Traffic study request still pending Westminster firm seeks city funds

The Westminster City Council made no promises last night on the county Industrial Development Authority's request for the city to share the cost of a $25,000 traffic study of Route 97 near the county's air business center.

Authority Chairman Russell A. Sellman's request was prompted by the planned expansion of Marada Industries Inc., an auto parts manufacturer in the center, which is expanding on the east side of Route 97.


But the request became tangled in a dispute over why it took four months for Mr. Sellman to get a spot on the council agenda.

Mayor W. Benjamin Brown denied responsibility, saying he had sent the council two memos in August describing the request Mr. Sellman submitted in mid-July and suggesting that council members convey their thoughts on a meeting date to council President William F. Haifley.


Mr. Haifley said no council member responded.

Mr. Brown said he regretted "the delay and the situation that made you feel we were being less than responsive."

The council agreed to ask county planning and economic development staff members to explain why a traffic study is needed and how it would differ from a traffic study already done by Marada as part of its expansion plans.

The county representatives will be invited to the Nov. 23 council meeting.

Mr. Sellman did not specify an amount he thought the city should contribute to the cost. But he contended that Westminster will reap the benefits of economic development and should share in the cost.

He pointed out that the county government is contributing $250,000 to pay for extending water and sewer service and natural gas lines to the industrial property.

"The county and the IDA feel that with everything being done there, the amount that they're spending, it's realistic for this professional analysis . . . to be kind of divided between the county and the city," he said.

Mayor Brown called the request a precedent-setting one.


"I guarantee that if we do something for Marada, the very next developer that comes down, they're going to be in our pockets too," he said.

In other action, the council:

* Introduced a resolution to charge prospective historic district residents nothing for placing their properties under the preservation zoning. The proposal overruled an $85 charge recommended by the council finance committee, which said the figure would cover costs of advertising, notification of nearby property owners and posting the property for a zoning hearing. A final vote is scheduled at the Nov. 23 council meeting.

* Approved a facade for the new city police station and gave the architects a green light to go ahead with the next step, design development documents.