Flat Iron Building (copy)

Mount Airy’s Flat Iron Building.

A resolution that would set a date for the completion of the Center Street extension in Mount Airy was postponed until January.

Center Street in Mount Airy does not connect to Md. 27, also called Ridge Road. A private property prevents the connection. Such a connection has long been discussed in the town.

Connecting Center Street to Md. 27 would create a new artery into the town, according to previous News-Post reporting. It is something that new members of the Town Council ran on, with others saying they wanted to be the council that saw the connection.

The council decided at its monthly meeting Monday night to postpone the resolution so that the language could be tweaked. This included a minor modification that would set a path for the town to look into obtaining the private parcel of land blocking the extension, if that became necessary, Town Attorney Tom McCarron said after the meeting.

Council members also wanted a hard date in the resolution. As written, the resolution includes a blank line for the date by which the extension needs to be completed.

The resolution, with updated language, will be up for adoption in January. The council is likely to vote on it at that meeting.

The council also discussed a request for information about the Flat Iron Building. The Flat Iron Building sits at Park Avenue and Main Street. It is owned by the town and is unoccupied. There have been concerns over its safety, including most recently that mold is growing in the building.

The request going out will give the town a chance to see if there is any interest in the property, although Mayor Pat Rockinberg was skeptical about private interest. He said he hopes this will spur some movement on the building.

“We can’t keep coming up with options and no solutions,” Rockinberg said.

The request for information did not need council approval, which caused some tension between council members and Rockinberg. It is an executive action, Rockinberg said after the meeting.

Bringing up the request for information at the council meeting was meant to serve as an FYI for the council, Rockinberg said in discussions. He shot down changes proposed by Councilman Karl Munder.

“He can talk all he wants,” Rockinberg said. “The document’s not going to be rewritten.”

One of the changes was discussing a tax rebate for private industry. Munder wanted the rebate to go to a local organization rather than a private company.

Town Administrator David Warrington said at the meeting that the 10-year tax rebate was meant to be an incentive to the private companies. Since the town owns the building, it has not been collecting taxes on it.

“I always like to say 10 years is 10 years,” Warrington said. “Forever is forever.”

Once the request for information comes back, the town can send out another request for information or move to the request for proposals phase, Rockinberg said. If the town moves to a request for proposals, then the Town Council will be involved.

Follow Heather Mongilio on Twitter: @HMongilio.

Heather Mongilio is the health and Fort Detrick reporter for the Frederick News-Post. She can be reached at hmongilio@newspost.com.

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