Projects being covered by hike in water rates

October 25, 2009

The City of Hagerstown is increasing water rates for its customers, including the towns of Williamsport, Funkstown and Smithsburg, to cover general inflation, operating costs and several major projects for the water system, Hagerstown Finance Director Al Martin said.

Operating expenses for the water division were budgeted at $8.8 million for the fiscal year that ended June 30, according to an e-mail from Michael S. Spiker, Hagerstown's director of utilities. General inflation contributed to the water division's budgeted expenses for the current fiscal year increasing to $9.2 million, he said.

According to Spiker, current and upcoming water projects include:

o Phase two of the West End reservoir project. Construction of a second 6.4 million-gallon water tank is expected to begin in November or December. Approved construction funds for the project are $5,435,840.

The first tank was finished in December 2008, in time for the city to comply with the Safe Drinking Water Act Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule, Spiker said. The rule mandated that all uncovered reservoirs in Maryland be covered by April 2009.


o Upgrades to water distribution lines.

Water line replacement along Jonathan Street, budgeted at $500,000, is expected to be finished this year.

The improvement of the Edgewood Drive/Dual Highway intersection, which has begun, includes water line replacement budgeted for $475,000.

o Leak repair at the Edgemont Reservoir near Smithsburg, and removal of trees on the dam face at the reservoir and the embankment face at the Smithsburg Pond. This is budgeted for $190,000 and is under construction.

o Upgrades at the R.C. Willson Water Treatment Plant along the Potomac River near Williamsport.

Replacing two 24-inch water mains, each of which measures 475 feet. This also includes electrical upgrades and replacing a valve vault and associated valves. The budget for this work, which includes this fiscal year and next, is $5,764,754.

-- Julie E. Greene

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