Cumberland Times-News


May 12, 2014

Citizens not too fond of Terrapin Run development plans, either

— To the Editor: After reading the May 6 Times-News article “Attorney for county prepares statement on Terrapin Run” (Page 1A) I could see where the reader would think the only objectors to the Terrapin Run development are the state agencies that oversee development.

Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, in responding to the draft 2014 Allegany County Comprehensive Plan, 83 percent of the Allegany County citizen comments dealt specifically with Terrapin Run — all in opposition.

Citizen remarks opposing Terrapin Run range from concern about natural resources to discussion of the lack of public infrastructure in the area: water, sewer, roads, schools,
recreation facilities, emergency services, etc. Several addressed the issue of costs.

The state of Maryland has voiced its lack of support for a development that would be 25 miles from Cumberland and would have to be built (and paid for) from scratch.

The citizens who are familiar with the proposed development are similarly concerned about the cost of establishing the necessary infrastructure to support a large residential development.

I have been attending county commissioner meetings on a regular basis since 1996; if you’ve been at a meeting in the past 18 years, there’s a good chance you’ve seen me there.

Over the course of that period I’ve seen six different boards of county commissioners deal with some common challenges: the cost of delivering water and sewer services to citizens in the county. In many cases, the state of
Maryland has been a willing partner with grants and loans.

When I see the state of Maryland stating that a development is simply too far from existing infrastructure, it doesn’t take much imagination to realize that the taxpayers of Allegany County would have to make up the difference for this proposed development.

Millions upon millions of dollars have been spent to extend and improve infrastructure in areas where people currently live; many more millions will be needed in the future to upgrade and repair the infrastructure we currently have — water, sewer, and roads.

A Comprehensive Plan is supposed to provide a road map for the future development of the county. Let’s make ours a sensible one that we can all afford.

Jackie Sams Cumberland

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