Complaints from some residents that they were not told about school board plans to build a wastewater treatment plant near Glenelg High School in the west county could delay a project that is deemed vital by supporters.
The plant, proposed for a site behind Triadelphia Ridge Elementary School, drew supporters and protesters to the County Council's monthly public hearing last night in Ellicott City.
The item is included in the Howard County water and sewer treatment plan, which is scheduled for a council vote next month.
Thomas Bianco, Glenelg High School PSTA president, told the council that the septic system at Glenelg is failing, and the new plant is necessary to allow the school to build an addition for 500 students, and to provide for a planned middle school. Time is of the essence, he said, and no cheaper solution exists.
But Sandra Brewer, who lives a quarter-mile from the proposed plant, typified those who object to it.
"I just found out about this this weekend," she said to nods from others in the audience in the council chambers.
Brewer said insufficient notice was given residents, who are worried about possible contamination of their wells from a treatment plant, the plant's effect on property values and whether it would lead to construction of more homes in the area.
Bianco said state law would not allow the new plant to service residences. He said the only other alternative, a 6-mile sewer line, is too expensive and would add years to the project.
If the high schol's septic system fails completely, he noted, the county will have to find room elsewhere for nearly 1,000 high school students.