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Regional water authority is slated

January 07, 1997

By BRENDAN KIRBY

Staff Writer

BOONSBORO - The Boonsboro Town Council voted Monday night to set in motion plans to create a regional water authority, annex 147 acres of farmland and make the leap to the Information Superhighway.

Under orders from the Maryland Department of Environment, the council voted to introduce a resolution that would create a regional authority with Keedysville that would govern water usage. Keedysville also must vote to introduce the plan and then both towns will formalize it.

If both towns approve the proposal, it will result in creation of a four-member board to oversee a joint water system and facilities. It would manage a water treatment plant and distribution system and make recommendations about subjects ranging from water rates to future water taps.

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The Maryland Department of Environment has required the area to form a single water authority.

"It's a marriage mandated by MDE," Boonsboro Mayor Charles F. "Skip" Kauffman said.

The council also took steps to expand the town's borders to include 147 acres of farmland. The land, located off Monroe Road, contains the town's sewer lagoon system.

Kauffman and council members said the town plans to apply for grants that will be easier to get if the system is inside the town.

Annexation could take months to complete.

"There's a whole bunch of hoops we have to go through," said Art Schneider, the town's attorney. "We'll have to treat that like any other annexation. The only difference is, it's us."

Council members also expressed a desire to go high-tech by buying equipment needed to go on the Internet.

Costs will include a modem, a dedicated phone line and a monthly fee, town officials said. They said the move will allow the town to get e-mail and conduct business electronically.

"I think it's time we came up to speed with our computer system," Kauffman said.

Kauffman said the town plans to ask the Washington County Free Library about the possibility of a grant to help pay for the system.

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