Non-Profit Internet Source for News, Events, History, & Culture of Northern Frederick & Carroll County Md./Southern Adams County Pa.


Town Ponders Sewer Plan

Melissa McGrath
Frederick News Post

The Emmitsburg Town Council considered a sewer hookup allocation plan Monday that could allow new construction this fall.

Emmitsburg has been under a self-imposed moratorium after signing an agreement with the Maryland Department of the Environment in March.

MDE and town officials were concerned that the town was growing faster than it could properly manage sewage.

According to the proposed formula for allocating sewer hookups, town manager David Haller said the town would allocate 20 permits a year beginning in September if the plan is adopted.

Mr. Haller showed how the formula would work with two different developments competing for hookups. The formula divides the number of hookups available by the number of hookups needed.

From that, the formula deter. mines how many hookups each development should receive based on how many lots it has available. At the end of three years. both lots received the needed hookups in Mr. Haller's example.

Most commissioners seemed satisfied with the plan, but developer Tom Carolan voiced some concerns at the meeting with several potential homeowners in tow.

Mr. Carolan, the owner of Apple Tree Homes. built the Mountain View at Southgate development in Emmitsburg and had 14 contracts pending when the town stopped issuing permits for hookups in accordance with the MDE agreement.

If the town starts issuing the limited number of permits in the fall. Mr. Carolan said he wants first dibs for his properties because he has had houses "ready, willing and able" for months.

"In all fairness. since we've been sitting on the fence, ready to go, I ask that we get first consideration:" he said.

At least one commissioner expressed sympathy for Mr. Carolan and the homeowners' situations.

"Since Apple Tree's the only one meeting the conditions right now ... they should go first;" said Commissioner Dianne Walbrecker.

But Mr. Haller said Mr. Carolan is the only developer eligible for permits right now so he would probably be first in line any ways.

Mr. Carolan wanted more assurance than that in case another developer steps into Emmitsburg before September, he said at the meeting.

The council did not vote and is still considering the issue.

Read other news stories related to the Emmitsburg Town Government