Friday, April 22, 2011

Seeing Red in Elkridge

Last night the Greater Elkridge Community Association held a meeting at the Elkridge Volunteer Fire Department to present their case against the proposed intermodal terminal to loco politicos. Opponents of the Hanover site wore red to show their solidarity.

The loco politicos in attendance were Senator Ed Kasemeyer, Delegates Jimmy Malone and Stephen DeBoy, and Councilwoman Courtney Watson whose district includes the reportedly preferred Hanover site. Despite their professed support of the opponents, none of the elected officials wore red. I thought Courtney liked red.

School Board member Allen Dyer also attended. In a bizarre twist of fate he actually sat down two seats away from me while a stream of comments to this post kept popping up on my phone. HoCo can be very small sometimes. Allen wore a dark suit. I don’t think he even wore a red tie.

One of the central arguments of the opponents is that, if the intermodal facility is located in Hanover, the homes within a quarter mile of the site would be devalued. One of the GECA presenters argued that since the combined assessed value of these homes was $150 million their loss would equal the total cost of the facility which is also projected to be $150 million. That assumes of course that the values would all drop to zero which is highly unlikely under any circumstances.

At another moment in the presentation, before and after slides were shown of the view from the adjacent community towards the proposed site. In the before slide we saw trees and heard birds chirping. There was no sign of freight trains on the double set of rail tracks in the picture. The after slide of course showed a hulking crane with an incessant beeping noise.

The GECA folks could also take heart that the media was on their side in this battle. Larry Carson, The Sun reporter who covers HoCo wore his bright red sweater to the meeting.
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