Elkton Blight Reduction Policy, Still In the Consideration Phase Town Says

When the town approved the waiver of $150,000 in major facility fees on a Cecil Bank owned property at 110 Collins Street and granted the transfer of the credit to a developer building a senior housing project on High Street, it was reported that this precedent setting action supported the town’s “Blight Reduction Incentive Program.”  The matter of this new strategy to improve the built-environment in the older part of the municipality first came up on Dec. 9 at the end of a preliminary discussion about the waiver of the assessment.  When it was time for the formal approval a few days later, officials talked about whether this was a waiver, transfer, contribution, blight reduction, or something else.  As the elected representatives mulled over what to call the the “contribution” they’d already decided to award, some of them remarked that it was an incentive to reduce blight, in line with the new public policy that first came up on Dec. 9.

Since two town taxpayers have now filed a civil action seeking an injunction to halt the waiver, Someone Noticed decided to do a story examining the policy for eradicating depressed areas in Elkton.  So we filed a freedom of information act, seeking a copy of the policy for this article.  Responding to our request, the town’s public information officer informed us that the policy is still in the concept phase.  We assured the official that we were okay with a draft but were advised that it has not moved beyond the idea phase.  We’ll thus wait for the officials to write up the blight reduction incentive program to see how it’s going to improve downtown Elkton.


4 responses to “Elkton Blight Reduction Policy, Still In the Consideration Phase Town Says

  1. Thank you Mike for keeping this blog going. I find it a reliable source of information regarding local issues. Often you cover things that are glossed over in traditional news media. Also, your factual, rather than editorial, approach to the issues is greatly appreciated.

  2. Bob: Thanks. As one of these new citizen journalism initatives, trying to fill a void in local news, we try to factually report on the news. Periodically we’ll write an opinion piece, labeing it as such or save the commentary for the comments section of the blog.

  3. Add us to Bob’s kudos for your efforts. You were on the job on this issue long before it got to be a court case. (It seems the Whig only covers Elkton issues when they end up on the court docket. So much easier and quicker for them, not having to sit through the long meetings, file Freedom of Information requests, etc.) Keep up the good work.

  4. Cecil Times: Thanks. We also appreciate the pieces you’re producing for readers interested in understanding civic and political affairs in the county. We’re surprised that publishers don’t see the value of digging into these stories and covering them. It should be good for circulation!

    We’re working on a couple of more involved pieces right now and the FOIA requests have produced insightful material. It’s the type of material the politicans aren’t going to put in your hands.

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