WATER — or the possible lack of it -- is expected to soak up a good deal of time during tomorrow's meeting between Carroll's eight mayors and theCounty Commissioners.
With all of the county's eight municipalities experiencing well above average water use this summer, some leaders are looking to the commissioners to come up with a comprehensive water-conservation program.
"I think now is an excellent time for the county to begin its conservation program," Westminster Mayor W. Benjamin Brown said.
"I think you should strike while the iron is still hot."
Brown and county officials have spent close to two years discussing water-conservation measures that could be used in Carroll, but a formal program hasbeen on hold for months.
Brown said he would use tomorrow morning's meeting to prod the commissioners into putting that delayed program in place.
Among the features of the conservation program are small water-saving kits that, when attached to faucets in the home, can reduce water consumption considerably.
The county has a stock of 1,100 of the retro-fit kits, and Brown believes they should be distributed.
"There is a good, do-able proposal on the table, and I don'tsee any reason why it shouldn't be in place," he said.
James E. Slater Jr., head of the county's Office of Environmental Services, is expected to update the mayors on the county's water-conservation efforts.
Slater did not return phone calls yesterday seeking details on what he plans to tell the mayors.
Tomorrow's meeting promises todeal with the usual smattering of municipal issues, especially the county's approach to trash and recycling.
It was trash that ignitedthe mayors during their last gathering with the commissioners. During the April meeting, the mayors blasted the commissioners for their proposed -- and since scrapped -- overhaul of county charges for the disposal of solid waste.
That proposal would have imposed a yearly charge of about $47 for residential trash collection while continuinga higher, per-ton charge for commercial trash collection.
Also included in the proposal was an increase in the current, per-ton landfill dumping charge from $15 to as high as $40.
The mayors opposed the measure, saying it would have thrown their budgets into disarray. The commissioners never implemented the proposal.
Also expected tocome up during tomorrow's meeting is the county's and the municipalities' relationship with Prestige Cable TV. The cable company, which has asked the county for an extension to its 15-year franchise agreement, has been trying for more than a year to take back five of the 10 unused public access cable channels from the towns.
Brown said thecable company's current proposals should not be endorsed by the towns.
Sykesville Mayor Lloyd R. Helt Jr. in the past has proposed exploring the ramifications of bring ing in a competing cable firm.
Other items the mayors are expected to discuss include:
* The county budget and the impact this year's cuts will have on municipal budgets. Also on the table is a discussion of the financial arrangement known as the Town/County Agreement.
* The county's non-tidal wetlands program.
* A proposal to establish uniform requirements for permits for storage sheds.