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Myers Farm Annexation to
move forward with houses

James Rada, Jr.
Thurmont Dispatch

(6/25) When opponents argued that developing the Myers Farm north of Thurmont would grow the town too fast and overburden the area's infrastructure, developer Tom Hudson submitted a proposal to develop the land without the homes, only the commercial aspect. Then opponents complained that the town wouldn't get the millions of dollars in fees and financial incentives associated with the house construction.

On June 19, Hudson told the commissioners that he would be bringing back the original proposal that included 228 single-family houses and 112 townhouses along with about 400,000 square feet of retail/commercial/office space.

Hudson said he was returning to the original idea "based on a lack of positive comments on our commercial-only proposal."

However, a town poll by Mayor Martin Burns in January showed that 66 percent of the town opposed the original plan for developing the 189 Myers Farm.

"Wait till October when the first water and sewer bill hits and you might get a little bit more positive comments," Commissioner Ron Terpko joked, referring to the fact that the town recently raised water and sewer rates combined by about 30 percent. The new rates will show on the October bills and will cost the average resident about $200 more per year.

Hudson pointed out that his proposal would have no impact on the town's sewer system because he would be constructing a $2 million water-treatment facility. He would also be providing his own water source for the development.

This would then essentially free up $1.8 million in water and sewer impact fees for the town to use in rehabilitating the existing sewer system. Hudson is offering an additional $2 million in unearmarked money that could also help in this effort. Altogether, he is offering $9.2 million in fees and financial incentives to the town.

The Thurmont Planning and Zoning Commission will discussing the proposal at their June 28 meeting and hope to make a decision at their July meeting.

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