County to buy Hampstead site for middle school


Carroll commissioners voted 2-1 yesterday to spend $715,000 to buy 32 acres in Hampstead for a middle school.

The price was about $30,000 higher than the county's appraisal and $55,000 lower than the seller's appraisal, county records show.

The land is owned by Montgomery County businessman Claude B. Widerman; his wife, Katherine K. Widerman; her sister, Marie K. Marsilius, and her husband, Newman M. Marsilius Jr.

The land is adjacent to Hampstead Elementary School near Shiloh Road and Panther Drive.

Commissioner Julia W. Gouge voted against the purchase because she said the sellers asked for "too much" during the negotiations.

"I got a bad taste in my mouth" when they asked that the county build a road as part of the deal, she said.

The county should have looked for another site because the school is not scheduled to be built right away, Mrs. Gouge said.

Construction on the middle school is scheduled to begin in the summer of 1997 and be finished two years later, said Lester Surber, supervisor of school facilities and planning for the Board of Education.

"This is a result of an intensive search in that area for a more cost-effective piece of land," Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy said.

The price was "a compromise" and almost right in the middle of the two appraisals, he said.

Mr. Widerman's appraisal was done by John V. McDonough and Associates of Reisterstown in August 1991. The county's appraisal was done by staff in October 1991, said Kenneth Baker, the county's land acquisition manager.

The county also looked at land owned by Carroll County General Hospital and Black and Decker Corp., county records show.

The county agreed to pay $580,000 in cash for the land and

$135,000 to build a road to connect Terrace Drive to Willow Street.

The county estimated the total cost of building the road would be about $270,000. Only half that cost was counted as part of the price the county paid for the land because the county normally pays half the cost of building roads in new developments anyway, Mr. Baker said.

As part of the contract, Mr. Widerman and his partners agreed to build a road to connect Shiloh Road to Terrace Drive. The county estimated that road also would cost about $270,000, Mr. Baker said.

Mr. Widerman, who sold the county 20 acres to build the elementary school a number of years ago, has plans to develop the land around the two school sites.

The land was annexed by the town in August 1990 and currently is being farmed.

Preliminary plans show 309 units with a mix of condominiums, duplexes and single-family homes.

The proposed Hampstead bypass runs through the west side of the Widerman property.

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