County offers $27,000 toward Spout Hill repair SOUTHEAST--Sykesville * Eldersburg * Gamber

June 09, 1993|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Staff Writer

The Carroll County Commissioners, in what they call their final offer, say they would pay $27,000 of the $32,000 repair bill for Spout Hill Road in Sykesville and that the town can pay the balance.

"They can take this or the hill can wash away," Commissioner Donald I. Dell said at a meeting yesterday.

Sykesville and the county have been haggling for months about who should pay for repairs. Meanwhile, the much-traveled road, which connects Third Avenue to Main Street, has become increasingly unsafe and filled with potholes.

During the negotiations, the county's share of the repaving cost jumped from about $18,000 to about $32,000, said Keith Kirschnick, the director of public works.

"We offered to mill and patch three major areas," he said. "The town identified six for us to subgrade and backfill with stone."

Originally, the county offered to pay $8,000 for materials and about $10,000 for labor and equipment. The town's request will cost an additional $2,000 for materials, and labor costs will increase by about $12,000, officials said.

Last month, Sykesville Mayor Kenneth W. Clark reiterated his intention to close the road if the county doesn't come up with the money to pay for the necessary repairs. He contends that leaks in the county water line under the road have caused "holes that are growing by the minute."

Referring to some $100,000 in grant money that the town used to fix the sewer line, Mr. Clark said, "The town has made significant investments to improve the area."

All the town wants now is for the county to pay the damages caused by its leaky system, he said, and, after the repairs are made, the town would assume responsibility for maintenance.

"If we repair the road, that would be the end of the matter as far as the ground water problem goes -- unless there is another leak in our water line," Mr. Kirschnick said.

Commissioner Julia W. Gouge said she wants an "ironclad contract" releasing the county from any further repair bills. "No work on the road until that contract is signed, sealed and delivered," she said.

Mr. Clark said he planned to include the proposal on Monday's Town Council agenda. "I am glad to hear the county has improved its offer," said the mayor. "It will be up to the council to see if it's enough."

The final figure from the county does not include a disputed 6-year-old bill for $6,700 in emergency repairs that the county made to Spout Hill Road. The commissioners said they would carry the debt on the books as an IOU from the town.

"My objective is, get this road fixed," said the mayor. "We can talk politics . . . once that is done."

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