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Town gets sewer grant

July 01, 2005|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

FUNKSTOWN

gregs@herald-mail.com

The Town of Funkstown will receive $150,000 in federal grant money to aid in the costly upgrade of the town's aging sewer treatment system, a town official said Thursday.

The money brings the total amount of grants for the project to $700,000, Funkstown Town Clerk Brenda Haynes said.

"We're very happy," Haynes said after learning the grant was awarded.

The town, which is under state orders to upgrade its sewage treatment facilities, will abandon its outdated lagoon-style sewage treatment system once the $2.4 million project is complete.

The project will increase the cleanliness of the water that is treated by the town's sewer system before it is pumped into Antietam Creek, but the project has had a heavy impact on town sewer service prices.

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Town officials voted last year to increase sewer prices by more than double the rates at the time to pay for the work.

Whatever money is not secured in grants for the project will be paid for through borrowed money, which likely will come from low-interest loans through a state fund, Haynes said.

If the town doesn't secure enough grants, sewer service bills could rise for town sewer system customers, Haynes said. The town is waiting on an $800,000 grant application.

Thursday's award is a State and Tribal Assistance Grant that will come from the U.S. Department of the Interior, according to an announcement from U.S. Sens. Barbara A. Mikulski and Paul S. Sarbanes.

Funkstown's grant is part of $1.65 million that will be distributed under the grant program in Western Maryland for sewage treatment improvements.

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