Carroll County engineers to review bids for building water tower in Eldersburg

May 21, 1998|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Carroll County engineers will review bids from four contractors before recommending which one should build a 115-foot-high water tower in Eldersburg.

Bids, opened yesterday, ranged from $810,000 to nearly $1.2 million, according to county officials.

"Normally, the job goes to the lowest bidder, unless the bid does not meet the specifications," said Ron Emmons, county utilities engineer.

The engineering department will take about a week to review the bids and prepare a recommendation. The County Commissioners will award the contract.

"Construction could begin in 45 days and we expect to be on line before the end of the year," said J. Michael Evans, county director of public works.

Plans call for construction of a 1-million-gallon water storage tank near the intersection of Route 32 and Johnsville Road, across from the Liberty High School athletic fields.

The contract includes a 150-foot access road off Johnsville Road. The tank, which will be 75 feet in diameter, will sit atop a 50-foot-wide pedestal, made of either concrete or steel, depending on which bid is accepted.

The water storage tower will be the fourth in South Carroll, which suffers from seasonal water shortages. In a drought last summer, the county imposed bans on outdoor water use from June through Labor Day.

A 500,000-gallon tower is under construction near Linton Springs Elementary and should be completed before the school opens in September. Pitt-Des Moines, a Pittsburgh contractor, is building the Linton Springs tower and has submitted an $847,749 bid to build the Liberty structure.

The Freedom water treatment plant serves about 6,000 households in South Carroll, the county's most populous area. The plant draws water from Liberty Reservoir and can operate at a 3-million-gallon daily capacity.

It has exceeded capacity during summer dry spells. Once it reaches capacity, the system relies on water held in two 1-million-gallon storage tanks -- one on Marsh Road and the other on Bartholow Road. At least half that water must be reserved for fire emergencies.

Construction of the tower should be completed within a year and will bring storage capacity to 3.5 million gallons.

The tower will be painted beige with the words "Liberty High Lions" added in royal blue.

"It is the least we can do, since we are on school property," said Emmons.

Pub Date: 5/21/98

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