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Breichner honored in naming of water plant

December 09, 1997

Breichner honored in naming of water plant

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

SMITHSBURG - When they dedicated the new $4.7 million water treatment plant for Edgemont Reservoir Monday, Hagerstown officials honored one of their own by naming it for City Councilman William M. Breichner.

Breichner, 66, was superintendent of the water department from 1967 to 1983.

"It is humbling and I'm really grateful for this honor," said a surprised Breichner after the Monday morning ceremony. He said he knew something was up when his family showed up at the dedication.

About 70 people attended the ceremony at the plant south of Smithsburg off Crystal Falls Drive.

The previous City Council had agreed to name the plant for Breichner.

"Bill is the expert with everything in the city based on his experience, but certainly when it comes to water," said Councilman Lewis C. Metzner.

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Metzner often considers Breichner's opinion on water matters before casting related votes.

"He knows his water," said Gene Walzl, the city's water department manager. Because of Breichner's presence on the council, Walzl often faces technical questions about equipment purchases and plant policies when he addresses the council.

Breichner has been serving the city for about 39 years, either in public office or as a city employee.

He began working for the City of Hagerstown in 1956 as a junior draftsman. He served as head of the water department for 16 years, then became city administrator in 1983. He resigned that job on Nov. 18, 1986, at the request of the council, which had been dissatisfied with his job performance.

Breichner, a Democrat, became a City Council member in 1989 when he was the top vote-getter for one of five open council seats. He was re-elected in 1993 and 1997.

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