CUMBERLAND — Allegany County commissioners approved the first major step in improving the situation at a congested Frostburg intersection at their Thursday business meeting. The Park Avenue and Braddock Road intersection gets heavy traffic because of it’s proximity to the Frostburg State University campus.
The county awarded a contract for $14,919.52 to Bennett, Brewer and Associates LLC, of Frostburg, to plan a project to improve the situation at the intersection. That work will involve studying the traffic of vehicles and pedestrians at the intersection, said Elizabeth E. Stahlman, director of Frostburg’s Community Development Department.
“This area has been an issue for some time,” Stahlman said. The plan will aim to create a safer situation at the intersection for both drivers and those on foot.
The traffic study should be completed by the end of this semester, Stahlman said.
If construction funds become available, it will be a state project, county officials have said. The county wants to have preliminary planning done to speed up the process once funding becomes available.
“It’s not a difficult intersection, it just gets congested ... it also gets a lot of foot traffic and we’d like to make it a bit safer,” Siera Wigfield, a county transportation planner, said at a previous meeting.
“This intersection involves Braddock Road, a state highway (MD 736), and city streets: Bowery Street, Center Street, Park Avenue and Alley 33. In close proximity to the intersection are entrances to commercial and multifamily residential buildings. As the intersection is immediately adjacent to Frostburg State University, there is substantial pedestrian traffic in the area as students walk between their off-campus housing and the campus,” according to the request for proposals issued for the project.
Commissioners also approved a tax exemption for the AES Warrior Run Limited Partnership coal-fired power plant. The exemption is for $2,778,666 less $50,000 for 10 years beginning with the 2013-14 tax year. That’s for equipment purchases needed to run the plant.
AES Warrior Run must file a tax return each year and ask for the exemption.
The company must still pay taxes on the first $50,000 of the equipment, county officials said. This doesn’t affect the company’s responsibility for real estate property taxes.
Commissioners appointed Rodger L. Uphold of Rawlings to a vacancy on the Allegany County Board of Zoning Appeals. His three-year term will expire Sept. 25, 2016.
The commission held the business meeting at the county office complex at 701 Kelly Road.
Matthew Bieniek can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.