Union Bridge agrees to upgrade sewer plant City $2,075 short of $17,075 cost

September 29, 1992|By Traci A. Johnson | Traci A. Johnson,Staff Writer

The Union Bridge City Council voted last night to upgrade the town sewer plant -- despite a $2,000-plus disparity between the amount needed and the budget for repairs.

The estimated cost is $17,075. The town has $15,000 in the budget for the task -- $2,000 from an equipment maintenance fund and $13,000 for new purchases.

Mayor Perry L. Jones said the money would have to be taken from "other places" to give the plant a much-needed overhaul.

The council will ask for a state grant to help bring the dilapidated system into accordance with state regulations. Nearly $200,000 will be needed to modernize the machinery that processes about 100,000 gallons of sewage a day.

"It's a lot of money, but in order not to get another fine [from the state], we're just going to have to spend it," Mayor Jones told council members, who agreed unanimously to make the improvements.

The 30-year-old sewer plant has been plagued by problems. The state hit the town with a $5,625 fine in June for polluting Little Pipe Creek with discharges of chlorine.

Time after time, the elastic waistband of a pair of size-32 underwear has been found wrapped around a rod in the system's pump, halting plant operations.

Officials are still seeking the identity of the person they say is flushing the underwear into the system.

Fred Haifley, the plant manager, petitioned the council at its June meeting to purchase a new pump, but the group waited until it received a report from the state Department of the Environment.

Jake Bair, who directs a private agency that works with the Department of the Environment, said at the June council meeting that "the plant is in terrible condition."

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