Garrett County officials waiting on 33 property owners before work can begin
Elaine Blaisdell Cumberland Times-News
OAKLAND — The construction of the $8.3 million Thayerville Water Project by RK&K Engineers of Keyser, W.Va., is pending on 33 easements that are required from private property owners for the installation of a main water distribution system, according to Linda Lindsey, director of Garrett County Department of Public Utilities.
The county hopes to have all easements in hand by the the end of January and advertising for construction bids will soon follow.
“We are currently and have been working diligently on obtaining the easements for the system. As soon as we get all the easements we can move foward with construction,” said Lindsey during Tuesday’s county commission meeting. “If we see that we have the majority of them (easements) and don’t have any real conflicts indicated with people, we can go ahead and advertise for the construction bids.”
John Pucciano, secretary of the Mountainside Home Owners Association board, questioned what is holding up the project and noted that the project needs to move along as quickly as possible.
“This year, we have had two homeowners dig new wells. The longer this delays, the more homeowners will be spending extra money to dig new wells.”
Two things holding up the project are the design and easements, according to Lindsey. The design has been difficult because of the elevation and some of the legal documents make it hard to decipher who actually owns what property and roadway.
Once the project begins, it will consist of three construction contracts — a main distribution system; water storage tanks, booster stations and a water treatment plant; and another distribution system. The construction contracts are split into separate distribution systems because an issue with the proposed Glendale bike path arose. The final portion of the distribution system will be located on Glendale Road from Zeddock Miller Road to the Glendale bridge.
“We split the distribution system up so that we could go ahead and proceed with the main distribution and not hold it up for the Glendale Road bike path,” said Lindsey.
The project will include the construction of a 1,013,150-gallon tank; a 156,000-gallon tank; a water treatment plant; and 100 gallon per minute and 40 gpm water booster stations.
The project cost is based on a 20-year loan at 4 percent interest with property owner tax calculated at 23 cents per $100 of the property’s assessed valuation.
Design plans and specifications are complete for the first two construction contracts. The second portion of the construction project requires a Maryland Department of the Environment review and construction permit, which was issued Sept 14. The construction of the entire project will take 360 days.
The county has received some easements. The homeowners association donated the site for the plant, wells and the distribution system.
“We have the purchase rights of the two water storage tanks and the water booster station,” said Lindsey.
In 2005, the county commissioners received a petition from residents in Mountainside and Thayerville requesting public water service to the area. The water supply in those areas has a high iron content and the supply has either decreased or ceased in some wells, according to Lindsey.
“Arsenic has also been detected in some wells in the area, and a residential condominium development has been notified by public health officials that their supply is under the direct influence of surface water,” said Lindsey.
Between 2007 and 2008, the county developed two wells with good water quality and supply at the Marina Club, which is owned by Mountainside HOA. On Sept. 1, 2010, the MDE issued a water appropriation permit for the supply and withdrawal of 188,000 gallons of water per day from the marina.
In 2009, the county commissioners approved the Thayerville Water Project and in 2010 entered into an agreement with RK&K Engineering for the work.
The water project will service areas located along U.S. Route 219 in the vicinity of Thayerville beginning at Leo Friend Road and continuing south to approximately .6 mile from the intersection of Glendale Road and U.S. 219.
Contact Elaine Blaisdell at firstname.lastname@example.org
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