Carroll Digest

Carroll Digest

January 08, 2003

Commissioners OK development limits in bid to build wells

Seeking to supplement the water supply in South Carroll, the commissioners have agreed to conditions the state set 18 months ago, including restrictions on development in the county's fastest-growing area.

The commissioners expect to draft a letter to state officials today saying they would agree to the restrictions as part of a longstanding watershed protection agreement with Baltimore City and the surrounding metropolitan counties. The commissioners hope that endorsing that agreement will encourage the state to approve the construction of a series of wells on land at Springfield Hospital Center in Sykesville. Tests of the drilling sites have shown the wells could deliver up to 1 million gallons of additional water each day to South Carroll, which suffers from seasonal water shortages.

State officials opposed the previous board of commissioners in its attempt to build a $16 million water treatment plant on Piney Run Lake, a project the state said would promote sprawl. They urged the commissioners to seek alternative water sources. The new board of commissioners scrapped the Piney Run project and asked the state for permission to drill the wells at Springfield.

County to fund study comparing airports

The county commissioners signed a contract yesterday for a $17,500 study comparing Carroll County Regional Airport to others of similar size along the East Coast.

The information "will give us a really good picture of what the county airport is worth and how long facilities like it have taken to mature," said Gary Horst, county director of enterprise and recreation services.

GVA Marquette Advisors of Minneapolis will study operations, equipment and revenues at three airports that have yet to be chosen, Horst said. The study will help the county determine the income and business potential of the Carroll County airport, on Route 97 outside Westminster. The airport, with 100,000 flights a year, has yet to turn a profit in 20 years of operation.

The county also received a bid of $7,500 for the contract from Avicor Aviation Inc., of Lake Oswego, Ore., but GVA was chosen because it is more experienced in airport operations, Horst said.

5 arrested on drug charges at Westminster home

Five people were arrested on drug charges early yesterday in Westminster after police answering a call about a front door that had been left open smelled burning marijuana, authorities said.

Officers found five people in the basement of the house, in the 500 block of S. Hills Court, with $22,000 in cash scattered on the floor, Westminster police said. Police said they seized the money, 7.4 ounces of suspected marijuana, 70 pills of the depressant Diazepam, scales, packaging material and other drug paraphernalia.

Arrested were: Jordan Richard Barraco, 22, of the 500 block of S. Hills Court; Stormie Marie Hilderbrand, 20, of the same address; Lauren Jean Pruzinsky, 20, of the 3200 block of Buffalo Road, New Windsor; Joshua Mark Hipps, 18, of the 1600 block of Toms Creek Church Road, Emittsburg; and Tyler Haralamplus Courtright, 20, of the 1800 block of Old Taneytown Road, Westminster.

All five were charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana and Diazepam, maintaining a common nuisance and possession of controlled dangerous substance and paraphernalia.

Tuition increasing at McDaniel College

McDaniel College students will have to pay about a thousand dollars a year more for their classes in the fall under a tuition increase announced this week.

Tuition, now $21,760 a year, will increase to $22,860. Typical costs for room and board, $5,280 a year, won't change. The Westminster school awards more than $15 million annually in scholarship and grant programs, and Carroll County residents who attend get a grant of $1,500 per year.

Woodbine house fire is under investigation

State fire marshals were investigating the cause of a two-alarm fire that destroyed a Woodbine home Monday night and displaced a family of four.

The fire broke out shortly before 7 p.m. while family members were not at home, said Fire Marshal Ed Ernst of the Sykesville office. Fire companies from Carroll, Howard, Frederick and Baltimore counties fought the fire, which caused an estimated $425,000 in damage to the house and $200,000 to the contents.

The fire appeared to be accidental, but more investigation is needed to determine the exact cause, Ernst said, adding that the family is being helped by relatives and friends.

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