Carroll Report Commissioners Eldersburg Sykesville

Rothstein Defends Spending Millions on Freedom Residential Project Involving Mega Developer Amid Possible Cuts to Education and Agriculture Preservation Budgets

As the Carroll County Commissioners worked to close a $6 million budget deficit for fiscal year 2024 over the past couple of weeks, Commissioner Rothstein defended spending millions on a roadway and infrastructure expansion project necessary to move forward with the proposed Beaty property, a major residential development project in Freedom District.   

The planned development is one of three major residential projects that will add more than 400 lots to the district and has amassed strong opposition from Eldersburg/Sykesville residents in Rothstein’s district going back to 2020.  Residents have long argued that the proposed neighborhood will contribute to increased traffic and disturb the rural landscape. 

The impact on neighboring schools has also been a concern shared by residents, where Freedom Elementary and Sykesville Elementary are already overcrowded and undergoing a study for potential redistricting.  

Rothstein’s treatment of the Beaty property, being developed by St. John Properties, has also raised eyebrows.  The mega developer, who has made contributions to Rothstein’s political campaign and has business relationships with the Commissioner going back to 1997, is directly tied to the Georgetown Blvd Extension.  The extension to Georgetown will cost the county more than 2 million dollars over the next 2 years and was deemed necessary by Planning and Zoning in order to move forward with the proposed St. John development. 

In a budget work session on April 11th, Commissioner Mike Guerin questioned the need for the instructure expansions in the face of public resistance to the developments, and budget cuts to education and ag pres.  

“I asked the question last Thursday on how these projects got on the radar.  These alone are almost $2 million this fiscal year,” said Guerin.

Rothstein would call out the Georgetown Boulevard Extension as “priority #1” and claimed it was due to “safety”, downplaying the connection with the St. John project.

“Georgetown is to feed into the Beaty property.  There’s too many accidents that happen there, and putting a circle there would allow for going into the property that is going to be developed.”

The commissioners finished up their last budget workshop yesterday.  Director of Management and Budget, Ted Zaleski, will embark on a “budget road show” April 26th-May 3rd where members of the public can ask questions and learn more about the budget.  Residents are encouraged to attend the information sessions and also contact the commissioners for any questions concerning the infrastructure project.

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