County awards North County Eco­nomic Im­pact Study con­tract

The Kent Island Bay Times - - Senior Satellite - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

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.

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