Carroll officials call a halt to new houses

Water deficit stirs county to stop building in south

May 17, 2002|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Faced with a shortage of water for residential development in South Carroll, the commissioners called a halt yesterday to home construction in the county's most-populous area through 2008.

With 62 water hookups available for homes and businesses through 2005, the commissioners said they had little choice but to stop residential building in South Carroll, which includes Eldersburg and Sykesville. The area has sustained Carroll's highest growth rate, and its population has nearly tripled in 25 years.

The county is in a bind because its water treatment plant in South Carroll is operating at near-capacity. Plans for a second plant at Piney Run Lake have not won state approval.

Confusion exists as to the exact number of remaining hookups, but if the county approves all the recent requests, "no matter how we count, we could be close to zero," said Doug Myers, county director of public works.

Rather than allocate more water to new homes, the commissioners chose to reserve the supply for industrial prospects that might be interested in the area."We have to be able to tell businesses that we have water," said Commissioner Julia Walsh Gouge. "We don't want to cut ourselves off and not have the opportunity if something comes through."

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