New well eases Taneytown water woes

October 16, 2005|By SHERIDAN LYONS | SHERIDAN LYONS,SUN REPORTER

Taneytown has hooked up a new well and can draw an additional 30,000 gallons of water a day, under an agreement with the Maryland Department of the Environment, city officials said.

The city was facing a tight water supply, with only 2,275 gallons per day that had not been designated to projects already approved, according to a resolution passed by the council Monday.

Under a consent agreement with the state, the city's allocation from a new well at the Carroll Vista retirement community is set at 30,000 gallons per day. A second well there is expected to be connected by the end of next month, said Mayor W. Robert Flickinger.

On Sept. 30, Flickinger issued an order for voluntary water conservation, asking residents to refrain from washing cars, filling pools, watering lawns and otherwise straining the city's wells.

James L. Schumacher, the new city manager, said Taneytown's water allocation is about 460,000 gallons per day, without the new Carroll Vista wells.

"Carroll Vista is the key. We basically had no more allocation, just a couple thousand gallons," he said.

In December, Schumacher said, Taneytown will undergo a review of its water allocation with MDE. Other municipalities in Carroll and elsewhere also are bargaining with the state over their water-use permits.

The city also must undertake leak-repair, conservation and capacity-management programs.

Developers of five units or more in Taneytown must find and develop a water supply, under an ordinance enacted last year. The measure did not apply retroactively to developments already approved, such as the 500-unit Carroll Vista.

MDE previously agreed to a lower estimated daily water use standard for the senior housing project, from 250 gallons per unit per day to 125, based upon studies of water use by older adults.

The council also discussed, without taking action, a developer's idea for a sports complex in town, possibly on city-owned land that was acquired under Program Open Space. That might preclude its sale, but the city could probably lease the parkland to a private concern, said Flickinger, who called it a great idea.

Resident Marvin Flickinger objected to having "land bought to expand the city park ... to have him put a private business there. Half the people of Taneytown wouldn't be able to use it, because you have to pay to use it."

The council also approved a plan by Police Chief William E. Tyler to gradually replace and increase his fleet with the purchase of six vehicles.

sherry.lyons@baltsun.com

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