Water-related ban on building remains in Frederick town after officials meet

August 06, 2004|By Michael Dresser | Michael Dresser,SUN STAFF

A moratorium on building permits remains in place in a Frederick County town despite a meeting yesterday between local officials and the state Department of the Environment to discuss the water supply.

Richard J. McIntire, spokesman for the department, said state officials agreed to evaluate three wells that Middletown officials believe could meet the town's water needs.

He said Environment Secretary Kendl P. Philbrick agreed to meet again with town officials in 30 days.

Philbrick banned the issuance of new building permits in Middletown last month, saying the town had disregarded two years of warnings that it was growing too fast for its water supply.

The secretary acted after local officials said they would issue 44 building permits in a town with a population last year of 2,805.

McIntire said the two sides discussed but did not sign a proposed consent order spelling out a timeline to address the problem. He said negotiations will continue.

John D. Miller, Middletown's burgess, or mayor, said there was no expectation that the town and state would reach an agreement yesterday.

"It was a very amicable meeting. It was a very productive meeting," Miller said.

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