After 7+ years of living in Shawneeland I have personally experienced my sanitary district fees increase twice. Of these two increases we have little to show for it. We now have a new mail house that cost us over $165k; is smaller and does not have the capacity of the old one for parcel lockers; is in a high traffic area putting school children and the general public in danger; and was placed in a flood zone where there are active leaks from the dam which are still present today. We have what the past committee believes is a 4-hole golf course, which is nowhere close to one at all. We have a dam that still continues to leak at or near the same rate prior to us believing that it is fixed.
Now it appears that others in this community want the advisory committee to pour our money into saving the Council House because it has supposed "historical" value. Those who want this dilapidated building saved do so only because it is a historians theory, as there is no creditable facts, just hearsay from the family that used to live there that it was built in the 1700's. Well, it is clearly visible that the house was completely refurbished in the late 1800’s to early 1900's based off facts from Frederick County's Tax Assessment Office. There has been no use for this building except for storage for the sanitary district for the past several years. There is no viable use for this building in the future. Those that are for saving this building want us to dip into our emergency reserves. Due to the state of the economy I feel this is completely thoughtless, as we might need those funds for other circumstances ie. road salt and plowing in the winter, road repairs in the spring for potholes, road signs as we have vandals that are always removing them.
The only thing that would be evident is your sanitary district fees will be increased. The county has received an engineers report stating that the whole entire rear wall in eminent danger of collapse. The repairs would be quite costly, as they would have to shore up the building and replace structural brick to keep the building "historical". If they used any other methods to repair the building it would negate the "historical" factor. It is visible in the engineers report that there is substantial amount water damage to the building. This water damage is caused by springs from dam leakage that has developed under the foundation and next to the Council House. Who knows when or where the next leak will make itself present.
Now is the time to act and let the Shawneeland Committee; Gary Lofton, Back Creek Supervisor and John R. Riley, Jr. County Administrator, know that we don’t want our fees increased to save dilapidated structures. There is another community-organized group that is saving the Old Mail House through donations and “elbow grease”. The Sanitary District is not funding that action. If saving this Council House is as vitally important, then I believe that those who are for it should follow suit.