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Planner says sewer plant ‘on schedule’

Richard D. L. Fulton

A representative of the firm contracted by the town to oversee the construction of Emmitsburg’s new wastewater facility presented their status report to the board of commissioners at their November 4 meeting.

Presenting the update was Terry Zentkovich, project planner for RK&K, Baltimore, the firm overseeing the project. The construction itself is being performed by Conewago Enterprises, Inc., out of Hanover.

"Almost every project on the site has been started," he said. "Many of the structures (involved) have been completed." Zentkovich told the commissioners, "We’re out of the ground big time," meaning all the subsurface work had been completed.

Work on the $20 million treatment plant was mandated by the state in conjunction with efforts that would reportedly help clean-up the Chesapeake Bay.

Zentkovich presented the board of commissioners with a time line of events to date, beginning with the notice to proceed issued October 1 of last year.

He noted that the original contract for completed had allowed for 914 calendar days, subsequently amended to 966 days (of which 398 have been used as of November 4), and that the percent of time overruns at the current point has amounted to only 5.6 percent.

The project planner said 15 change orders had been implemented on the project to date, amounting to an additional cost of $133,965. Change orders are usually the product of alterations determined to be needed as a project unfolds on-site in the form of unforeseen situations or changes requested by the contracting party.

Zentkovich told the board that the facility and upgrades are still on track for the projected completion of the facility in May 2015. "I still think very conservatively the contract (for all the work being performed on-site) is on schedule," he stated.

The project planner noted that "a lot of flux" had been embodied in the construction schedule to allow for unanticipated delays.

Money to pay for the new plant comes from several sources. $14.5 million of the total price tag has been approved in the form of grants from the Maryland Department of the Environment and the federal Department of Agriculture (DOA). In addition, DOA will be providing the town with a $5.5 million loan bearing a 2.4 percent interest rate payable over 40 years.

The recently town Board of Commissioners-approved increase in user fees will provide additional money for the project, such as payment on the loan interest.

The state directed that existing wastewater treatment facilities would have to meet stringent processing criteria to reduce various bay-threatening pollutants, such as nutrients, by either upgrading existing facilities or building new ones.

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