Sykesville mayor seeks more planning for growth


The Sykesville-Eldersburg area is getting too much development and too little attention from Carroll County government, Sykesville Mayor Jonathan Herman said yesterday.

"Our area is growing so rapidly, it's important we have a vision," he told the County Commissioners at their quarterly meeting with town mayors at the County Office Building.

"We're not dealing with the bigger picture," he said. "We need an agenda, an outline, a plan."

South Carroll is one of the fastest growing areas in the county. The population of the Sykesville and Eldersburg election districts grew 28 percent from 1980 to 1990 -- from 22,544 to 28,754, according to the 1990 U.S. Census.

"Westminster often is a focus for what goes on in Carroll County," Mr. Herman said. South Carroll needs more attention, he said.

Commissioner W. Benjamin Brown told the Sykesville mayor he hoped the recent appointments of South Carroll residents to the county Planning Commission were "comforting."

Commissioner Richard T. Yates of Eldersburg sits on the planning board, as does Thomas G. Hiltz of Woodbine. Joseph H. Mettle of Eldersburg is the alternate member.

"There's no question we're moving in the right direction," Mr. Herman said.

He said he plans to organize a meeting of county and town officials to discuss South Carroll's future. "No one's focused on it yet. I want people to focus," Mr. Herman said.

Also yesterday:

* The commissioners and mayors discussed solid waste disposal plans.

Five towns received bids two weeks ago from a commercial hauler that would collect trash and dump it in a York County, Pa., landfill.

But the mayors of Mount Airy, Hampstead and New Windsor said they are unlikely to be part of the group bid, which included trash pickup in five towns. It would be cheaper for the towns to contract individually with a hauler.

Mr. Herman said Sykesville officials believe the town should dispose of its trash within the county. Sykesville is the only town that picks up its own trash.

The mayors said they support a plan for a county composting facility, New Windsor Mayor Jack Gullo said. Mr. Herman said Sykesville officials would like to have such a facility in South Carroll.

But Mr. Brown, a longtime proponent of composting, said budget constraints might mean the county would seek short-term trash disposal solutions before building a composting plant or a waste-to-energy plant, he said.

The commissioners have sought proposals from companies that build such facilities and will review them this summer, Mr. Brown said.

The county must decide how to dispose of trash in the future because its only operating landfill, Northern Landfill in Reese, will be full in about 10 years.

* Westminster Councilman Stephen R. Chapin said city officials would like the Carroll County Public Library branch on Main Street to be open more hours, including Friday and Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons.

"It is such a jewel for the city of Westminster. It's really a hook to get people downtown," he said.

The commissioners suggested city officials talk to the Board of Library Trustees, which would make the decision about changing branch hours. Budget limitations may prevent the library from expanding its hours, they said.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad