Officials ask city to consider project's effect on the county
By Alex Bridges -- firstname.lastname@example.org
WINCHESTER -- Frederick County officials worry a baseball stadium in Jim Barnett Park could spread traffic problems outside the city.
But the Board of Supervisors remains "reluctant to weigh in on" the stadium issue without knowing all the facts about the exact location or the construction of the facility, according to a letter dated Thursday from County Administrator John R. Riley Jr.
Supervisors at their meeting Wednesday authorized Riley to send the correspondence to members of the Winchester City Council by way of interim City Manager Craig Gerhart. As Riley explained to the board, the letter asks City Council to consider the concerns the county leaders and residents have about the proposal.
Riley notes in the letter that supervisors have followed local media coverage of the stadium proposal and the possible relocation of a minor league baseball team to Winchester. The board also has received comments from residents as to the proposed location of the stadium, Riley states.
"Based upon concerns expressed by county citizens, consideration should be given to traffic impacts and noise on Senseny Road," the letter states. "As the city may be aware, Senseny Road is a major collector highway in the County of Frederick and is a primary route for east/west traffic patterns to and from the City of Winchester.
"In conclusion, as the City of Winchester progresses with construction of its new stadium, it would be appreciated if county staff could be informed as to the construction timeliness of the new city baseball stadium and proposed mitigation of any impacts on the Frederick County transportation system," Riley adds.
Red Bud Run District Supervisor Chris Collins noted that Senseny Road runs through the area he represents and that he would like to remain in contact with City Council members and staff regarding the stadium proposal. Collins asked that the letter include a statement indicating he would have time to discuss the issue with City Council.
"I've had numerous phone calls of the issues you're describing here," said Shawnee District Supervisor Gene Fisher, whose district borders Red Bud to the south.
The stadium as currently proposed calls for the creation of a parking lot to serve approximately 700 vehicles.
Traffic flow in and out of the stadium is currently proposed to access points into the park along Cork Street, which becomes Senseny Road when it crosses the bridge over Interstate 81.