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Jefferson planners worried about Hunt Field sewage

March 30, 2000|By DAVE McMILLION, Charles Town

CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. - A Jefferson County Planning Commission member said he wants to make sure the City of Charles Town's sewage treatment plant can adequately serve the proposed 3,300-home Hunt Field development before the commission decides whether to accept a statement on its impact on the community.

Planning Commission member Lyle "Cam" Tabb said he is concerned about whether the sewer plant can serve Hunt Field because the plant has had violations concerning the quality of water discharged from the facility.

"I think that's a major factor," Tabb said Wednesday.

Attempts to reach sewer plant operator Pete Furr at the facility were unsuccessful, and his home telephone number is unlisted.

Charles Town City Council member Matt Ward could not say whether the plant has had water quality violations, but he said there have been concerns about whether the plant can meet water quality standards.

Ward, however, said a $3.9 million upgrade to the plant that is to be completed this year should prevent any water quality problems at the plant along W.Va. 9 just east of town.

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The upgrade is expected to put the sewer plant in "clear compliance" with the federal Clean Water Act, Ward said.

But even if the plant is operating perfectly, it is unclear if it has the capacity to handle Hunt Field's homes once the project is completed, Ward said.

The developers say the project could take up to 18 years to build.

The Planning Commission delayed a decision on Hunt Field's community impact statement Tuesday night, partly so the commission can further study the sewer plant questions.

The community impact statement and its public hearing are requirements in the approval process for subdivisions.

Tabb said he wants letters from the state Division of Environmental Protection, the Jefferson County Public Service District and the City of Charles Town explaining the current condition of the sewer plant and what the $3.9 million upgrade is expected to do for the facility.

The Planning Commission is scheduled to consider Hunt Field's community impact statement again on April 25, said Jefferson County Planning Director Paul Raco.

The commission can reject the statement, accept it or accept it with conditions.

About 125 people packed the Jefferson County Circuit Court chambers Tuesday night to express concerns about Hunt Field.

County residents and local school officials said they were worried about paying for the cost of new schools in the face of huge developments like Hunt Field, about the county's agricultural business being impacted by the growth and how Hunt Field will affect traffic in the county.

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