MANCHESTER — The Town Council last week unanimously approved a policy that will allow town officials to determine water meter discrepancies.
Residents whose homes have both an inside and outside water meter often have different readings on the two meters. The new policy will force most residents to pay any additional water charges owed to the town. Manchester has routinely checked such discrepancies between water metersbut had no annual process to follow.
The new policy provides a payment option for hardship cases and aprorated billing for new residents.
The meter inside the home is considered more accurate, town officials say.
Under the policy, most homeowners will have to pay any additional water usage picked up by the inside meter. The town will not permit appeals if the difference is less than 10,000 gallons averaged over the last year.
Owners who are billed more than $75 in additional water charges will be ableto make payments over a six-month period. The same policy ultimatelywill apply to sewer charges, which are based on water usage.
In other action, the council:
* Renewed the $400-a-week contract of former councilman David M. Warner, who two months ago became the town'sfirst projects administrator. The new contract is good for another 90 days, and is renewable after that period. Since taking the job, Warner has rewritten several town policies, introduced new check cashingstandards, help simplify the town building permit process and tighten monitoring of municipal infractions and complaints.
* Awarded a $159,000 contract to Bevin Contractors for the inspection of the third phase of the town's sewage treatment plant upgrade and expansion.
PARKING PLAN UPSETTING
MOUNT AIRY -- The placement of no-parking signs on a cul-de-sac here has a couple upset.
The signs, posted at the end of Candice Drive, were placed in front of the home of Mr. andMrs. Scott Snyder in a pilot program in which the county will monitor the signs' effectiveness.
The program was started after 15 Candice Drive residents petitioned in January for a school bus stop change. Currently, the program restricts parking on the cul-de-sac between 7 and 9 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m.
The Board of Education would not movethe school bus stop from the busy intersection of Candice and Windridge drives unless no-parking signs were put up in the cul-de-sac, saying that school buses cannot safely negotiate the cul-de-sac with cars parked along the road. The bus stop also is located beneath a 500-kilovolt electric transmission line.
So far, the bus stop has not been relocated.
Snyder, who has complained to newspapers and to the commissioners, said the using of the front of his property as a pilot program is unfair and arbitrary, and warns other homeowners on cul-de-sacs that, should the program prove successful to the county, their parking spaces could be in jeopardy, too.
Snyder also said thathe was upset that while the signs have been installed, the bus stop remains to be changed.
Snyder and his wife have begun a petition drive to tell the county commissioners that no-parking signs on cul-de-sacs is a bad idea.
BUDGET HEARINGS ON TAP
The final county budget reviews are on tap for this week, as the County Commissioners prepare to work out their proposed budget for the year beginning July 1.
On tap for tomorrow afternoon are the State's Attorney's office andthe Victim-Witness Program. Tuesday morning, the second review of the Department of Public Works is scheduled, as are the budgets for theBureau of Solid Waste and the Western Maryland Health Planning Agency. Tuesday afternoon has two budget work sessions on tap.
The commissioners are trying to devise a spending plan that fits $140 millionin funding requests into $112 million of expected revenues.
The commissioners must approve a budget and a property tax rate by May 30.
TRAFFIC STUDY ON AGENDA
SYKESVILLE -- The county Department of Planning will present its findings on a traffic study of Obrecht Road at tomorrow's Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, 7:30 p.m. at the Town House, 7547 Main St.
Slade S. McCalip, transportation planner, will give the commission the results of a month-long study detailing future traffic patterns on Obrecht Road when it is realigned to connect with Route 32.
The study also focuses on the anticipated impact of the Shannon Run and Hawk Ridge developments when they are completed and the additional traffic they will generate on Obrecht Road.
Also on the agenda is a commission report on Shannon Run, Phase II, traffic study and a proposed transportation resolution.
The town planning director will give reports on a revised preliminary plan for Shannon Run, Phase II; the Obrecht Road realignment; the Conrey property commercial site plan; and a revised Chapter Four Main Street Master Plan.
WESTMINSTER -- A revised procedure for dealing with patron complaints about materials has been accepted by members of the Carroll County Public Library Board of Trustees.