Union Bridge will go to the state well once again and ask for help to renovate its aging water system.
Several months ago, the one-well town learned that its applications for $900,000 in grants from three different sources -- Farmers Home Bank, Community Development Block Grant and Maryland Department of the Environment -- had been turned down.
Brenda Dinne, county planning liaison to New Windsor and Union Bridge, said at last night's Town Council meeting that the town might have a better chance by asking for a "scaled-down version of what needs to be done."
Although she has been at her new job for less than a month, Ms. Dinne is already at work revising the original application and writing a $200,000 grant request to the MDE.
"As soon as we get all the information from the mayor and the town engineer, we will complete the application," Ms. Dinne said. "I am assuming the MDE will approve, but I am not sure if the town will get all or a percentage of the request."
The money would pay for improvements to the existing well structure, a new well house and a chlorination station. If the application is successful, the town would pay 12 1/2 percent of the entire project cost.
Improving existing structures is an MDE priority, Ms. Dinne said. "Getting the new structures is a town priority. We are taking priorities from both entities and putting that into the application."
Councilman Don Wilson reported more water woes for the town: the street is collapsing near an Elger Street coin-operated laundry and the problem is spreading.
Disintegrating underground water pipelines along Elger Street to Benedum Street are undermining the entire road surface, he said.
"Basements are getting flooded because the water has nowhere to go," Mr. Wilson said. "When you have water coming up through the middle of the street, you know it's being undermined. It could collapse from the damage."
The mayor called the condition "a worsening problem even when there are no hard rains."
The council unanimously accepted a $10,148 estimate from Stambaugh Corp. -- an excavating and paving company on Bark Hill Road -- to install 230 feet of linear pipe and improve drainage to the entire block.
"We have no choice in this matter," said Councilman Bret Grossnickle.