There's now only one site up for discussion at next week's public hearings on Frederick County's proposed waste-to-energy plant.

Thursday morning, the Board of County Commissioners voted 3-0 to drop a site owned by Allegheny Energy, a mile west of the intersection of Md. 28 and New Design Road, from the list of possible sites.

Commissioner Charles Jenkins, who first moved to strike the site from the list, said that while it scored well on paper, it was more important for the county to follow through on its land preservation goals.

"It's been my thinking all along that the appropriate site is an industrial site," he said. "Not ... part of our rural legacy land."

Waste-to-energy discussions weren't on the agenda -- Jenkins made the motion during the commissioners' comments portion of the meeting. Commissioners David Gray and Kai Hagen did not attend.

Commissioners President Jan Gardner said she originally thought it was important to give the public options to consider, but upon further reflection, decided it didn't make sense to contradict the county's agricultural land preservation goals like this.

As a result of Thursday's vote, the commissioners are seeking public comment only on the McKinney Industrial Center at 4510 Metropolitan Court, near the Ballenger-McKinney Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Last year, the Civil War Preservation Trust cited the county's consideration of the McKinney site for the incinerator as one of the reasons it named the nearby Monocacy National Battlefield as one of its "10 Most Endangered Battlefields."

The county commissioners are scheduled to hold two public hearings on the waste-to-energy plant site at 7 p.m. Tuesday and at 7 p.m. Thursday. Both hearings will be held in the first-floor public hearing room at Winchester Hall in Frederick.

Plans call for the plant to be able to handle about 1,500 tons of trash a day, with 900 tons coming from Frederick County and 600 tons coming from Carroll County, which would pay 40 percent of the project's estimated $527 million cost.

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