year master plan, would bypass the northeastern section of town to connect the industrial park to U.S. Route 15. The master plan is currently being updated by town officials, and it includes the parkway.

Hagen, a Thurmont area resident who also serves as the liaison to the Frederick County Planning Commission, told Thurmont commissioners on Jan. 22 that the parkway is ‘‘not impossible,” but not likely to be funded unless a major business relocates to Thurmont.

‘‘Thurmont clearly does not have the money to pay for that road,” Hagen said.