Council approves $5.7 million pact for new Taneytown sewage plant State must OK contract

construction expected to be completed by 1999

August 11, 1998|By Donna R. Engle | Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF

Construction of a new sewage treatment plant for Taneytown is expected to begin next month after the City Council approved a $5.7 million contract at its meeting yesterday.

The contract must also be approved by the Maryland Department of the Environment before construction can begin. It was awarded to Conewago Enterprises Inc. of Hanover, Pa., the lowest of 11 bidders. Construction is scheduled to be completed by November 1999.

The facility will have twice the capacity of the existing plant and will improve the water quality of the effluent that the plant discharges into Piney Creek.

Taneytown is under a consent order from the Maryland Department of the Environment to improve its sewage treatment system. In 1996, the 40-year-old system was blamed when raw sewage flowed into ditches and backed up in a few houses during heavy rains.

Heavy rains yesterday produced no problems in the system, City Manager Charles "Chip" Boyles reported.

The Department of the Environment also wants Taneytown to reduce the amount of nitrogen in the effluent discharged from the treatment plant. Nitrogen is a nutrient that stimulates algae blooms, and the effort to reduce it is part of the state goal of reducing nutrients entering the Chesapeake Bay by 40 percent by 2000.

Taneytown plans to build the 1.4 million-gallon-per-day treatment plant on an 8.89-acre site approximately one-quarter mile from the existing plant. The city must relocate the plant because the existing plant was built in a flood plain.

Taneytown's plant operates at an average of about 200,000 gallons below its daily capacity, which means it's time to start planning for the future, Boyles has said. He said the increased capacity will serve a growing population and the new industries Taneytown has been working to attract.

The new plant is expected to serve the city's needs for 20 years, about the time it will take to retire the debt on the $6.1 million project.

The city is financing the project through a $450,000 grant from the Department of the Environment and $5.7 million in low-interest state loans.

Pub Date: 8/11/98

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