Two years ago the financially strapped Town of Laurel was considering selling the property across Shore Stop where the annual 4th of July festivities are held. After the school district declared the school would not be used as an alternative site for the 4th because of liability issues the sale and the word got out talke of the sale was stopped.

Still cash short two years later, Monday night the council introduced a resolution to hold a public hearing to change the zoning to commercial which sends up a For Sale flag. According to sources there is some interest in  purchasing the land from a couple of parties.

One mentioned is the Laurel Redevelopment Corp. who according to a source would build a medical building.

Maybe since the mayor and council waived $700,000 in building permit fees at the expnse of Laurel taxpayers the school may have a change of heart about moving the 4th festival. However for the next few years I doubt with the new building the ground would be available.

Moving the festival is a huge gamble. For years Del Tech hosted the annual 4th of July festival at the college. When the college gave it up, it moved to the airport and suffered instant death. Some feel the same could happen in Laurel. Moving it out-of-town is not an option, a sure death as the festival is co-hosted by the town and Chamber of Commerce.

I haven’t seen the new budget of the town, presented Monday night, but I wonder if the sale of the land is listed in the budget to help balance the budget. If so, what do we sell next year?

Personally I hate to see the land go, not just because of the 4th celebration, but if, by some miracle, the town grows, their will be a need for large modern facilities. The police station does not belong in town hall, the same building that holds the office of the magistrate, code enforcement, public works, and administrative offices; all too close and too cozy.

I was taught two things in life when it came to real estate; God is not making anymore land and when you need land the price is out of sight. Being land locked is not good.


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