Public Sewer Near On Gum Point Road

SNOW HILL –  At the urging of a property owner, Worcester County is working toward extending a sewer line down Gum Point Road.

The Worcester County Commissioners agreed to plan for a public hearing regarding the extension of public sewer to the homes along Gum Point Road. The project would allow for the elimination of aging septic systems in the neighborhood, which is adjacent to Turville Creek.

Steven Hershey, owner of property at the end of Gum Point Road, approached county officials earlier this year asking to install a temporary sewer connection at the location of Bay Point Plantation so he could redevelop his property. He wants to demolish three cottages, move one house and build a new house on the property. State regulations wouldn’t allow the redevelopment with the existing septic system, however, so he proposed a temporary sewer connection.

“The county commissioners approved the installation of this Gum Point Road line back in 2007,” said Mark Cropper, Hershey’s attorney. “After the passage of 13 years the line has still not been installed. Mr. Hershey wishes to improve his property with newer structures and eliminate the existing septic system and holding tanks but he cannot do so unless he connects to the Ocean Pines system.”

County officials didn’t support the temporary connection but said Hershey could connect to the Ocean Pines plant if a line was extended down Gum Point Road as opposed to Bay Point Plantation. When the commissioners suggested the idea of extending access to public sewer down all of Gum Point Road, rather than just Hershey’s property, Hershey said he’d support the effort with the funding he would have spent on the temporary connection.

“There has been a developer agreement arranged,” Public Works Director John Tustin told the commissioners last week. He added that it shouldn’t actually be executed until after a public hearing regarding the sewer line expansion plans.

Tustin said the Worcester County Treasurer’s Office had looked at the proposal and determined that EDUs for the proposed Gum Point Sanitary Service Area would cost $21,886.

When Commissioner Chip Bertino asked if residents of Gum Point Road with septic systems installed in recent years would be required to hook up to the public sewer, Bob Mitchell, the county’s director of environmental programs, said they would not. He added future development must connect.

Though non-essential public hearings have been postponed as the state works to stop the spread of coronavirus, a hearing on the sewer project will be scheduled once emergency restrictions are lifted.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.