Union Bridge reluctant to allow sewer connection Francis Scott Key High is outside town limits

October 27, 1998|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,SUN STAFF

Representatives of the county Board of Education asked Union Bridge officials last night to consider allowing Francis Scott Key High School to hook up to the town's sewage system.

But the president of the Town Council was cool to the proposal.

"I'm not crazy about this idea," said Bret D. Grossnickle. "We don't provide water and sewer to a property unless it's annexed. I don't know what we would do about that."

Town attorney John T. Maguire II told the council that there is "probably a way" to grant the school board's request "without getting into the sewer business outside town."

But the town must act "very carefully," Maguire said. "Anytime you do it, you loosen your argument a little" the next time someone outside the town limits wants sewer service, Maguire said.

The school system had not expected sewer problems disposing of its wastewater.

When the school board received bids for $13 million in improvements to Francis Scoot Key High School in the fall of 1997, an improved wastewater treatment plant was a major part of the project.

The plant was expected to treat the school's wastewater and empty the treated effluent into an unnamed tributary of Little Pipe Creek.

But the plant was contested by a seven-member group, which have asked the Maryland Department of the Environment to hold "a contested case hearing" on the request for a discharge permit.

The hearing is not expected to be held until late this year or early next. The school system is paying $130,000 a year to haul the effluent to Westminster.

If Union Bridge allowed the school system to pay for a connection to its system and treat up to 17,500 gallons of waste water a day, a permit from the Maryland Department of the Environment would not be needed, school officials told the Town Council.

To make the connection, school engineers would have to dig a 28-inch trench below the frost line and take it a distance of 10,000 feet, David C. Herring, assistant in school facilities, told the Town Council.

Herring said that project would mean disturbing some of the town's streets and that it would cost the school board about $200,000.

Pub Date: 10/27/98

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