Western Conveyance Project Update

Section II of the Western Conveyance Project (the end of Marsh Hill Rd, Shingle Camp Ter, Shingle Camp Rd, Sandy Shores Rd, Sandy Beach Ln and Stockslager Rd to Penelacres Ln) is set begin on May 2, 2016.  The Contractor is planning to start working at the end of Marsh Hill Rd and proceed south to Shingle Camp Rd at the beginning of their work.  Weekly updates of work progress and anticipated work will be posted on this website.

Read More Here:  https://www.garrettcounty.org/public-utilities/news/western-conveyance-project-update

Proposed Water & Sewer Service Area Amendments – Property Listings

Monday, August 25th:

The Garrett County Department of Public Works – Utilities Division is proposing to amend all service area boundaries to match where existing water and sewer service lines are located. Please be advised that all properties located within a service area are subject to ad valorem taxes where applicable. These rates are available at the bottom of this page. The maps of the proposed changes were posted to the website on July 3, 2014 under the “Current News, Events, and Press Releases” section. These maps continue to be available for review.  The lists below identify the properties that we are proposing to remove from the service areas as well as the properties we are proposing to add to the service areas.  For questions or comments regarding these amendments please contact the utilities office @ 301-334-6983.

Read More Here:  http://www.garrettcounty.org/public-utilities/proposed-service-area-amendments

Easements delay Thayerville water project

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 eblaisdell@times-news.com

More here.

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McHenry Water System Follow-Up Hearing Scheduled

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Sep. 8, 2011

The Board of Garrett County Commissioners will conduct a follow-up public hearing on the McHenry Water System – Water Connection and User Fees and Connection Amortization Policy on Saturday, Oct. 1, at 9 a.m. in the Garrett College auditorium.

According to a release from the commissioners’ office, this hearing is scheduled to review and receive public commentary to consider changes to the existing policy and to address questions on expansion of service to the water district.

Also, the commissioners and the Department of Public Utilities staff have compiled answers to a number of questions that were presented during the public hearing on August 27. These are now available on the Garrett County Government web site at www.garrettcounty.org.

Interested persons who have questions on this matter are encouraged to attend the October 1 hearing, and prior to that date may contact the Department of Public Utilities at 301-334-6983, or the county administrator or the commissioners at 301-334-8970.

More here.
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McHenry Property Owners Object To Mandatory Water Service Hook-Up

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Sep. 1, 2011

The Garrett County commissioners held a public hearing on Saturday morning at Garrett College to receive comments on proposed fee and policy changes to the McHenry Water System. About 200 people attended the two-hour event, with more than 20 voicing their concerns. Most objected to a waterline connection mandate.

Chairman Gregan Crawford said over 1,500 postcards were mailed to McHenry area property owners, notifying them about the hearing.

“This is part of the standard DPU policy from this point on,” Crawford said about the Department of Public Utilities informing people about such events.

The proposed changes include reducing the connection fee from $2,800 to $2,000 and allowing property owners up to five years to connect to the system. Those who do so within that time period could spread the connection cost over a 15-year period at a 1 percent interest rate. After the five-year deadline, the term would be 5 percent for 10 years. This amortization policy would apply only to McHenry Water System connections.

“These proposals change the amortization flexibility, time frame, and payment structure, and significantly lower the connection rates,” Crawford said.

Though the hearing was about connection/user fees and the connection/amortization policy, most of the public comments centered on the fact that numerous property owners will now have to abandon their private wells and pay the county to install water lines to their homes, connect them to the McHenry system, and supply them with water.

“This was crammed down our throats,” said Kim Knox, who lives off Pysell Road.

Several speakers indicated their wells are in good working condition and provide good tasting water. Some wondered if the public system would provide enough water/water pressure for household use and fire suppression.

“I’ve never, since this started, felt like I knew what was going on,” said Pysell Road property owner Marie Broadman about the expansion project.

The previous board of county commissioners held a public hearing on Dec. 7, 2010, on expanding the McHenry Water Service District to include Sandy View Court, Winding Estates Drive, Grand Estates Drive, Quiet Quail Way, Golf Drive, Ruffed Grouse Lane, Sandy Shores Road, Fern Loop, Wisp Mountain Road, Fantasy Lane, Barbara’s Way, Susan’s Way, Marsh Hill Road, Pysell Road, Deep Creek Drive, Gravelly Run Road, Ridgeview Valley Development, Sweet Rewards Development, a portion of Mosser Road, the Garrett County Airport property, and McHenry Business and Technology Park.

No written or verbal commentary about the proposal was received at the hearing, and Commissioners Ernie Gregg and Fred Holliday approved the boundary changes.

More here.

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>Commissioners Approve Water System Projects


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Apr. 7, 2011

The Garrett County commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved construction of the Thayerville Water System and improvements to the McHenry Water System. Public hearings on the projects were held last month at Garrett College.
The Thayerville project will provide water to Deep Creek Lake residents and businesses in the Mountainside and Thayerville areas. Garrett County Department of Public Utilities director Linda Lindsey said the project will cost $8.3 million.

The cost includes planning, design, rights of way purchases, water storage tanks, a booster station, and a water treatment plant. The ad valorem tax method will be used for the project’s debt repayment.

“The water quality in that area is poor, and it will add fire protection for that area, especially for restaurants and other businesses,” the director said about the new system.

She noted that two viable water sources have been found and will be developed for the new service area.

For several years, Mountainside property owners have experienced numerous private well failures and water quality problems. They petitioned the county in September 2005 to establish a public system.

The service area will include properties along Rt. 219 in the vicinity of Thayerville, beginning at the Rt. 219 bridge, south to Glendale Road, Glendale Road from Rt. 219 to the Glendale bridge, and south along Rt. 219 for approximately .6 mile from the intersection of Glendale Road and Rt. 219.

Lindsay said some land easements need to be purchased, and plans need to be finalized and put out for bids, but she hopes to have the project finished by next summer or early fall.

The director indicated that the McHenry improvements project can move forward immediately, as that system is already established. The $2.8 million project will include new waterlines, development of water sources, a water storage and water treatment plant along Gravelly Run Road, booster station controls along Pysell Road, rehabilitation of the Villages of Wisp storage tank, and Villages of Wisp treatment plant and well pump improvements.

The ad valorem tax method will also be used for the McHenry project’s debt repayment.

Read the full article here.

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Kitzmiller homes to get public water

June 18, 2010

Some wells getting little or no water due to abandoned mines
Megan Miller
Cumberland Times-News

KITZMILLER — Garrett County plans to extend public water service to about 22 homes in an area that has suffered for several years from chronic water problems caused by abandoned coal mines.

The project will install public water to replace wells for about 20 existing and two planned residences located along Pee Wee Hill Road, Linda Lindsey, director of the Department of Public Utilities, told the County Commission Tuesday. The services will be an offshoot of the water system in nearby Kitzmiller.

Mike Garner, chief of the Abandoned Mine Lands division of the Maryland Bureau of Mines, said some of the residences have had no problems with their wells, but others have no water at all.

“The Bureau of Mines has drilled wells up there … with little success,” Garner said. “They have one well that’s over 1,000 feet, and I think it recharges 1 gallon per minute. So it’s expensive to try to drill wells, and we started looking at trying to extend the public water.”

One surface mine is still active on Pee Wee Hill, but Garner said an investigation by his office found that the active mine was not at fault.

“What’s at fault is there’s three levels of underground abandoned deep mines,” he said. “They had wooden props in there. The props are deteriorating, the roof is collapsing and that collapse makes its way to the surface.”

The project will be funded through a grant from the federal Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, Garner said.

“The grant’s in and we’ve asked them to expedite it,” he said. “If that gets approved, then we’ll jump right into design.”

These types of projects normally take about 2 years to develop, he said. But officials are trying to fast track the project and launch it by the end of the state fiscal year, which is June 30.

His office will work with county officials throughout the design and construction process “so that they get the end product that they want.”

The project will require the installation of a water tank and booster pump. Lindsey said the Kitzmiller system should easily handle the additional load.

The Pee Wee Hill extension will be considered its own separate service area, she said, and those residents will be charged the same rates as other public water customers countywide.

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