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Growth Concerns, Juvenile Detention Center Top Town Hall Agenda
Waldorf, MD - 9/1/2011
By Andy Marquis
Residents sounded off about the planned juvenile detention center and about more growth during a town hall meeting hosted by Charles County Commissioner Vice President Reuben Collins, II (D).During the more informal discussion, Collins stated that he is opposed to the current plan to build a juvenile detention center in Waldorf.
More than a dozen people showed up to discuss issues affecting Waldorf with Commissioner Collins on Monday Night.The main issue was the possible construction of a juvenile detention center in Waldorf, something Collins said he was leaning toward opposition of.
“I was never so proud of resident of Waldorf until this issue came up,” Collins said.
Collins said the plan will go back to phase one, and the plan would be presented in a public meeting where resident could attend.Collins urged residents to attend the meeting and said the date would be published.
“I think the residents of Waldorf are concerned about any proposal that may have an impact of the quality of life here.I think it’s important that, in the future, when we consider any type of project (like the detention center), we be conscious of the concerns and needs of residents in Waldorf. I think, you also heard, that there’s an interest in investing in youth facilities that are not prisons.
“A boys and girls club, where you actually have sheriff’s deputies managing that facilities.You see those things in the cities; it would be great to have something like that in Waldorf.”
Residents expressed concern over the growth in Waldorf, and the Charles County Comprehensive Plan Design that would concentrate more growth to Waldorf.
“I’m concerned about the growth being concentrated in one area not spread in a more geometric area,” one resident said.“Everything’s being funneled in to (Waldorf).All the traffic comes here from everyone eating dinner, shopping and what not.”
During the meeting, Collins said “it is not responsible planning to concentrate growth in Waldorf” and that “it makes sense to develop in Indian Head and Bryans Road.”
“Right now, this is a good process,” Collins said.“This is a very open process.There will be some compromise and people will see that it’s important that the urban design plan works.We also have to be conscious about the future and that we don’t take opportunities away from the county.People may not necessarily want to live in a city-type environment.”
Collins also said during the meeting that expansion of transportation services, such as more availability for VanGO and eventual light rail service, was a priority of the County.For the most part, current budget woes, especially on the state and federal side, could have an impact on immediate funding for projects.
Collins stated that, when state and federal budgets fall short, grant money to municipals and states are the first thing to be placed on the chopping block.However, Collins also said that expanding ridership and available hours (including Sunday service) for VanGO is an immediate goal.He also said private/public partnerships would be necessary to bring light rail to Charles County and improve transportation.
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