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Carroll and Westminster closer to settling dispute on splitting cost of two projects; County offers trade-off on repaving, sewer work


After months of debate, Carroll County and Westminster officials are moving forward on two long-awaited projects: repaving a stretch of Lucabaugh Mill Road and providing sewer service to 19 homes in the Cranberry area.

The unrelated projects have been on hold because city and county officials have disagreed about how much each entity should pay.

To resolve the issue, the county has agreed to pay $102,000 of the $160,000 repaving project if Westminster will honor the original $37,000 price of the sewer project.

"It's tit for tat," said J. Michael Evans, the county's public works director.

The Lucabaugh Mill Road project includes raising and repaving the road near Route 27, adjacent to a stream the city taps for drinking water. Drains could be installed to divert runoff -- gasoline, antifreeze and other pollutants -- from the stream, as Westminster requested.

The cost is $86,000 without the drains, $160,000 with them. County officials had agreed to pay $110,000 toward the project, with the balance paid through grants and city funds, but reverted to the scaled-down $86,000 version.

Evans has drafted a letter to the city outlining the county's new payment proposal.

Westminster Mayor Kenneth A. Yowan said the council will vote on the issue Monday and he will recommend accepting the offer.

"You can go back and forth here and sort of play hardball, but you have to think of what you're trying to accomplish," he said.

"We're trying to get a job done and protect the water supply for quite a few people. It's not worth jeopardizing over $8,000," Yoman said, referring to the difference between the county's original $110,000 offer for the road project and its current $102,000 offer.

He said it was "ridiculous" that the whole thing had taken so long.

"There are wars that have been fought in less time," he said.

Regarding the sewer project, the city and county had a contract in which Carroll would pay about $37,000 to extend sewer service to 19 homes on Old Manchester Road.

The contract expired in December and the price increased by $16,000.

City officials refused to honor the lower price until they knew how much the county's board of commissioners, which gained two new members, would allocate toward the repaving project.

Pub Date: 2/07/99

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