The Mount Airy Mayor and Town Council will consider the possible annexation of the Dorseytown neighborhood at its meeting Monday.
The town council is expected to deny the annexation, following the recommendation of town staff. Dorseytown is located in Carroll County and made up of 18 parcels of land, which total about 12.6 acres. The properties are located along Ellis Road and North Main Street.
According to a Dec. 3 memo to the mayor and council from Community Planning Administrator John Breeding, town staff recommended voting against annexation due to concerns about water, school capacity and lack of benefit to the town.
Dorseytown has been offered annexation in the past, Council President Peter Helt said, but the residents have denied it. However, the annexation came up again after Frall Developers, Inc., brought it before the council.
A representative and lawyer for Frall Developers, Inc., did not return requests for comment in time for publication.
Helt said it would take something “substantial” for him to go against the recommendation from town staff and the planning commission. He has concerns about the costs to the Dorseytown residents to hook up to the towns water and sewer system, something raised during a public comment hearing at the Dec. 3 meeting.
At the public comment meeting, one Dorseytown resident spoke in favor of the plan, saying she had an offer on her property contingent with the annexation, according to the hearing minutes. The daughter of another resident spoke against it, saying the cost of water and sewer would be too expensive.
Helt said that the developer has proposed paying the cost of connecting the residential properties to the water and sewage system, something he would like to see addressed at Monday’s meeting.
Helt said he had trouble finding pros to annexation, adding that the additional property would add more strain to the town because of already limited water and adding more streets for the town to maintain.
“I don’t get the impression that most of the people there want it,” Helt said.
Councilman Bob King said that he also plans to vote against annexation, although he has not made a final decision. He said he wants to adhere to the town’s master plan and focus on the town’s residents.
Like Helt, he said that he wants to hear from the developer about whether it will be able to address some of the fees annexation will put on the residents.
Councilman Larry Hushour said he was using the weekend to knock on doors of Dorseytown residents along with Councilwoman Patty Washabaugh. He wanted to hear more from the residents before voting.
He was also using the weekend to review one more document on the annexation proposal, he said.
Washabaugh and Councilman Jason Poirier did not return a call for comment.
The council will also be looking at ordinances addressing election regulations for provisional ballots and the town council liaison on the planning commission.
The council liaison had historically voted on the planning commission, as do ones on other town committees. It became a topic of debate when the council looked into adapting the town code to include voting powers.
After a Nov. 5 meeting, the ability of the liaison to vote on the planning commission was left up in the air, with town attorney Thomas McCarron asked to make a legal decision on voting powers.