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Letters: Don’t fund additional budget request from Oakland Mills Village Board; and more from readers

Don’t fund Oakland Mills budget request

On Feb. 13, the Oakland Mills Village Board made a request to the Columbia Association for an additional $15,000 to $20,000 to be added to Oakland Mills’ current budget.

This request, among other things, is to finance a “consultant-led process” with the end purpose of creating a multi-generational gathering place in an area between Stevens Forest Elementary School and the Stevens Forest Pool, an area that already has a neighborhood center, three playgrounds, two parking lots, a historic farm pond and grassy hillsides. It is connected to surrounding neighborhoods by off-street pathways. This is an area that is already heavily used and treasured by the community.

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At the Feb. 25 Oakland Mills board meeting, residents were surprised this proposal was under consideration since it was never discussed in an open meeting with the community or the two dozen homeowners in the neighborhoods directly affected.

This budget request is unnecessary, unneeded and unwanted, and is a complete waste of our Columbia Association funds. With all of their serious budget demands, I hope the Columbia Association sees fit to deny this request.

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Phil Engelke

Columbia

Save The Timbers at Troy golf course

While I support the need for a 14th high school to serve the needs of the population of Howard County students along the Route 1 and Route 95 corridors, and at the same time relieve the overcrowding at Howard High School, I take strong objection to the consideration of The Timbers at Troy golf course as the possible site for the 14th high school.

When the Elkridge High School Task Force submitted its report to the Howard County Public School System superintendent and Board of Education in November 2018, The Timbers at Troy was not one of the two sites recommended due to inadequate acreage and its location on a flood plain. However, when environmental site assessment reports were completed in October 2019, both The Timbers at Troy and Troy Hill Park (a site that was recommended by the Elkridge High School Task Force) were included.

It is inconceivable to me that our sole county-owned golf course would even be considered for the 14th high school. As a Players Club member of Timbers who has played the course over its 23-year history, I welcomed the county’s multimillion-dollar upgrades of the course over the past two years and enjoy its well-maintained appearance under the stewardship of Kemper Golf. It is also clear to me that this Audubon-awarded “Environmental Excellent” and “Top 100” golf course in the Mid-Atlantic region must be preserved for the citizens of Howard County, and strongly believe that The Timbers at Troy must not be chosen as the site for the 14th high school.

The obvious choice for the 14th high school is Troy Hill Park. The park has adequate acreage of undeveloped county-owned land to accommodate the high school, already includes recreational sports complexes and has traffic-controlled access at Route 1 from which the proposed student population for the 14th high school would arrive.

I call on all golfers and taxpayers of Howard County to support the use of Troy Hill Park as the site of the 14th high school and to save The Timbers at Troy golf course.

Jim McDonald

Elkridge

Development isn’t helping the community

I just read that two restaurants, Food Plenty in Clarksville and The Melting Pot in Wilde Lake, are closing, but don’t worry, folks, the new owner of our county — the Howard Hughes Corp. — and the area around Merriweather will be our saviors.

Three new restaurants are set to open in that area and a WhyHotel will soon be coming, too.

Add to all of this 82 units (and at least least two cars per unit) at an already crowded intersection off Route 108 and Columbia Road, and what could go wrong?

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For a county that keeps telling us its senior citizens are important, why change from senior housing to multi-family units?

There’s also a new post office somewhere around Little Patuxent Parkway. Good luck finding it or a parking space from what I’ve read.

County Executive Calvin Ball seems to be more interested in what businesses want than what the residents want or need.

In the haste of putting Columbia “on the map,” the county government with the help of greedy developers have destroyed Jim Rouse’s dream of what Columbia truly should be or what he wanted it to be.

Maria Alvarez

Columbia

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