Fanning the Flames
Posted by Buzz Beeler on 21st January 2017

May 10, 2015 8:30 pm ET

Troubled Fort Howard site experiences another possible arson

Source: Fanning the Flames

File photo of historic building in flames at Fort Howard

Have you heard the old saying, “When it rains, it pours” folks? Well, when it comes to a certain development site, I get the feeling that actual rain would be welcome, as it would make the area damp and hard to set ablaze.

You see, Baltimore County Fire Officials have confirmed yet another fire (the fourth, by my count) at the Fort Howard property.

You may remember that Fort Howard is at the center of a major controversy involving a proposed $500 million retirement community.

The latest fire occurred on May 2 at 6:00 am. The fire engulfed an office trailer.

At this point, arson investigators are looking into a series of fires that burned down some historical buildings at the old veteran’s hospital. As a result of those fires, the proposed developer—Tim Munshell—was ordered to provide 24-hour security for the grounds, which still house a veteran’s clinic.

It would appear that the security force was less than effective on the morning of May 2.

Meanwhile, Munshell, the developer of record, is facing some serious issues involving the National Environmental Policy Act, as well as the lease he signed with the VA to develop the property, which is a well-known landmark in Fort Howard.

I have written quite a bit on that subject, so I won’t rehash things here. You can browse through some of the articles I wrote on the issue by going to the following website:

Getting back to the latest blaze at the site, fire officials also reported some smaller brush fires in the area. On a positive note, officials said they have noticed that security is now posted at the site.

It was rumored that, on one occasion, the supposed security guards were involved in an incident that led to police intervention. Rather than muddy the waters of this blog post, I will have more on that incident later.

It should also be noted that the community remains in strong opposition to Mr. Munshell’s planned “metropolis,” which will forever impact some of the finest open space in the county. I would expect a “rumble in the jungle” over this one, especially after the taxpayers find out the public cost and its continued effects on already stretched pocketbooks.

Losing two historical buildings to possible arson fires is unthinkable considering that, under the lease agreement, Mr. Munshell is now the gatekeeper for the VA property.

In my opinion, this is another government deal for the chosen ones—i.e., certain developers—and you have to ask yourself, why turn a landmark into a metropolis with the taxpayers bearing much of the huge cost for the infrastructure upgrades?

Both Congressman Dutch Ruppersberger and Senator Barbara Mikulski have played pivotal roles in this mess. I have an on-camera interview with the Congressman that will show just how deceptive some can be regarding this issue. Needless to say, the video has the evidence to back up my accusations.

Right now, it is important to make sure that we protect the remaining historical property of Fort Howard, despite everything that is happening with the VA and developer Jim Munshell.

Let’s stay vigilant, folks. Keep your eyes and ears open—I know that I will.

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