Pack all your troubles into a NEALL zoneFrom: Robert H...

READERS WRITE

September 09, 1992

Pack all your troubles into a NEALL zone

From: Robert H. McKay

Severn

There are certain things that nobody wants near to their homes, yet which county officials believe are necessary for the public good. This seemed to be an insurmountable problem until now: announcing the New Environmentally Adapted Land Layout (NEALL) park.

Under this plan, the county would buy up additional land surrounding the Millersville Landfill and consolidate all the necessary, but disliked, operations into one dedicated land area surrounded by a quarter-mile natural buffer.

The county has already started on this program with the closure of Glen Burnie Landfill and the proposed closure of Sudley Landfill. This will bring all refuse in the county to the Millersville Landfill location.

In addition to the sanitary landfill operation, the county could locate/relocate the new 650-bed jail, tanks for temporary storage of toxic liquids (presently planned for Odenton), rubble fills, sewage treatment, recycling centers, and other undesirable operations to the Millersville site.

The quarter-mile natural buffer ringing the NEALL park would also be an ideal location for county government offices. This would put the officials in charge of these activities in close proximity to easily supervise the actual operations.

The county would realize many cost savings by implementing the NEALL park plan. For example, waste treatment for the central county area could be combined with the waste treatment for the central county landfill and jail operations.

The central county location of the Millersville Landfill makes it the ideal location for the economically and politically correct NEALL park.

Politicians helped solve problems

From: Tom Gill, President

Rose Haven Civic Association

I want to thank those politicians who took it upon themselves to help the communities of Rose Haven and Holland Point resolve their water and sewer problem. I especially want to thank Congressman Steny H. Hoyer and Senator Barbara Mikulski for seeking federal funds.

Without federal funds our problem is insurmountable.

Delegate George W. Owings III was extremely active -- and effective -- in bringing our problem to the attention of Congressman Hoyer and Senator Mikulski, and Councilwoman Virginia Clagett moved adroitly behind the scenes to facilitate matters.

Yet this is much more than just funds for 400 homes in Southern Maryland. It is about the quality of life all around the Chesapeake Bay and about the quality of the Bay itself. Millions of citizens are affected by it. The problem of sewerage in Holland Point has reached a critical mass. Septic tanks at this very moment are leaching directly into the Bay.

The residents of Rose Haven and Holland Point have had a long-standing problem: Holland Point with its failing septic tanks and Rose Haven with the highest water and sewer rates in Maryland. Rose Haven residents pay almost $800 each year for water and sewer. The cost of a new system, we were told, would be prohibitive: at least $5000 up front for each Rose Haven residence, $7000 up front for each Holland Point residence, and another $1000 each year for the next 30 years for each residence in both communities. There were no funds available in these recessionary times and nothing could be done, we were told.

Yet something was done, and it was our much "despised" politicians who did it. The new upfront fee for Rose Haven residences will be $2000 and the annual sewer fee will be $242. In addition, each Rose Haven residence will continue to pay Rose Haven Utilities, a private firm, $240 each year for water. Each Holland Point residence will pay an upfront fee of $3300 and an annual fee of $742 for sewer for 30 years. After 30 years they will pay the county rate of $242. They have private wells for water.

I also want to thank a bureaucrat, Bruce Wile, a County Department of Utilities engineer who addressed our community associations on several occasions and met with us as individuals to patiently explain costs.

And finally, I would like to quote another politician, Abraham Lincoln, who summarized our situation with admirable clarity and precision more than 100 years ago:

"The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot so well do for themselves -- in their separate and individual capacities."

Like everyone else, I curse and malign politicians. Until we need them.

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