There are at least two pieces of legislation that Garrett County residents – all Maryland residents, for that matter – should vehemently oppose by sending letters and e-mails, and making telephone calls to Delegate Wendell Beitzel and Senator George Edwards. Fortunately, both of them are already working to stop passage of them.
One bill would allow developers of wind-power turbines to no longer require the approval of the Public Service Commission before proceeding with their installation. It would also eliminate environmental reviews which look at the potential impact on wildlife, endangered species, and forest fragmentation, which are currently part of the approval pro cess used by the PSC. Obviously this is an attempt to totally circumvent those who have been protesting erection of the turbines in Garrett County.
If this bill passes, not only will the proposed 17 wind turbines go up on Garrett County’s Appalachian mountain ridge, but there would be almost no stopping the erection of scores more of these monsters. The turbine floodgate will be opened, and local residents who must live under them and have to look at them every time they step outside would be virtually helpless in attempts to close that gate.
Another bill that would result in a financial travesty for homeowners and business owners is one that would establish what is being called the “Green Fund,” the use of which would be to clean up the Chesapeake Bay. If passed, this bill would assess an impact tax on “impervious surfaces,” or surfaces such as roads, parking lots, and driveways that prevent rain water from soaking into the ground. It would be assessed on a per-square-foot basis and – get this – at a rate of $2 per square foot for 97% of Garrett County, and at a rate of 25 cents per square foot for urban property!
Remember, too, that two-thirds of Garrett County’s runoff water does not even go into the Chesapeake Bay, which is why so many local folks are still angry about the now infamous “flush tax.” There is no question that the health of the bay is crucial to the entire state, including Garrett County. The flush tax, relatively speaking, does not seem all that excessive. But this proposed Green Fund tax would mean a couple thousand dollars’ expense to a new homeowner, and could be in the hundreds of thousands for businesses. Talk about a deterrent to attracting new businesses to Garrett County!
More details of this particular bill can be found in a story on the front page, and don’t need to be entirely rehashed here. But once again, it is important that residents take the time, make the effort, to loudly oppose these two pieces of – – – -… legislation. They are bad, bad ideas.
8 March 2007
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