Tare E. Buck
Members of Catoctin Mountain Park service hashed out
minor sewer issues with the town's leaders in a special workshop Tuesday night.
At the heart of the discussion was whether the national
park or the neighboring state park (Cunningham Falls) are responsible for a
sewer line that tics into the town's system and also whether an additional
sewer connection can be provided to Verizon.
Verizon plans to place four wireless towers within the
national park and three have already been built however the fourth and final
tower is on hold until adequate sewage infrastructure is made available to the
Mel Poole, manager of Catoctin Mountain Park, said
Tuesday that part of an agreement with the company requires that the park's
existing septic field be made available to the company.
Mr. Poole estimated that the impact from this hookup
would be negligible.
However, it is unclear whether mounting sewer system
problems in the vicinity are under state or federal jurisdiction.
The town has not had adequate financial resources to be
able to test parts of the gravity flow sewer line in this area. Meters randomly
show major spikes in sewage inflow, particularly at night.
Town Commissioner Glenn Muth said that the federal
park, on average. pumps about 50.000 gallons per day into the town's system
during these spikes.
Until the line can be properly tested and fixed, Mayor
Martin Burns said he is hesitant to authorize an additional connection.
Mr. Poole pledged that the park will work closely with
the town to resolve any problems, and that the deal is likely to depend on how
badly Verizon needs to place the remaining tower, planned for construction near
the federal park's main offices.
The company has said in past communications with Mr.
Poole that greater wireless phone service coverage within the park is the main
impetus for constructing the fourth tower.
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