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Public hearing set on sewer plan

August 23, 1999



PUBLIC HEARING



-- Changing of water and sewer plans because of a plant closing

-- Tuesday, Aug. 24

-- 11 a.m.

-- 100 W. Washington St., Room 226

-- Hagerstown

By SCOTT BUTKI / Staff Writer

The Washington County Commissioners will move one step closer this week to closing an aging sewer plant and begin consolidating sewer services with the City of Hagerstown for the Sharpsburg Pike area.

A joint public hearing Tuesday before the County Commissioners and the county Planning Commission will give citizens a chance to speak on whether the County Commissioners should amend county water and sewer plans because of the two projects.

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The hearing is a chance for people to argue whether the plans should be changed - not whether the Nicodemus Waste Water Treatment Plant should be closed. The decision to close the plant has already been made.

The county plans to close the Nicodemus plant around July 2001 and shift its flow to the nearby Conococheague Waste Water Treatment Plant, county Water and Sewer Director Greg Murray said.

The Nicodemus plant, built in the 1960s, is south of Williamsport. The Conococheague plant is in the 70/81 Interstate Industrial Park, northeast of Williamsport. That plant was built in 1991.

At separate meetings in April, the County Commissioners and the Hagerstown City Council approved an agreement merging sewage treatment operations for 111 households and 20 commercial properties south of Oak Ridge Drive along Sharpsburg Pike.

The properties would send their waste to the county's Conococheague Industrial Pretreatment Facility instead of to Hagerstown's treatment plant.

The city and county expect the Maryland Department of the Environment to pay for about $500,000 in needed changes, including a 3,000-foot main line.

The amendments to the planned sewage system's portion of the county plans would reflect the changes that occurred as a result of the two projects, County Attorney Richard Douglas said.

By closing the Nicodemus plant, the county can avoid spending an estimated $7 million on state biological nutrient removal requirements, Murray said.

However, the county would need to build a 3,000-foot, 12-inch line from the Nicodemus plant to Conococheague, which is estimated to cost about $450,000, Murray said. The county is hoping that grants from MDE will cover half of that cost.

The county also plans to increase the Conococheague plant's daily capacity from about 2.5 million gallons to about 4.1 million gallons. The Nicodemus plant has a capacity of 1.6 million gallons per day.

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