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February 13, 2011
  • The intersection of Mousetown Road and Main Street in Boonsboro has been the site of flooding and icy conditions due to a drainage problem.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

The problem: A drainage issue causes flooding in the streets at the intersection of Mousetown Road and Main Street in Boonsboro, nearby resident Andy Macomber said.

“When we get a rain in the wintertime and the water freezes up, you can hear cars coming down the street stop at the stop sign on Main Street, and they skid across the ice that’s caused by this problem,” he said.

Macomber said the flooding is caused by a failing stormwater-containment area on private property, above his home. When another neighbor diverted the water, it began running across Macomber’s property, he said.

“I’ve been from Boonsboro town government up to the state government and even federal agencies, and they all just bounce it around and throw it back to me,” Macomber said.

He said the problem should be a government concern because the water ends up in a public street.

Who could fix it: Town of Boonsboro or Washington County

What they say: Boonsboro Town Manager Debra A. Smith said that in previous discussions with Macomber, the town’s attorney determined the matter was a civil issue between Macomber and a neighbor.

“There is no easement by the town on that drainage that runs between those properties, so the town has no authority to go in there and do anything,” she said.

Mousetown Road is a county road and Main Street, or Alt. U.S. 40, is a state road, Debra Smith said.

Jennifer Smith, Washington County’s deputy director of public works for land development engineering, said the problem stemmed not from a stormwater-management system but from a neighbor’s grading work, putting it outside the jurisdiction of the county’s Stormwater Management Ordinance.

“Engineering-wise, there are things that could be done, it’s just who’s going to do it?” Jennifer Smith said.

“We had come up with a conceptual solution that would require work on private property,” but the county lacks funding to acquire the right of way needed, she said.

“Typically in the past, we’ve been using those Highway User Funds for small drainage projects, but now the county has had those funds reduced to almost nothing,” she said.

 — Compiled by Heather Keels
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