Planner suggests upgrade for Smithsburg sewage plant

July 05, 2011|By DAVE McMILLION |

SMITHSBURG — A planning official told Smithsburg town officials Tuesday night that sewer capacity will become a “precious” commodity in the future.

Additional sewage capacity likely will become a pressing issue because there has been no “enhanced nutrient removal” upgrade for the town’s sewage plant, said Jill Baker, a town planner for Smithsburg.

She suggested that the town partner with county government to make an upgrade to the plant so the town is able to get the sewage capacity it needs in coming years.

The town’s sewage treatment plant is owned by the county.

Baker made the comments during a Smithsburg Town Council meeting as she was updating town officials on a water resources report and a municipal growth report required by the state.

The initiatives stem from Gov. Martin O’Malley’s “Smart, Green & Growing” efforts and are related to Chesapeake Bay pollution issues, Baker said previously.

State officials want towns to better plan how annexations are carried out and to more effectively plan for drinking water and sewage-treatment needs, local officials have said.

With a struggling economy, Smithsburg has changed its residential growth projections in its municipal growth report, Baker said.

Before the economy dipped, Smithsburg was projecting to have 1,700 new living units over 20 years, Baker said. That would have equated to 85 units every year.

Under the new “municipal growth element” report, there are two residential projections for the town.

One is a conservative estimate of 17 units per year and the second projection, which is based on a recovering economy, is 31.6 units per year, Baker said, adding that the 1,700 unit projection is “far too inflated.”

Town officials said they expect to file the reports with the state soon and have a public hearing on the reports in town around September or October.

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