Amid increasing acrimony over a proposed motor speedway in Middle River, the Baltimore County Chamber of Commerce is urging promoters and county officials to settle their differences and get the track built.
The $100 million raceway is one of the chamber's priorities on the 1998 legislative agenda presented at a breakfast meeting yesterday.
The track "will provide a high-quality entertainment use of industrial-zoned land, creating jobs and generating tax revenues," the chamber's legislative committee wrote in the report.
"We believe it is a strong economic development tool," chamber President Robert L. McKinney said yesterday. "We would urge both parties to come together."
Recently, racetrack supporters have blamed County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger for delays in receiving approval to start construction of the project.
In response, Ruppersberger said track promoters are spreading "falsehoods" and challenged them to begin immediate negotiations with the county over millions of dollars in road and utility improvements that are needed.
"Detente should be declared, and both sides should work it out," said chamber Chairman David S. Thaler.
Optimism prevailed as chamber leaders presented their wish list for state and local government actions to Ruppersberger and other officials.
In addition to development of the speedway, the chamber's priorities include:
Continuing to revitalize older commercial areas with loan, grant and tax-credit programs.
Changing state law to shorten the appeal processes for environmental approvals and permits.
Eliminating the county transfer tax on real estate transactions within the Beltway and increasing the tax on transfers outside the Urban-Rural Demarcation Line.
Pub Date: 12/11/97