Hampstead will reconsider water tower site decision Mayor, councilman talk with residents

October 16, 1998|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

Hampstead will reconsider its decision to place a water tower at the entrance to North Carroll Middle School, Mayor Christopher M. Nevin said yesterday.

He and Councilman Larry Hentz met yesterday morning with a group of protesting residents who live near the proposed site on Route 30 -- but outside town limits.

Wednesday night, the county Board of Education agreed to reconsider its decision to give Hampstead the land for a half-million-gallon water tower, in response to protests by homeowners at the board meeting.

"We had a nice discussion, and we will continue to review our options," the mayor said of his meeting yesterday with the residents. "We explained why we need another water tower and why we need it on the north end."

"We agreed to go back and study a couple of sites," said Hentz, an environmental engineer, who recommended the school site as the best of six final possibilities at a Sept. 9 council meeting.

The Town Council, which held a hearing on the tower location, decided to place the tank at the school.

Longtime homeowners complained that they were unaware of the town's plans until they attended the public hearing -- but the decision was made that night despite their vocal objections.

A handful of those closest to the site then mobilized, and have collected more than 200 signatures on petitions to the town and the school board, said Kenneth and Ruby Bull, who live beside the site.

Hentz said of yesterday's meeting, "We tried to catch them up with events so far. They seemed very appreciative -- but the bottom line is they still don't want it in front of their houses."

The Bulls said the mayor and councilman seemed to be more sympathetic yesterday and promised to keep them informed before the town makes another decision.

"I don't know whether that holds water," Mr. Bull said, "but it's not a done deal now."

"They said we had put a twist in it to stop it," said Mrs. Bull.

The town plans to build the tower to serve town and school water needs. The school will need the water in conjunction with renovations planned for 2002, Hentz and the mayor noted. But it might be possible to locate the tower on school property in a less-intrusive way.

"We're actually providing a service to the school," Hentz said. "That's why we called it a win-win situation. Now, we'll try to make it a three-way win. I haven't lost hope."

Pub Date: 10/16/98

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