Now that Howard County owns the Belmont estate, its first order of business is whether to sell part of it.
According to legislation recently introduced by the county executive, Howard County officially assumed the deed of the Belmont estate in Elkridge from Howard Community College on June 21.
County Executive Ken Ulman has requested permission from the County Council to sell the Dobbin House, which he said was “no longer needed by the County for public purposes," according to his proposal.
The Dobbin House is a five-bedroom house that sits on 13 acres just outside the gate to the Belmont estate on Belmont Woods Road.
In addition to the Dobbin House, the Belmont estate contains a 15-bedroom manor house, carriage house and barn spread across more than 68 acres.
Howard County purchased the estate for approximately $2.8 million, the bulk of which—$2.6 million—came from a loan the county granted to Howard Community College more than five years ago.
The college declared the estate out of business in recent years because it said the upkeep, between $250,000 and $350,000 annually, was unsustainable.
In a recent broadcast, Ulman said he is keeping an eye on finances with respect to Belmont.
“As we convert it into a historic nature park, it will have a much smaller budget,” said Ulman of the Belmont estate.
“It’s now the county’s and we always have the option to sell it in the future if it doesn’t work out.”
The County Council may vote on the resolution at its July 26 meeting.
“The public hearing is scheduled for July 16, at which time testimony will be taken from citizens desiring to speak,” said Council Administrator Stephen LeGendre. “They may also submit written testimony at any time.”