Why the Crumland and Thatcher Annexations Are Good for the City of Frederick

On Friday, September 4, 2009, the Frederick City Board of Aldermen voted 4-11 to annex into the city 285 acres of the Crumland Farm. A few minutes later the Board of Aldermen voted 5-0 to annex into the city 151 acres of the Thatcher Farm. Despite some vocal opposition, including opposition from all five County Commissioners, a super majority of the Aldermen, with the full support of Mayor Holtzinger, agree that these annexations will be extremely valuable to the City and that they will provide needed help in improving our road infrastructure. Without these annexations needed improvements to important roads would be neglected and fall further behind. These annexations supply a critical component to help building the improvements that will both improve safety and alleviate the ever-increasing traffic congestion on U.S. 15 through the City and north towards Thurmont.

No sooner had the Board of Aldermen approved these annexations, than one of the County Commissioners announced his intent to begin a referendum drive for a special election to attempt to nullify these annexations. That drive is underway, and it is anticipated that proponents of this referendum will be soliciting support from those going to the primaries to vote on September 15th.

It is my intent in this publication to make available to all who may be interested, my statements of many of the reasons why I believe these annexations are good for the City. There are many facets to these annexations, and the Mayor and Aldermen thoroughly considered them before we voted. Prior to the annexation vote, I responded to a number of people with concerns about the annexations. Included here are some of the writings that I prepared in response to them. I encourage all of you to read these materials and to visit my web site (www.cpaulsmith.com) to get additional information and a better understanding of these issues.

It was not my purpose to annex these properties merely to bring additional tax dollars to the City. In my opinion, such a reason would be insufficient. I supported the annexation for several other important reasons, including improving serious road deficiencies, strengthening the City economy and bringing needed employers to the City. But these two annexations will bring substantial tax revenues and other benefits to the City—much more than they will cost current city taxpayers. Let me say that again a little differently: These annexations will not cost current taxpayers anything because they will bring more revenues and benefits to the city than they will cost the city. In addition, totally apart from this—these two annexations will contribute an estimated $8 – 10 million towards needed road improvements. All of these financial benefits will come ONLY because these two properties are paying to be annexed. Opponents of the annexation have no alternative plan to either make the needed road improvements nor to obtain other funds to help with such improvements.

For all the reasons stated herein, the annexation of these northern properties will be extremely valuable to the City and County. I encourage all to read these materials and to oppose any effort to get a referendum election vote on these annexations.

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