by Jay Winer
A recent release by Odenton Patch includes a story on the upcoming capital campaign by the Odenton Volunteer Fire Company (OVFC). The health and improved capabilities of the Odenton Volunteer Fire Company are as important a part of public infrastructure as any public utility, road or school serving the existing community and the immense BRAC related growth that has already begun in the Odenton Town Center area. An argument could be made the OVFC is even the most important service of all, in that every aspect of our community is dependent on its capabilities. Current and planned housing and commercial growth in OTC cannot take place without this vital service. To accommodate recent and future growth, the OVFC must also grow. It’s stature in the community is significant, from the dedication of the firefighters to the community service beyond fire protection it provides; it is a critical part of the community.
Only a portion of the operating budget and none of its capital needs are provided by the County. It is the only facility and service close enough to service the OTC build-out. Anne Arundel County funding will have to increase if it is true to its word that OTC is its top priority. The County has already committed to spending for critical infrastructure improvements such as water and sewer. It needs to do the same for this invaluable asset to the area.
The business community, even in advance of efforts to establish an organization (Central Business District) to raise money through fees from development to improve local services to keep up with growth, must support the needs of the OVFC wholeheartedly. Developers’ ability to meet the requirements of the County adequate facilities law will depend on the condition and position of the OVFC. Now, rather than later is the time to stand up and be a major part of the OVFC campaign. With any luck, the County will give developers credit for participating in a monetary way, when it comes to incentives that were contemplated in the Odenton Town Center Master Plan. As we all strive to make Odenton and the Town Center a shining example of managed growth and a high quality of life, the OVFC deserves everyone’s support to also make it the best.