In broad terms, I see a future for Frederick in which its population will grow to over 80,000 by 2020. This growth has been planned for many years, and will include a number of annexations, including some to the north. All annexations are to be within the area planned to have city water and sewer service. In my judgment the ultimate size of the city should be limited to the limits of the water and sewer coverage area. My vision is that the most important components of the city growth is to include major employment centers along Monocacy Boulevard and north along US 15. As is explained below this type of growth will be extremely beneficial to the city.
In addition to this expansion that I favor, I also see continued economic development of Carroll Creek, of the eastern parts of the city, of the west end of Route 40, and an expansion of the Downtown areas. Regarding the Downtown, we need a grocery store, a hotel, a movie theater and a conference center there. The addition of these will be a great asset to the city.
The city should be pursuing these important development projects at the same time we are wrestling with a sluggish economy, which might delay some of these projects. But they should nevertheless be pursued as quickly as is feasible.
In order for the city to flourish at its highest level we also need some important road improvements both on city streets, and on state and federal roads. We must stay involved in the state and federal projects in order to be sure that our share of state and federal funds are made available to us when it is our turn. Specific state projects include adding lanes to US 15 through the city, building the Monocacy Blvd and Biggs Ford Road interchanges, completing the Meadow Road interchange (on I-70), and working to convince the County to plan a location for the North/South Parallel Road.
As the City works toward all of these projects, we will always be constrained by the funds that are available to us through taxes and otherwise. These constraints will limit the rapidity with which we can pursue the projects. In my opinion, the city taxes are already high enough. So we cannot continue to raise taxes to meet ever-expanding projects. The elected officials must say “No” to many expenditure requests. We cannot afford to make every city project a Taj Mahal. We need to learn and practice the skill of making do with less in many of our city endeavors. There will need to be more budget cuts in the Budget for FY 2011. Concrete suggestions for how to accomplish that should be discussed now. The City faces the prospect of having to cut its work force. We would prefer not to do this because we want to be good to our employees. Figuring out how to make all the required cuts will be the major problem that the City will face during the next year.