Tuesday, 15 March 2011 17:39
Who do residents call if they have questions or concerns about developments in their area? Many people call FACC. Freedom Area Citizens’ Council is a non-profit organization that was started in 1993 in an effort to have more organization and representation of residents of Eldersburg and the Freedom Area. FACC has a board of 9 volunteers and no limit on the number of members it can have. But, says current FACC President Ellen Dix, it could always use more members!
Dix says she has received phone calls on topics from a tarp on someone’s roof, to concerns about what business might be moving in next door, to tank wagons taking water from local fire hydrants illegally. (This occurred one year; concerned citizens reported it and FACC took action and got authorities involved to prevent it from continuing.) The Council cannot always solved the problems single-handedly, but its board members are aware of how local government works, and they do all they can to serve the needs of the community. FACC has arranged public meetings where citizens can come and ask questions of business owners, commercial property owners, state representatives – whoever has the answers they need about upcoming developments in the area.
FACC’s stated goals are: “To define, evaluate and advocate issues that affect the Freedom Area; to work with government and other citizens' organizations to effect positive improvements in the Freedom Area; [and] to keep the public informed through planned programs and publications about activities in the Freedom area which affect its citizens.”
When Eldersburg residents expressed concerns about a Goodwill store opening in town, FACC arranged a public meeting for citizens to meet and dialogue with the regional head of Goodwill. It was FACC that spearheaded the collaborative effort to get the “Welcome to Eldersburg” sign that is now at the intersection of routes 32 and 26. It is FACC that will be hosting a public meeting where Commissioner Doug Howard will be speaking about his “First 100 Days in Office” on March 17.
Most recently, FACC announced the formation of the Freedom Trail Foundation, in cooperation with the Carroll Community Foundation. The county’s development plan has expressed the need for bicycle and pedestrian trails since 2001, but no funding has been provided. The Freedom Trail Foundation will be a channel for citizens and businesses to make tax-deductible financial contributions. All funds will be used to build and maintain the proposed Freedom Trail, connecting Eldersburg and Sykesville for pedestrians and cyclists. The trail concept was approved by the county late last year and requests are still pending for state funding. The County budget will not be adopted until May. FACC, in typical fashion, started this tax-deductible fund to get the process started even as they wait for official decisions to be made by political bodies. The more money that comes from private sources, the better off this project will be, and the faster it will be completed.
On Sunday June 5, from noon to 2:00 p.m. the Freedom Trail Foundation, along with Freedom Area Recreation Council (FARC) and the Town of Sykesville, will host a “Freedom Family Fun Ride” along an existing part of the trail route, starting in Freedom Park.
FACC is also organizing, for the third year in a row, Eldersburg’s participation in the National Night Out (http://www.nationaltownwatch.org/nno/history.html) on the first Tuesday in August. A community-wide event will once again take place behind Carrolltown Mall. All will be welcome, and anyone who wants to help plan this event can call FACC for more information.
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