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Frederick community wants to hook up to county sewer system

April 20, 1999|By SCOTT BUTKI

The Washington County Commissioners on Tuesday debated a proposal to allow a Frederick County, Md., community hook up to the Washington County sewer system.

The developers of the 26-unit Rowland Ridge subdivision want to hook up to the sewer system, but not the water system. The developer would pay all administrative and construction costs.

Of the 26 units, four are in Washington County. The complex is adjacent to the Highfield service area, but is in Frederick County.

Rowland Ridge is too far from Frederick County water and sewer lines for that county to provide service there, said Gregory Murray, water and sewer department director.

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County Commissioner William J. Wivell said he felt the county is obligated to provide service because of prior agreements by the now defunct Washington County Sanitary Commission.

"It's one of the many open wounds we inherited from the Sanitary Commission," Public Works Director Gary Rohrer said.

Some portions of Frederick County are served by Washington County because of decisions made by the Washington County Sanitary District before it was taken over by the county in December 1995. The Sanitary Commission left the county with $54 million in debt.

The county has about 50 existing customers outside Washington County due to decisions made by the Sanitary Commission, Murray said.

A similar request by the developers was rejected in June 1996.

Merle Holsinger, representing developers Charles and Letitia Gardner, said the project has been held up since 1994 when a written agreement with the Sanitary Commission said the project could proceed.

Rohrer said the letter involved only the part of the project called Rowland Hills, which is inside Washington County. The developers changed the name but the overall plans and acreage remained the same, Letitia Gardner said.

While the Washington County Water and Sewer Advisory Board is recommending the hook-up, Rohrer has said he is concerned about the county extending the amount of service it does outside Washington County.

"To me this looks like a mess left by the Sanitary Commission and allowing this isn't starting a precedent," Wivell said.

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