Baltimore County plan would bankroll other needs

DUNDALK, Md. - Whether it's the prime corner at Wise Avenue and Merritt Boulevard in Dundalk or the hot property on York Road in Towson, fire engines and police cars would clear out for commercial developers if Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz gets his way.

"We think these three sites---on Liberty Road, on York Road on Merritt Boulevard are heavy commercial traffic areas.  We think they have a lot of value, and we're trying to be smart in tough times," said Kamenetz.

The fire sale in Dundalk may force the North Point precinct to relocate to Eastwood Elementary, and some neighbors are leery about a police station replacing the school.

"I feel like a police station is just going to bring a whole lot more noise... some undesirable people that wouldn't normally come through our neighborhood.... just a little more traffic," said Cassie Crisafulli.

It also would force the magnet school's almost 200 students to find a new home in the nearly half-empty Holabird Middle School.

Principal Julie Dellone says her school would welcome those students and the chance to expand the science, technology and mathematics programs to include more than 600 of their new classmates.
 
"Industry has somewhat left us and left our students with jobs, perhaps in the past, their parents would have wanted for them," said Dellone, "So what we need to do is kind of amp up."

The county executive says the stations in question need to be torn down and replaced, so selling the prime real estate they sit on could produce enough money to not only relocated them, but also to put air conditioning and new technology into some of the county's schools.

The county council would have to approve the plan, and Kamenetz says he would only go through with selling the stations' land if the price is right.

Such sales, he adds, would put those properties back on the tax rolls and new development on them would create new jobs.

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