Complaints expected at hearing on Carrs Mill


Rural county residents are expected to renew their complaints tonight about the county's cleanup efforts at the old Carrs Mill landfill where cancer-causing contaminants have been found in the ground water and a nearby stream.

County Executive Charles I. Ecker is asking the County Council to authorize $1 million in emergency funds to begin paying for the removal and disposal of hundreds of drums of chemicals found buried at the site.

Residents wonder if that's enough. They told Mr. Ecker and Councilman Charles C. Feaga, R-5th, Thursday that the county needs to do more to protect them.

Residents are expected to repeat those demands when the County Council holds a public hearing on the emergency request at 8 p.m. today in the county office building.

The Carrs Mill cleanup has been under way since October and is costing the county $35,000 a week to remove more than 460 55-gallon drums discovered at the site. Drum sampling analysis, drum disposal and soil disposal is costing another $3,000 per drum. Soil sampling analysis is costing $800 more per sample.

More than 10 percent of the drums unearthed so far have contained a chemical which has caused cancer in laboratory animals.

The $1 million request is among 18 pieces of legislation on tonight's agenda.

L The council will also hear debate on legislation that would:

* Remove the exemptions in a recently enacted countywide smoking ban scheduled to take effect July 1, 1996. Chief among those exemptions was a provision allowing smoking in self-enclosed bar areas of restaurants that contained separate ventilating systems.

If the exemptions are removed, the smoking ban will apply in nearly every public place.

* Allocate $30,000 in supplemental funds to provide emergency housing for homeless people. The money would be used to provide temporary shelter in motels for homeless, drug-free families with children unable to find space in the county's Grassroots shelter. The grant would allow the program to be continued through June 1.

* Require more notification and more information for residents affected by comprehensive and piecemeal zoning changes. The bill would require property owners to tell adjoining property owners by certified mail of their intention to request a zoning change.

Many residents complained during the recently completed comprehensive rezoning of the county that they did not know about changes being proposed for their neighborhoods.

* Authorize the spending of $47,630 in state money and $15,875 in local funds for the salaries of two police officers assigned to deal with drug sales and use in rental housing complexes.

If the funding request is approved, the police department plans to work in so-called troubled communities to develop intelligence networks between residents and the narcotics division. The department would also develop a tenant screening process and begin a training program aimed at having residents report illegal drug activity.

* Allow the Board of Elections to spend $17,000 to buy seven reconditioned voting machines to serve as backups for the 12 new units it recently purchased for $82,800.

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