County approves selling of at least dozen building lots

Mar. 25—CUMBERLAND — The Allegany County Board of Commissioners on Thursday approved $345,000 for the Infill Development Incentive Program in collaboration with the city of Cumberland.

The mayor and City Council on Tuesday discussed the agreement to sell several lots for $1 each to TeaBow Residential LLC, based in Washington, D.C., to increase housing stock in the municipality.

The program includes nearly a dozen city-owned properties on Arch, Lee, Elder and Knox streets, and Maryland and Pennsylvania avenues.

"The city is seeking to accommodate growth within its municipal boundaries by encouraging and facilitating new development of market-rate residential housing on vacant, bypassed and underutilized land within areas that already have infrastructure, utilities, and public facilities," a proposed city ordinance, expected to be approved next month, for the deal states.

Townhouses, condominiums and single-family homes are planned to be built on the lots, Cumberland Administrator Jeff Silka said.

To incentivize TeaBow to develop the properties and assist with costs, the city will pay $10,000 and Allegany County Board of Commissioners will pay $15,000 per unit.

"An incentive payment for a particular dwelling unit shall be refunded in the event an occupancy permit for that dwelling unit is not issued within (one) year of the date of the issuance of the building permit for that dwelling unit," the city ordinance states.

TeaBow has two years to complete all construction.

In other Allegany County business, commissioners:

—Held a hearing on a proposed real property tax rate increase. "We're going with the (.975) rate we had," County Administrator Jason Bennett said and added the state calculated the county's constant yield rate at .9351.

—Awarded the Willowbrook Outdoor Wellness Center Project to Excavating Associates, Inc. for $764,727. The project includes construction of a roadway, bridge, fitness court, walking trail, and a pavilion as part of an outdoor recreation complex north of the Allegany College of Maryland campus. It will be managed by the Allegany County Department of Public Works engineering division.

—Approved $1,226,004.12 for a Motorola Solutions radio system equipment purchase agreement with multi-year pricing from 2023 through 2028.

—Awarded a contract for engineering design for the Oldtown Wastewater Treatment Plant Replacement Project to The EADS Group for $300,000.

Teresa McMinn is a reporter for the Cumberland Times-News. She can be reached at 304-639-2371 or tmcminn@times-news.com.