Commissioners get treatment plant plans

Some in Carroll oppose proposal for Piney Run

January 04, 2002|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Encased in a 1-foot-thick binder, construction plans for the Piney Run water treatment plant - a $13 million project that cannot proceed without state approval - were presented to the county commissioners yesterday.

The plans were prepared by Black and Veatch, a Gaithersburg engineering company whose nearly $500,000 contract with the county includes procurement of a construction permit.

"We are paying Black and Veatch to get us a permit, and they better darn well do it," Commissioner Donald I. Dell said.

The county is moving forward with the project despite the state Department of the Environment's refusal to discuss as much as predesign plans. MDE typically meets with engineers at the outset of a project and works with them throughout the design. That has not occurred with Piney Run.

Dell and Commissioner Robin Bartlett Frazier - who is out of the country - contend the plant is necessary to maintain adequate water supply in populous South Carroll. Commissioner Julia Walsh Gouge opposes the project.

With the binder, the county received 176 pages of drawings and a 30-page memo detailing changes to the original plan scrapped about five years ago. All documents will be forwarded to the state.

Doug Myers, county director of public works, phoned MDE yesterday to tell officials that the plans were coming.

"We can send these plans to MDE, but my opinion is they are not going to look at them," Myers said. "I am not optimistic, but we'll take this one step at a time."

Myers said Black and Veatch would try to obtain a building permit, but he was uncertain what the county can do legally if those attempts fail.

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