MOUNT AIRY - The Frederick County commissioners have cleared the way for public works officials to apply for several grants and loans to help offset the cost of extending sewer lines to residents of Old Mill Bottom.
The neighborhood was declared a health hazard about a year ago when the county Health Department found contaminated wells and inadequate sewage systems.
During a survey of 28 dwellings in the area, the Health Department found that 20 homes had individual wells, while the rest used a common spring.
The spring and seven of the 10 wells sampled were found to be contaminated.
Inadequate sewage disposal was found at 17 properties and seven had no indoor plumbing.
Frederick County officials plan to apply for money from three sources to help pay for the estimated $600,000 to $800,000 cost of extending public sewer lines to the community:
* A Farmers Home Administration grant.
* Maryland Water Quality Revolving Loan Fund, which will loan money at a 5 percent interest rate over 20 years.
* Septic System Modernization and Restoration Program, which is state money set aside for failing septic systems.
The county is hoping to get money from all three sources to completely cover all the costs of the project, said Dawn Hatzer, administrative officer. About 75 percent of the money is expected to come from FHA.
The project could be complete in two to three years, said Hayes, depending on which of two options the county decides to take: extending lines from the Mount Airy sewer system, costing about $600,000, or connecting to a treatment plant that will be built by Frall Developers just south of I-70.
The commissioners also approved a public works request to talk to the Mount Airy Town Council about extending lines from its plant.
In September 1989, town officials agreed to extend sewer lines to Old Mill Bottom if the county helped build a new town road, which the commissioners refused to do.