County school board rejects BGE easement at Towson High

The Baltimore County Board of Education last week declined to grant Baltimore Gas and Electric an easement for less than a fifth of an acre on Towson High School's property, instead sending BCPS staff back to negotiate remunerations for the school system.

As presented at the school board's Dec. 4 meeting, the contract would have granted two easements — one .177 acre plot to bury lines to an existing transformer, and another for 80 square feet to install two guy wires for a pair of poles — with no compensation for the school system.

The school would benefit from the buried power lines, and a report accompanying the contract said there were no current or future uses for the land.

But some school board officials, including Cornelia Bright Gordon, chair of the buildings and contracts committee, and board President Lawrence Schmidt, said they believe Baltimore County Public Schools is entitled to some monetary considerations from the utility company for its accommodations.

"If this was an easement that was solely designed for the benefit of Towson High School ...I'd maybe be more willing to give the easement," Schmidt said. "But that's not the case. My understanding is this easement not only assists Towson High School, but also assists the (area's power) grid, and is an upgrade for the entire community."

Since others will benefit from BCPS land, Schmidt said there should be considerations given to the school system.

BCPS staff was sent back to relay that message to BGE, and will attempt to negotiate compensation for the easement.

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