FREDERICK COUNTY, Md. (WDVM) — The County Council voted to move forward with purchasing a $20 million Oak Street property that will make critical services more accessible to the community, and address long-term capital improvement project needs.
This 26-acre site off U.S. Route 15 will be used as a space for a new 9-11 center, so more responders can be hired, and dispatched faster. This comes after members of the Board of Alderman called for a delay in the vote saying there needed to be more public input. But the Council President M.C. Keegan-Ayer says, unlike the city in their process of moving police headquarters, the county conducted a needs assessment, spoke with neighborhood advisory committees, and held public hearings.
Councilmember Phil Dacey and Kai Hagen voted against moving forward with purchasing.
“The one thing that the COVID pandemic has shown us is that we have some health needs for those who live in this community that is not being optimally addressed right now,” said Keegan-Ayer.
“This is a big generational type of decision about where to place county government within your boundaries, but we’re not including you in a seat at the table,” said Dacey. “I don’t think that sends the right message to our city.”
The space also could possibly be used for a library, senior service center, and additional health department space.
The city is planning to go to settlement on Friday, October 12th.