Carroll officials want to discuss Gillis Falls plan

April 11, 2001|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

Carroll County officials hope to meet soon with the Army Corps of Engineers to discuss reviving plans for a Gillis Falls reservoir in Woodbine.

Since 1970, the county has been acquiring land for a future reservoir that would supplement the water supply in South Carroll, a fast-growth area that endures seasonal water shortages.

About 1,200 acres are needed to impound a 430-acre lake that might yield as much as 4 million gallons a day and surround it with parkland. The county is less than 100 acres short of its land-acquisition goal.

Carroll had completed nearly $500,000 in environmental studies required by the federal Environmental Protection Agency more than 10 years ago.

Plans were shelved in 1991, when the EPA began discouraging new reservoirs in favor of existing water supplies, such as Liberty Reservoir from which the county can draw as much as 3 million gallons daily.

"We made one last-ditch effort with the EPA and were told to withdraw," said Commissioner Julia Walsh Gouge, who was in office for the original negotiations. "We weren't the only ones. They were [denying] requests all over the country."

On a recent visit to the county, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski suggested Carroll officials get in touch with the corps, which handles reservoir negotiations.

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