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Hagerstown plans to borrow to replace West End reservoir

December 05, 2007|By DAN DEARTH

HAGERSTOWN - The City of Hagerstown will borrow roughly $6.46 million to replace the West End Reservoir with a state-of-the-art water tank.

During a Tuesday special session, the City Council voted 5-0 to borrow the money from the Maryland Department of the Environment. City Finance Director Alfred Martin said the interest rate will be 0.9 percent over a 20-year period.

Before the council met, Martin said the interest rate is about one-fourth of what the city would pay on the open market and will save taxpayers about $200,000 a year.

"It will have a significant savings," he said. "If we can use MDE money to save, we're going to do that."

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Martin said the total cost of the project is about $7.1 million. The cost that isn't covered by the $6.46 million loan will be paid for using benefit charges, or fees that are charged to new customers, he said.

The city won't receive the full amount of the loan all at once, Martin said. MDE will award the funding as it is needed.

Earlier this year, City Utilities Director Mike Spiker said the project includes demolishing the 11 million-gallon West End Reservoir and replacing it with a 6.4 million-gallon water tank on the north side of U.S. 40 in the Rock Willow Park area.

He said the project has to be done to satisfy the Safe Drinking Water Act Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule.

The mandate requires that all uncovered reservoirs in the state of Maryland have to be covered by April 2009.

The new water tank will be covered, made of concrete and serve roughly 33,300 residential units and 19,700 commercial ones, according to city documents.

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