Board of Public Works approves funding to improve drinking water systems
BALTIMORE (August 12, 2020) – The Maryland Board of Public Works approved more than $2.4 million in funding today to improve drinking water systems in three Maryland counties. The Board is composed of Governor Larry Hogan, Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp and Comptroller Peter Franchot. Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford chaired today’s meeting.
“These are smart investments to protect public health in Maryland communities,” said Maryland Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles. “Upgrading the drinking water systems in Oxford and Keysers Ridge and connecting the Town of Luke to the Westernport drinking water system all underscore the Hogan Administration’s commitment to water infrastructure and the public health and safety benefits that flow from it.”
The following projects were approved today:
Oxford Water Main Replacement Project –Talbot County
Funding of $1,497,616 – a $748,808 Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund loan and a $748,808 grant in the form of forgiveness of a Drinking Water State Revolving Loan Fund loan to the Town of Oxford – will help pay for the replacing and lining of a steel water main pipe within the town. The existing water main is about 100 years old and fused with lead soldered joints that can leach lead into the town’s potable water supply. Water leaks in recent years have made the system vulnerable to contamination, caused service interruptions and damaged the roadway infrastructure. This project will provide more reliable service, reduce contamination hazards, and better meet current demands. This project will be constructed in accordance with coastal resiliency guidelines developed as part of the Coast Smart Program to reduce climate change risks to such projects.
Town of Westernport Water Line to Luke project — Allegany County
A $507,243 Water Supply Financial Assistance grant to the Town of Westernport will help fund the design and construction of a waterline to extend water service from the Town of Westernport to the Town of Luke. Westernport and Luke have signed an agreement for Luke to purchase water from Westernport that will be conveyed through this waterline. The Luke paper mill, which currently provides Luke with water, has closed. The mill has said it will continue to provide the town with water until this project is complete and Luke is receiving water from Westernport. The contractor has indicated that the project can be completed by November. The new waterline will provide the residents of Luke with safe and reliable drinking water and fire protection. This project will be constructed in accordance with resiliency guidelines developed to reduce climate change risks to such projects.
Keysers Ridge Water System Water Storage Tank project – Garrett County
A $445,047 Water Supply Financial Assistance grant to the Garrett County Board of County Commissioners will help fund the engineering and construction of a 245,000-gallon storage tank for the Keysers Ridge area. The residents and businesses served by the Keysers Ridge water system have expressed concerns regarding insufficient water supply and inconsistent water pressure. The new storage tank will provide safe and reliable drinking water for residents as well as adequate fire protection. This project will be constructed in accordance with resiliency guidelines to reduce climate change risks to such projects.
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