Major Showell Project on Hold For Now

SNOW HILL – In another twist to the ongoing saga of the ADC Builders development in Showell, the developer has asked the county to put the process on hold.

ADC attorney Mark Cropper hand-delivered a letter to Worcester County staff on Tuesday morning, just a few hours before the County Commissioners would have considered ADC’s request to set a public hearing to amend the county water and sewer plan. The letter basically asks the county not to take any action for now.

The amendment is a necessary step toward establishing sewer service in the area. The developer has plans for a 1,000-home development in Showell. Cropper said he wrote and delivered the letter as instructed by his clients, and knows nothing more about the move.   

The county Planning Commission presented recommendations on sewer service using the Perdue industrial wastewater plant at a May 15 meeting. Cropper then asked for consensus from the commissioners on how they would proceed.

Cropper told the county commissioners that if his client did not get an indication the elected officials were positively disposed towards the project, the developers would rethink it.

“We very, very respectfully ask to know today,” Cropper said at that meeting. He then added, “ADC is tired of bleeding if they don’t know if they can get to the next step. This is the big Kahuna.”

Several commissioners said they were not ready to commit to a course of action without more consideration and study.

“I need to see ahead what is step one, what is step two. Right now it’s so conceptual,” Commissioner Judy Boggs told Cropper then.

Commission President James Purnell said no action would be taken until all the ducks were in a row. “The main thing is, we want to do it right,” he said at that meeting.

Planning Commission chair Carolyn Cummins said in May that staff was ready to move forward, with direction from the commissioners.

Boggs said this week that the commissioners are concerned about the county’s waterways and want to be careful of how they handle effluent.

The commissioners continue to support spray irrigation, but the planning commission’s recommendation included keeping the water discharge permit and using it on a limited basis until spray fields are ready.

“There may be some difference of opinion in what the company would like to do and the direction the commissioners want to go in,” Boggs said.