(11/15/2004) A developer whose land adjoins Emmitsburg
wants to install a sewage system that the town opposes.
The system's treatment plant would be outside the
town's jurisdiction, but not so far away to be out of the way, said Emmitsburg
Commission President William O'Neil Jr.
If such a plant failed, he said the town would have to
"mop Up" the mess, and that would "exacerbate" the town's current sewage
Ed Smariga, owner of Buckeye Development LLC, said the
65 acres on North Seton Avenue that he would like to, develop into a 100-unit
subdivision has been zoned for residential development for years.
"We tried to annex it into the town," Mr. Smariga said.
"The town is not interested in annexing it. Our feeling is the town does not
want to provide residential services.
Since the land is zoned as part Of the county, Mr.
Smariga said his "only choice" is to proceed with building a sewage treatment
plant for the subdivision, that the county would then operate.
Flat Run Creek runs through the property under
contract. Under the proposed plan, the creek would receive treated effluent
discharged from the plant.
The Maryland Department of the Environment said the
creek could handle the discharge, according to Michael Marschner, Frederick
County utilities and solid waste management director.
The town can't approve or reject the plant, Mr.
Marschner said. It would be a county operated plant processing at least 100,000
gallons of water per day, and the decision to allow Or deny it rests with the
A hearing to discuss the matter is set for Dec. 16.
"It may or may not be out of our hands," Town Planner
Mr. Lucas said. "We intend to speak to the county planning commission and the
County commissioners regarding this."
He is writing a resolution on behalf of the town and
will present it at the Emmitsburg commissioners' meeting Deed.
Mr. Lucas said the resolution will cite the fact that
county treatment plants have a history Of failing.
"Towns are then required to extend services to those
failed systems," he said. "It's a situation where development drives
infrastructure planning rather than infrastructure driving development."
Mr, Smariga said he doesn't think it's true that county
operated plants fail.
"We would think that because this is a new system, the
pipes would be installed according to modern standards," he said. "The sewage
shouldn't have the high inflow rainwater that other older systems around the
The plant would be in the town's growth area, according
to Mr. Lucas.
The town has restricted residential development to 20
taps per year, partly because its sewer system is "collapsed or in a severe
state of decay," said Mr. O'Neil.
"It releases raw sewage" that eventually flows into
rivers of the Chesapeake Bay, Mr. O'Neil said. "It's an absolutely horrible
Mr. Marschner estimated it would take three years for
the developer to subdivide and develop the land, and Mr. Smariga has not yet
requested a county sewage discharge permit.
"It'd take six to eight months to get the discharge
permit, then a year to design the system," Mr. Marsehner said.
At the county Department of Planning and Zoning,
principal planner Carole Larsen said she is working on a report about the site
for the county commissioners.
"I think the Board of Commissioners are going to have
to take into account the wishes of the municipality," she said. "I think there
are larger issues than whether it's the county or town providing that source of
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