Trash pickup costs on the rise

January 09, 2007|by MARLO BARNHART

CLEAR SPRING - As the new year dawns, members of the Clear Spring Town Council are hoping for 12 months with no surprises.

But of course, that tends not to happen in small-town politics, as newly elected Councilman Steve Blickenstaff pointed out.

"There may be some improvements at the Waste Water Treatment Plant this year," Blickenstaff noted.

He added that the town might have to reconsider the historic practice of absorbing the cost of trash pickup for all town residents this year. The reason is that the cost is on the rise.

According to Town Clerk Juanita Grimm, the town pays approximately $1,800 a month for once-a-week pickup of trash by Allied Waste Services, formerly BFI.

Councilwoman Carol Hovermale said she believes water and sewer issues should be fairly stable in 2007. But like Blickenstaff, she said she was concerned about the skyrocketing cost of trash pickup.


"Trash is going to be an issue," she said.

Despite that issue, most of the talk of the council concerned plans by AT&T to install fiber-optic cable across the east end of Clear Spring during 2007.

This project was introduced to council members in late 2006 via correspondence and a map of the proposed route through town.

The concern was that the project would result in the tearing up Mill Street, which runs off U.S. 40 to the north at the first stoplight.

"We're expecting the work to be done in July," said Mayor Paul Hose Jr. in early December.

But a call to the engineering firm of Michael Baker Jr. Inc. in Beaver, Pa., last week revealed that the fiber-optic work has been postponed, at least for now, by the client.

Hose said the town's concern was that digging up Mill Street might affect water and sewer lines that run under that road.

Incoming Councilman Stewart Brennan said he believes the sewer line under Mill Street is deeper than the 42 inches that AT&T was planning to dig.

"They planned to have a plumber on site during the digging," Hose said.

Councilman Theodore "Teddy" Hovermale said he understood that a manhole would also be installed at the intersection.

And Hose added that Mill Street was to be repaved after the installation.

When the underground work reached U.S. 40 and Md. 68, the lines were to be directionally drilled under the road so those busy highways wouldn't have to be shut down, Hose said.

The news that the project has been postponed came late last week. No new timetable had been submitted.

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