Galesville Residents Agree To Public Sewer Hookup

October 24, 1991|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Staff writer

Residents of Galesville, a historic waterman's community on the WestRiver, have agreed to connect to public sewerage if the county helpsthem control growth.

The county Department of Utilities has received 124 resident petitions in favor of a $5.3 million sewer system, easily exceeding the 113 petitions needed for approval, said utilitiesspokeswoman Jody Vollmar.

So far, 50 residents have opposed the sewer system, which will cost homeowners $3,300 each in connection charges as well as annual fees based on the size of their properties.

Vollmar said the county has promised not to draft the final blueprints for the system -- whichrelies on individual grinder pumps outside each home rather than a single, large pumping station -- until next March.

By then, residents hope to have ironed out a growth-control plan with the county Office of Planning and Zoning, said Bill Woodfield, president of the WestRiver Civic Association.

If the plan does not calm fears that public sewerage will bring unprecedented growth and spoil the community's rural charm, residents could change their minds, Woodfield said. A simple majority would be required to reverse this week's decision.

"The next step is to see if we can work with the county to curtail growth," Woodfield said. "The county promised they wouldn't spend a lot on the engineering stuff until then."

County Executive Robert R.Neall has appointed a committee of Galesville residents to draft a plan and present it to the County Council. The committee will meet with county planners for the second time tonight.

Residents also would be polled again if final costs to the residents are significantly higher than earlier estimates, Vollmar said.

Otherwise, construction will begin in February 1993, she said. The system will begin operating a year later.

The cost of the system will be offset by a state-administered $2.5 million federal grant.

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