Carroll Digest


April 09, 2004

Housing law addresses firefighting water supply

The Carroll County commissioners approved an ordinance yesterday that would require new one- and two-family residential projects to meet minimum water supply requirements for firefighting.

The ordinance was developed by the Regional Fire Protection Committee, which was created by the commissioners and included developers, business people, fire officials, residents and county staff members.

Under the law, developers would be required to install a 30,000-gallon underground water tank no more than two miles from new developments of four or more lots that are not served by a public water system.

That requirement may be waived if a developer installs sprinklers in each unit.

The law becomes effective Monday.

A draft of a manual outlining details and installation specifications is available for public comment until April 22.

Sidewalk ordinance sets 12 hours to clear snow, ice

The county commissioners approved an ordinance yesterday requiring county homeowners to clear snow and remove ice from sidewalks within 12 hours of a snowfall. The sidewalk ordinance covers public sidewalks adjacent to the property.

Homeowners also would be responsible for repairing and maintaining sidewalks.

County officials say having such an ordinance would qualify the county for state highway money for sidewalk projects. Most of the county's eight municipalities have similar laws.

A few residents, in written comments, expressed concerns about the ordinance, especially the burden placed on the elderly. Commissioner Dean L. Minnich directed staff to work with senior citizens and explore the possibility of county partnership with volunteer groups to clean sidewalks for the elderly and disabled.

Commissioners remove three chapters from code

The county commissioners removed three chapters yesterday from the county's Code of Public Local Laws and Ordinances.

Two of the chapters spell out bylaws for the Carroll County Farm Museum board and the Local Management Board. The bylaws would still be in effect without being included in the county's ordinances.

An outdated resolution for Carroll County to participate in the Local Government Insurance Trust also was repealed.

Agencies seek funding for county's first safe house

The Human Services Programs and the Family and Children's Services of Carroll County will submit a grant application to cover start-up and operating costs for the county's first safe house for victims of domestic violence.

The county commissioners gave final approval yesterday for the application to the state Department of Human Resources.

The two agencies are asking for $338,909 for each of three years to operate the safe house and provide on-site treatment and support services. The application also includes a request of $24,625 for start-up costs. A local group has agreed to lease to the county a 3,100-square-foot house for $1 per year for three years beginning in May.

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