August 5, 2008

ARC Grant to Increase Sewer System Capacity in Friendsville

By Cumberland Times News, Md.

Aug. 5--FRIENDSVILLE -- A $750,000 Appalachian Regional Commission grant will allow the town of Friendsville to increase its sewer capacity, provide greater environmental protection to Bear Creek and Youghiogheny River, and expand capacity for new businesses.

The grant was announced Monday by U.S. Sens. Barbara Mikulski and Benjamin Cardin.

"This grant is a federal investment in the economic growth and development of Friendsville," Mikulski said. "Improvements in the town's infrastructure will attract new businesses and jobs, while also helping to protect the Bear Creek and Youghiogheny River."

"This ARC grant is an investment that will improve the economic health and viability of Friendsville," Cardin said. "It will fund important improvements to the existing sewer system and will have a beneficial effect on Bear Creek and the Youghiogheny River."

Friendsville's sanitary sewer system, constructed in 1973, serves approximately 185 customers. Over the years, a number of sewer-related problems have been discovered. A 2004 examination of the sewer system found that during the spring, and in times of high groundwater, inflow/infiltration rates exceed the permitted sewer plant capacity.

Friendsville has 19 households located within the town limits that are not connected to the public sewer system. These properties have failing on-site sewage disposal systems that are discharging into Bear Creek.

The grant will help pay for a three-mile extension of the sewer line to service the 19 households and for the cleaning and replacement of 238 laterals.

In a recent presentation to the Garrett County Commission, Department of Public Utilities Director Linda Lindsey reported that the sewer inflow and infiltration project has been split into phases.

In addition to the ARC grant just received, the project relies on $300,000 from the Maryland Department of the Environment and $100,000 in City Development Block Grants.

Lindsey said town officials felt it would be too costly to take out a loan through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development because it would cost the residents an additional 20 cents for every $100 of assessed property.


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