The Washington County Commissioners have a little bit less than a month to seek some agreement with the City of Hagerstown on sewer policy. If they don't, the two local governments may slip back into their old pattern of being adversaries instead of partners.
The two governments had been working for more than a year on an agreement to interconnect their sewer systems in a project that would save both money. But then-mayor Robert Bruchey called for a change in the sewer agreement that would force those on the city's border who want sewer service to agree to annex.
This didn't sit well with the county commissioners, who argue that under previously negotiated agreements, the city has obligated itself to serve certain areas outside the city. Not that, the county argues, but the city has received state aid based on those agreements.
City officials worry that their remaining capacity will be used up by developments on the city's borders without getting any additional tax revenue in return.