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Town plans new library, completion of streetscape

January 02, 2001

Town plans new library, completion of streetscape



By MARLO BARNHART / Staff Writer

file photo

Ground breakingCLEAR SPRING - The fact that a frigid, snowy day didn't discourage supporters from turning out when ground was broken for the town's new library spoke volumes.

The diligence of the core of volunteers and the generosity of residents, past and present, have made the project a reality. The new library is expected to open during 2001.

"The community has met its goal of raising $100,000," said Margaret Cornett, one of the original supporters of the library, which will be in the school complex west of town.

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Coupled with $300,000 from the L.P. Snyder fund and $200,000 from the Washington County Commissioners, those funds have made it possible for an 8,000-square-foot building to be constructed.

"Now we are seeking money to retire our $85,000 debt," Cornett said.

Borrowing the final installment meant that the library would be speeded along to completion during this year.

The year 2001 could also seem like The Age of Aquarius for this small, rural community as thoughts and plans shift from the bricks, mortar and concrete of last year's downtown improvements to questions of water.

The town has four wells that tap into an aquifer that is supplied by water captured by the Fairview Mountain watershed west of the town limits.

The reservoir that collects that water is aging and must either be replaced or repaired. Plans were put on hold in 2000 while the town continued to discuss which way to go.

"We're looking at possibly putting up a water tank to hold a supply of treated water at the reservoir," said Mayor Paul Hose Jr.

That would be the costliest solution to the problem but is not out of the realm of possibility if the town could secure grants or loans to defray the cost.

Those costs are being explored and the pros and cons of such a tower are being researched with communities that recently erected similar structures for their water needs, Hose said.

Maryland Environmental Services representatives have been working with the town on the prospect of putting in a $95,000 new steel-coated fiberglass tank that would be installed at ground level.

Such a tank would hold 158,000 gallons of treated water.

The other possibility would be to repair the existing reservoir. Built in the 1930s, part in and part out of the ground, the reservoir holds raw water until it is treated on site and then distributed through water lines to customers, said Councilman Bill Albowicz, who also is water commissioner.

Hose said inquiries have been directed toward the Maryland Center for Environmental Training in La Plata, Md., for help in making the decision.

Also on tap for 2001 are renovations to the town hall and the planting of trees and installation of benches along U.S. 40 to complete the streetscape project.

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