Carroll County Times
Carroll County News

Carroll commissioners to tackle Freedom Plan, solar projects, farm easements and more Thursday

It figures to be a busy week for the Board of County Commissioners, with more than 20 items on the agenda for its Thursday meeting.

The topics range from Freedom Plan updates and conservation easements to solar projects and grants supporting implementation of the Violence Against Women Act in the Carroll County Sheriff’s and Carroll County State’s Attorney’s offices.


Planning Department Acting Director Lynda Eisenberg will discuss the potential annexation of Buttercup Road in Sykesville and updates to the Freedom Community Comprehensive Plan, as well as the plan’s future direction.

Then three farm properties will be up for conservation easements and one will be up for a Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation easement, all presented by Land and Resource Management Department Director Tom Devilbiss.


Easements on the property will effectively retire the development potential for the farm properties to preserve Carroll County’s farms, Deborah Bowers, program manager for the Agricultural Land Preservation Program, explained this week.

“Since the 1950s, the subdivision of land for the purpose of new home development has resulted in hundreds of farms being developed regardless of their location,” Bowers said.

“The public decided long ago to pay landowners to permanently retire their development rights so that farming could continue in Carroll County and so that farmers could believe in a future for farming and continue their investments in their operations.”

Also up for discussion with the commissioners is a grant application and grant award acceptance through the Department of Citizens Services.

The former will include public comment on the application for a Community Development Block Grant for Family and Children Services’ domestic violence shelter project — one that proposes doubling the size of the nonprofit’s current space to accommodate victims and their families in cases of emergency — and the latter, a request from the department for approval to accept a grant award.

Then, back in front of commissioners will be Deputy Director of Public Works Scott Moser to talk about the current solar projects in the county and ideas he has for them.

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Commissioners approved solar arrays at Carroll Community College, Hoods Mill Landfill, Hampstead Wastewater Treatment Plant on July 15, Moser said this week, and once they are implemented 42 percent of the electricity used on county land will come from solar power.

After discussing 15 items, the commissioners will take a short break before returning to discuss the Violence Against Women Act grant application — with comments from Sheriff Jim DeWees and State’s Attorney Brian DeLeonardo.


According to the agenda, the grant could support salary needs for the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office’s Domestic Violence Unit and the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office Special Victims Unit.

DeWees and DeLeonardo will also be present to request approval of a grant that will allow both offices to work with the Maryland Criminal Intelligence Network.

The grant would provide funding for three local analyst and prosecutor positions to expand the operations of MCIN — the statewide criminal intelligence network organized to complement Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s measures against gang-related crimes — in Carroll County.

Other items include various bid approvals and improvements to existing park infrastructure through the Department of Recreation and Parks.

The full agenda for the meeting, scheduled for 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Thursday can be found on the Carroll County Government website.