Subdivision will have to wait for sewer service

April 19, 1994|By Donna E. Boller | Donna E. Boller,Sun Staff Writer

Carroll Dale subdivision is in Carroll County's master plan for public sewer service within six years, but that doesn't mean residents can look for public sewer service within six years. Or 10 years. Or 20.

"There's no real link" between the county water and sewer master plan and its budget for public water and sewer projects, Public Works Director Keith Kirschnick told a delegation from the Eldersburg area subdivision yesterday.

A public hearing on the master plan also brought a request from Westminster city government for exclusion from a section of it that would allow some property owners to use "interim" private water and sewer systems where public services are available.

Lou Rettberg was one of about six residents of Carroll Dale -- a subdivision at Oklahoma and Mineral Hill roads -- who attended yesterday's hearing to press the county commissioners for public sewerage.

"I've got five drain fields in my back yard and a high water table," Mr. Rettberg said. He said he and his family have to restrict showers and use of their dishwasher when it rains because they have experienced backups from the septic line into laundry tubs.

Mr. Rettberg estimated it will cost him $3,000 to $4,000 to replace his existing system if it fails again. He said he would much rather pay a higher price for public sewer service and gain peace of mind.

His neighbor, Larry Derreth, said he also has problems with septic waste backing up into his house.

Developer John Williams, who built most of the approximately 30 houses in the subdivision, said county health officials shouldn't rely on a poll of residents to determine how many have failing septic systems.

"That's one of the most covered-up things. Nobody wants to admit their system is failing," Mr. Williams said.

Several speakers speculated that waste from overtaxed septic systems in the subdivision probably is leaching into nearby Liberty reservoir.

Mr. Kirschnick said he would look at Carroll Dale, but, "right now, there is nothing in our budget to extend sewer lines into that area."

Mr. Kirschnick said the county government usually relies on developers to extend public sewer mains. A developer who extends a main past existing houses to the site of his planned subdivision will recoup part of the cost when the new houses connect to the main.

"Because it's in the 0-6 service area doesn't mean anything's going to be funded within six years," Mr. Kirschnick said. He said the service area designation simply means that developers would not be permitted to construct new subdivisions in an area designated for service unless they extend sewer mains.

Katrina Tucker, Westminster city planner, told the commissioners that the county's proposal to allow developers to put in private interim systems would violate city connection policies. She asked them to exempt Westminster from that part of the plan.

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