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Funkstown briefs

April 13, 2004

Funkstown is facing major sewer upgrade


FUNKSTOWN - The Maryland Department of the Environment is asking Funkstown to update its sewage plant by 2005 at a cost of more than $2.4 million, a figure discussed by the Mayor and Town Council on Monday.

"If we can't do this, is there some fallback position if all this funding can't be found?" asked Council member Sharon Chirgott.

Town Clerk Brenda Haynes said the town is aggressively seeking grants to help pay for the upgrade, but it appears sewer rates may have to be raised to help pay for the improvements.

She said a public hearing would be held April 26 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall for residents to express their views on the $800,000 Community Development Block grant for which the town plans to apply in order to help pay for refurbishing the sewage plant.

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Haynes said a public hearing on the grant is required as part of the town's application for the money.

The Mayor and Town Council on Monday held off on voting on the constant yield tax rate after discussing the cost of the sewage plant.

"I think we should hold off," Town Council member Kim Ramer said. "It might have to change."

"It's gonna have to," Mayor Robert L. Kline said.

Fiberoptic cable installation nears


FUNKSTOWN - Work to install an AT&T fiberoptic cable through Funkstown may begin as early as May, said Jeff R. Butler, technical specialist with Baker Engineering and Energy, at the Funkstown Mayor and Town Council meeting Monday.

Butler said Gabes Construction likely will begin work in May to dig three manholes on East Poplar Street and one manhole on Edgewood Drive to allow the cable to be pulled through. Under this section of work, the cable will run from Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., through Funkstown to Hagerstown.

Funkstown Mayor and Town Council members on Monday were torn between requiring a $10,000 bond or a $25,000 bond from the contractor.

Butler said the construction company would pay for any repairs needed as a result of damage during construction.

He said the construction company would give the town the money it requests in a bond up front to assure the quality of its work.

"If they don't fix it, then the town has the money," he said.

The mayor and council agreed Monday to talk with the contractor before they decide on a bond amount.

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