New Prince Frederick water tower

    Special to the Recorder

    Jun 20, 2014

    Construction on a new East Prince Frederick Well and Tower is set to begin, allowing for additional future expansion, county officials said Tuesday at the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners’ meeting. The new 7,500-gallon elevated water tank will be built near the water well that is currently in place at Calvert High School to accommodate future development in the Prince Frederick Town Center.“This well provides us with the additional capacity for Prince Frederick for future expansion. … The well has already been in place for two years, and there was a delay for the tower,” Wayne Raither, division chief of the Calvert County Water and Sewer Division, said.Julie Paluda, capital projects analyst, and Joan Thorp, deputy director of finance and budget, gained approval from the commissioners in a unanimous vote, after a public hearing with no speakers, for an increase in the fiscal 2014 Capital Improvement Plan budget to include $468,000 from a Maryland Department of the Environment loan to fund construction of the new water tower.The current budget for construction is $3,850,000, including: $777,301 of previously encumbered and incurred well construction and engineering expenses; $2,875,000 for construction of the water tower; $125,000 for construction administration and inspection; and $72,699 of contingency.“The budget was proposed to be funded with general obligation bonds, MDE water quality loan, and MDE water supply grants,” Paluda said at Tuesday’s meeting. “MDE made $2.7 million of state revolving loan funds available for this project in the 2013 Intended Use Plan. At the time the budget was established for this project, staff anticipated that $2.1 million … would be needed.”On April 23, the county opened and reviewed bids for the elevated water tower; the lowest responding bid was $3,343,000, though the estimated engineering cost for tower construction was $2,875,000. The main difference between the estimate and the bids is that the estimate was made 1½ years ago, and costs for materials have since increased, according to a staff memo.Commissioner Gerald W. “Jerry” Clark (R) was concerned about how the new construction could influence the rates of those on the county water system.“This is just putting more debt on top of the existing ratepayers,” he said.The MDE water quality loan is for 20 years, at 1.9 percent interest. Thorp said he believed the budget had been adjusted for additional loan funds but was not able to confirm by the time of publication. Work must proceed by the end of December, or the grant funds may be removed from the MDE award list, according to the memo.