County awards North County Economic Impact Study contract
CENTREVILLE — An economic development plan will be completed by mid July, scoping out how northern Queen Anne’s County can capture projected increased traffic due to a Delaware Department of Transportation, the first that has ever been completed for the area.
The county commissioners unanimously awarded Sage Policy Group Inc. the contract to complete the North County Impact Study in an amount not to exceed $30,000 on Tuesday, March 13.
The bid request was released on Jan. 2, and on Feb. 6 members of the Economic Development Commission subcommittee opened the bid proposals received. The subcommittee reviewed and vetted the four proposals: Sage Policy Group Inc., Transportation Economics and Management Systems Inc., Towson University Regional Economic Studies Institute and RKG Associates Inc. Finalists were narrowed down to Sage Policy Group Inc. and RKG Associates Inc.,
Interviews on Feb. 25 and Feb. 26 were held by subcommittee members by representatives of each company, and they unanimously recommended awarding the contract to Sage Policy Group, Inc.
The project, to be completed by July 10, will be funded through existing economic development funds as well as money from the Upper Shore Regional Council.
The Economic Development Commission subcommittee is made up of the following people: Eric Hoffman, EDC chairman; Helen Bennett and Steve Donovan, EDC board members; Chris Jakubiak, Church Hill representative; Deborah Bowden, Barclay representative; Helen Spinelli, principal planner with the department of planning and zoning; Steve Cohoon, public facilities planner; Jean Fabi and Paige Tilghman with the Department of Economic and Tourism Development.
In a previous meeting, Commissioner Jack Wilson said north county business owners and farmers gathered to look at the impact towns would potentially face with the completion of the U.S. 301 12-mile widening project from Delaware into Maryland.
The road construction project spurring the impact study calls for the expansion from two-lanes, one in each direction, to four lanes, bringing with it an estimated 64 percent increase in traffic, totaling about 16,800 vehicles per day in 2030, according to the impact plan’s statement of work. The project will take place from the Maryland and Delaware state line to the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal.
The economic impact study will look into how the proposed increased traffic will affect the towns of Barclay, Centreville, Church Hill, Millington, Sudlersville and Templeville. Increased traffic is expected, especially from freight trucks, because the vehicles traveling on I-95 south will be able to hop off and take U.S. 301 as it is projected to be a faster, cheaper route heading south.
The county seeks to determine potential increases to local economic activity in the next decade, as well as determining the current economic situation, to outline infrastructure capacities or enhancements needed, housing demands for potential workers and property values as a result of the construction.
The results of the impact study will eventually be presented during a public meeting.
Follow Mike Davis on Twitter: @mike_kibaytimes.