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Advertise on the Tentacle

November 22, 2010

Busy Week Significant Progress

Michael Kurtianyk

So it’s time to move on to other things. This week has seen a great deal of “newsworthy” items, so let’s go through the week that was….


Construction has begun for the control tower at the Frederick Municipal Airport. This is a much needed project. One of the reasons is that as businesses look for places to move or to expand, an airport provides access for the employees and clients.


The tower will be 106 feet tall, and will take about 18 months to complete. The money for this project ($5.3 million) came from The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, created by the Obama Administration to stimulate the economy. Furthermore, the primary runway will be lengthened by 600 feet on the south end, and 180 feet to the north. This is good for Frederick. This may help the hotel/convention center that is in the works.


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It was good news to read that the Frederick County Board of Zoning Appeals voted 2-to-1 to deny the application for an electric substation as a special exception. This would have allowed the substation to be built on Bartholows Road as part of the Potomac Appalachian Transmission Highline or PATH. It would have plunked a 42-acre substation in an agricultural area surrounded by residential housing.


Real estate values would have plummeted for those homes if this application was allowed to move forward. The next step is for the utility company to appeal the zoning board's decision in court or take it to the Maryland Public Service Commission. The merits of this project are easily discerned, but this is not the place for it. Time should have been spent seeking alternative locations, areas nowhere near residential housing.


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The current Board of County Commissioners voted 3-2 in favor of waiving the impact fees for affordable housing. The two who voted against this were John L. “Lennie” Thompson, Jr., and David Gray. Currently, it costs $15,185 in impact fees before a shovel breaks dirt on a single-family detached home. The current commissioners voted to increase this from $14,283 on June 1. This waiver was the right thing to do, and yet it is disappointing that a current and future commissioner (David Gray) voted against this motion. Habitat for Humanity can only build a few houses a year, so the impact of these fees is minimal. Fortunately, this passed with a majority vote.


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With life being simpler these days, I am able to spend more time with my family. I get to read with my daughters (and without them), and watch the new Jeopardy! games. Did you know there is a Jeopardy! version for the Wii Crazy?


I think often about what I will do, but I made the decision to take some time off following the campaign. I posted that I would take 60 days to decompress and see what’s out there. This would take me through the holiday season. However, there are some things that have come up that I’m really excited about. I’ll be unveiling them in the next few weeks, and only those closest to me know a couple of these new ventures.


I’ve been amused by those who’ve been prognosticating as to my future. I’ve read about switching parties. I’ve actually been hearing that one for months, and mostly from within the Democratic Party. One even said that I would now switch parties “while it is still newsworthy.” I’m still chuckling over that one.


So little effort goes into these “prognostications.” Picking up the phone, even emailing, would have made more sense, but if people want to talk without going to the source, then so be it. I can’t control it, nor will I be dragged down by stuff like this.


I’ll be getting ready for the Thanksgiving break by being with my family, and looking forward to it. I’ll be bringing books with me to read, and listening to my IPod. It’ll be a great time.


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