SALISBURY – Officials in Wicomico County have tabled a resolution to accept a 234-acre land donation until environmental studies could be conducted.
In a meeting of the Wicomico County Council last Tuesday, officials voted to table a resolution to accept a 234.67-acre land donation from Connelly Mill Associates LLP.
The property, located next to the Henry S. Parker Athletic Complex and within the City of Salisbury corporate limits, is valued at $1.06 million and consists of wooded parcels and two borrow pits that serve as future stormwater ponds.
Weston Young, assistant director of administration, told the council that title research, field reconnaissance, and the first phase of an environmental study is currently underway at the property.
“We do not have results from that yet,” he said.
Councilman Joe Holloway told the council he was in favor of conducting a Phase 2 environmental study prior to accepting the land donation. He said a second phase study would identify possible contamination issues at the property’s borrow pits.
“I don’t think Phase 1 is far enough,” he said.
Young said conducting a Phase 2 study could benefit the county.
“The Phase 1 is, as the number indicates, the first step …,” he said.
“Typically Phase 1 helps narrow down what are the areas you are looking to test. If you had to do soil samples all over a 200-acre site, it’d be $100,000 easily.”
Young added that the borrow pits – originally dug to build the bypass – could benefit from additional environmental studies.
“It was a property that was zoned industrial …,” he said. “The question is was there any industrial facilities nearby that could be discharging something onto the site.”
Holloway made a motion to table the resolution.
“I’d like to move that we table this until we get an environmental study done,” he said.
The council voted 4-3, with Councilmen John Hall, Matt Holloway and Council President John Cannon opposed, to table the land acquisition.
“We need an environmental study done on at least the borrow pit area,” Joe Holloway said.
The county has until Dec. 29 to transfer the property based on a contingency outlined by the landowners. The resolution will be brought before the county council at its next meeting on Dec. 5.