(10/4) Emmitsburg has enough water to
grow, but not enough to grow as much as area property owners might like.
During the Sept. 19, Emmitsburg Planning
and Zoning Commissioner workshop, the commissioners reviewed a draft water
resources management plan, a piece of the town’s master plan that the
commission is in the process of updating.
Chris Jakubiak of Jakubiak and Associates
is writing the new plan for the commission. He told them that the draft master
plan propose development in excess of the available water resources.
“You might want to zero in on a land use
plan you can serve from available supplies and supplies the town manager thinks
are reasonable to be brought on line in the near future,” Jakubiak said.
Using Jakubiak’s estimates, which he says
are optimistic, the town has 219 connections remaining and about 610 new
connections it can expect when two new wells come on line. The total of 829
connections falls far short of the 1930 that could be required to meet the
development demands of all the possible infill properties and properties that
could be annexed into Emmitsburg.
These numbers are optimistic because
Jakubiak used the Maryland number of 250 gallons of water a day per dwelling
unit while the town uses 300 gallons for its actual allocation.
“There’s a 20 percent buffer on every
gallon of water we allocated,” said Town Manager Dave Haller.
Because of the shortage between capacity
and possible demand, Jakubiak said that the commission needs to make decisions
on which properties to annex that won’t leave the town in a water deficit. When
the master plan gets updated in six years or so, if the town’s water capacity
has increased, then additional properties can be planned for annexation at that
“Some of these outlying properties we
don’t foresee being able to service now,” Haller said. “Six years from now, I
may be standing here…telling you we have another 1000 taps available.”
He recommended three criteria for
considering properties to bring into town: 1) Does it smooth out the town
boundary? 2) Does the property bring something extra to the town? 3) Does it
improve the town’s commercial tax base?
One property Jakubiak recommended being
annexed was the Frailey property southwest of town.
“That parcel as we’ve discussed before has
a number of transportation benefits that can help alleviate congestion in the
community and I’m not talking here again about the bypass,” Jakubiak said. He
was referring to general improvements to town traffic the development’s road
network would bring.
Another parcel on Irishtown Road he
recommends for annexation because it is nearly an enclave within the town.
As for the other potential properties,
Jakubiak said, “…without water and serve my suggestion is not to show a
committement to develop in those areas.”
Some of this future demand could be
alleviated when the town begins digging two new deep wells in the spring.
“We are starting the process and
accumulating resources to bring on other water resources,” Haller said. “That
water is three years away.”
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