By Amanda Yeager, firstname.lastname@example.org
1:50 PM EDT, April 2, 2014
North Laurel and Savage have been named Maryland Sustainable Communities, a designation that will help both areas to better qualify for state tax credits and grant programs, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman announced today.
“North Laurel and Savage are strong communities with a rich tradition, and we will continue to reinvest in these neighborhoods,” Ulman said in a statement. “The future of this area is bright, with new library branches, new fire stations, transit-oriented developments getting underway and other growth. This designation will help us continue the momentum.”
The two areas, located in southeastern Howard County, join Ellicott City in the sustainable communities program, which is designed to encourage communities to "conserve resources, provide green spaces and parks for recreation and agriculture, offer many options for transportation, use natural and cultural resources wisely for future generations and consider the social and economic needs of all residents," according to the program's website.
Financial aid available to designated sustainable communities includes tax increment financing credits -- which allow government to put forward funds in the amount of projected tax revenue increases once an area is revitalized to pay for public facilities needed to accompany new development -- and a state sustainable communities tax credit, awarded to support sustainable development.
North Laurel and Savage were accepted into the program after the county submitted an application, which included plans for Route 1 revitalization projects as well as transit projects at Laurel Park and Savage MARC stations, last year.
“It takes collaboration to turn plans into reality,” Howard County Council member Jen Terrasa, who represents North Laurel and Savage in District 3, said in a statement of the award. “This designation helps open new doors to improving the future of this community.”