Wastewater request goes to public hearing

September 21, 2004|by TARA REILLY

The towns of Boonsboro and Funkstown and the City of Hagerstown have asked Washington County to amend its water and sewer plan to allow for future growth of the municipalities' wastewater treatment facilities.

The Washington County Commissioners and the Washington County Planning Commission held a public hearing on the requests Monday night.

County Senior Planner Tim Lung said Maryland law requires that counties rule that such requests are consistent with county water and sewer plans before state agencies may issue any permits for the construction or the extension of any public water and sewage facilities.

The county didn't make a decision on the requests Monday night. No members of the public spoke about any of the requests.


Boonsboro, expecting a large population increase in the next 20 years, plans to increase the capacity of its wastewater treatment plant to serve a population of 6,600, Lung said. The plant currently serves a population of approximately 3,000.

The estimated $5.5 million in upgrades also would include enhanced nutrient removal, a new state requirement that aims to further reduce pollution entering the Chesapeake Bay.

The projects would be completed by March 2007, according to county information.

Funkstown's treatment system serves approximately 1,000 residents, but the leaking lagoon is about 40 years old and needs repairs, Lung said.

County Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook said Funkstown officials aren't yet sure whether they're going to ask the City of Hagerstown or the county to connect to their sewer systems.

No Funkstown officials were present at the public hearing to testify.

The town is looking for grant money to help it pay for $2.4 million in upgrades to its treatment plant. Funkstown Town Clerk Brenda Haynes said last week that the state denied the town an $800,000 grant that would have helped pay for upgrades mandated by the Maryland Department of the Environment.

The City of Hagerstown also hopes to increase the capacity of its wastewater treatment plant and is planning a series of other upgrades, including enhanced nutrient removal.

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