Tuesday, November 3, 2015

No Salt Barn For Davisonville

 From the Capital Gazette:
    The State Highway Administration won't be building a salt barn at the Route 50-Davidsonville Road interchange, the agency announced Monday.
    "That is good news. It's great," said Mark Scible whose family has worked the property for generations. The state bought a few acres of the farm in the 1950s for a Route 50 exit that was never built and that was where a salt barn was proposed.
    "I want to thank everybody who helped us, and the community for supporting us," Scible said.
    The SHA wanted to build a 10,000-ton salt storage facility to help supply snow removal operations, but the project had met with vocal opposition from the community.
    Instead of building the barn, SHA Administrator Greg Johnson plans to review winter maintenance operations and focus on maximizing the capacity of existing salt facilities across the state. "Our goal is to ensure our roads are safe during winter travel while making the best use out of Maryland taxpayers' dollars," Johnson said.
    The SHA, in a written statement, said the decision the will have no immediate impact on winter operations as the reserve salt barn was not funded for construction so it would not have been available this winter or even the next.
    "Oh my gosh. Wow. Wow," said William Doepkins, when told of the news. "I was still holding my breath trying to get everyone on board. Now Davidsonville can get back to what it is."
    He owns the farm across from Y Worry. His family sold the property to their cousins, the Scibles.
    County Council Chairman Jerry Walker, R-Crofton, was also encouraged by the news, as was County Executive Steve Schuh.
    "I am thrilled," Walker said. "And happy Gov. Hogan listened to the citizens in the area. It is good to hear they are going to not build the barn. Now we need to continue to press the state to sell the land back to the Scibles so they don't have to go through this again."
    Mark Scible said it was heartwarming to see the community rally around their cause, which included an overflowing crowd at the Davidsonville Family Recreation Center for a meeting in early September.
    "It makes you feel good, to see all the comments from people about what the pumpkin patch and Christmas tree stand means to them. You can take that stuff for granted. I didn't realize how much people care."
    If the SHA needs to move salt resources in the event of an extreme winter, it will continue to take salt from other nearby facilities. There are 94 salt domes and barns used to maintain nearly 17,000 lane miles of road across Maryland. In Anne Arundel County, the SHA has salt domes and barns in Annapolis, Odenton, Tracys Landing and Southdale. There are also two in Glen Burnie.

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