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Smithsburg briefs

May 07, 2008

Smithsburg Town Council divided on bids for water storage tank

SMITHSBURG - The Smithsburg Town Council was divided Tuesday night on whether to accept the lowest bid to build the town's new water storage tank or pay slightly more in order to hire a local company.

The lowest bid was $688,776 from Greensburg Environmental Contracting Services Inc. of Greensburg, Pa., near Pittsburgh. Councilman Jerome Martin recommended opting, instead, to hire Hagerstown-based Callas Contractors Inc., which submitted a bid about $25,000 higher.

Martin, who owns a construction company and has worked with Callas, said he thought it would be easier to hold a local company accountable for its work. Meanwhile, councilwoman Shirley D. Aurand said she thought it was in the town's best interest to accept the lowest bid.

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Council members said it was unclear whether the town was required to accept the lowest bid because the project would use funding from the Rural Utilities Service. They voted to provisionally accept the lowest bid if it is determined that this is a requirement, but also voted 3-2 to wait until next month to choose a contractor otherwise.

Smithsburg approves 3.5 percent hike in water and sewer rates

SMITHSBURG - The Smithsburg Town Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a 3.5 percent increase in water and sewer rates, effective July 1. The increase, which council members said was unfortunate but necessary, will raise the total quarterly water and sewer bill for minimum usage (6,000 gallons per quarter) $2.95 to $86.91 for in-town users.

The council also unanamously approved the general fund, water, and sewer budgets for the fiscal year that runs from July 1, 2008, to June 30, 2009.

Annexation request to be considered

The Smithsburg Town Council voted Tuesday to consider a request for the town to annex the property at 62 E. Water Street, on the northeast end of town.

The .72-acre property is bordered on three sides by the town, development administrator Randy Dick said. The owner expressed interest in subdividing it into two lots, Dick said.

Leaks in pipes might have made bill go up

The inflow of groundwater into sewer pipes through cracks and root intrusion might have raised the town's sewage treatment bill by 40 percent last month, town councilmembers said Tuesday.

The higher bill indicates about 3 million gallons of water were treated that didn't come from the town's water consumption, councilman Jerome Martin observed. Groundwater that infiltrated pipes during April's heavy rains is the most likely source of this extra water, public works director Bill Loughridge said.

The council plans to discuss the inflow and infiltration problem at its June worksession and consider ways to identify and repair problems more quickly, Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers said.

Food vendors, chairperson sought for Smithsburg Pride Days

SMITHSBURG - Food vendors are needed for this year's Smithsburg Pride Days, Smithsburg Councilmember Dennis "Jack" Wenthe said Tuesday. So far, only one day food vendor and one evening food vendor are registered for the July 19-20 event, he said.

In addition, the town is seeking a new Pride Days Committee chairperson to lead the organization of next year's event, Wenthe said.

Smithsburg's Memorial Day event scheduled for May 30

SMITHSBURG - Smithsburg's Memorial Day event will be held at 6 p.m. May 30 in Veterans Park, Smithsburg Parks and Improvment Commission chairman Carlo Belella said. Korean War veteran Paul Summers of Waynesboro, Pa., will speak and the Smithsburg High School band will play, Belella said.

Memorial to slain officer to be dedicated June 14

SMITHSBURG - The dedication of a memorial to Smithsburg Police Officer Christopher Nicholson is scheduled for 11 a.m. June 14 in Veterans Park, Smithsburg Police Chief Charles R. Stanford said Tuesday. Nicholson was killed in the line of duty Dec. 19.

'Safety Day' planned for Sept. 20

SMITHSBURG - Smithsburg's Citizens Police Advisiory Commission has set a date for a new "safety day" event, committee chairman Charles "Bud" Lucassen said Tuesday. The event will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 20 in Veterans Park.

Lucassen requested that anyone interested in volunteering for or helping plan the event attend the committee's June meeting.

- Heather Keels

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