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Bypass president resigns & switches position

Stephanie Long
Emmitsburg Dispatch

(11/15) Things may get a whole lot trickier for those attempting to garner support for an Emmitsburg/Pennsylvania bypass now that one of the main supporters of the project has resigned his position as president of the Mason Dixon Coalition for a Northern Bypass.

In a letter addressed to the editor and readers of The Dispatch, Carroll Valley Borough Councilman William K. Reinke issued a stated that, “As I have visited townships and boroughs in Southern Adams County and spoken to the residents, it has become clear to me that this bypass flies in the face of my ideals as a private citizen and a Carroll Valley Councilman: to represent the will of the people, to mange growth wisely, and to lead with the long term future in mind. In that light, I have resigned from the Mason Dixon Coalition for a Northern Bypass and withdrawn my support of the project.”

Reinke listed several concerns in regards to the building of a bypass in Pennsylvania, including his belief that a bypass would lead to the destruction of agricultural and historical property, would negatively affect residents of southern Adams County with increased congestion and would lead to an excess of commercial development.

With that in mind, Reinke challenged those in Emmitsburg to consider whether a bypass is the correct answer.

Former Emmitsburg Commissioner Bill O’Neil, a major proponent of the bypass while in office and the person who initially recruited Reinke’s support, said that despite Reinke’s withdrawal of support for the bypass, he foresees it as an inevitable project.

“The bypass will happen, it’s just a matter of where and when,” O’Neil said, adding “no matter when you put a road in no one will like it.”

With plans to build thousands of homes just north of the Mason-Dixon Line, O’Neil said the bypass will be necessary.

“Pennsylvania has not restricted [residential] building…eventually Pennsylvania will be crushed with traffic,” O’Neil said.

While in office, O’Neil was a major supporter of the coalition and worked with Reinke on the issue, mainly trying to get federal funding for the bypass. With Reinke’s resignation on the table, O’Neil sees Pennsylvania governments as ignoring the problems they will cause.

“We didn’t build homes in Pennsylvania,” O’Neil said. “They’re don’t want to step up to the plate.”
 

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