Sykesville pipeline project gets attorney general's OK

Town opposes Piney Run water treatment plant

March 17, 2002|By Childs Walker | Childs Walker,SUN STAFF

The state attorney general has backed Carroll County's claim that it can install pipe for the planned Piney Run water treatment plant along a Sykesville road without the town's permission.

Sykesville Town Council members asked the attorney general for a clarification in August after arguing with Commissioner Donald I. Dell over the town's right to block installation of a pipe along Hollenberry Road.

The opinion, issued March 6, says that under state and federal law, the town cannot stop the county from installing a water or sewer line beside a public road. It also says the county has no obligation to pay the town compensation for such use of the roadway.

"I was pleased that the attorney general gave the ruling, but it was unfortunate we had to get in that position," Dell said. "It was clear we had the law on our side; all you had to do was read it. I hope this ruling will settle the issue, and we won't have to talk about it anymore."

The disagreement stemmed from a larger conflict between town and county over the Piney Run project, which Sykesville opposes. The commissioners have proceeded with the $15 million project despite the fact the Maryland Department of the Environment has not issued a building permit for the plant. The commissioners approved the $418,000 installation of pipe along Hollenberry last September.

Sykesville Mayor Jonathan S. Herman said he wasn't surprised by the opinion. Of the county, he said, "They can go ahead and do what they have to do, but we're obviously opposed to it. I can't understand why they're going ahead using taxpayer money to build something without a permit."

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