of troubleshooting its sewer system
continues to rise
(10/14/2003) The cost of
troubleshooting its sewer system continues
to rise, but the town seems to be getting
Inc., the Hagerstown engineering firm
searching for the cause of several sewer
backups this year, has completed the
televised inspection work the town
contracted. However, the company has
identified other potential problem areas and
wants to check out another 3,400 linear
already strapped by a tight budget,
discussed other options. However, at Tuesday
night’s board meeting, they unanimously
decided that the extra $9,350 worth of work
should be worthwhile.
The board also voted
to pay $7,000 for extra manhole inspection
work, but it withheld the remainder of the
$15,400 that ARRO billed for the 11 days it
took to complete the job. Commissioner Ron
Terpko questioned whether a clause in the
contract capped the town’s liability to
$7,000 for the additional inspection time.
"I don’t want to
play hardball with them," Mr. Terpko said.
"But I believe they should have the common
courtesy to tell us they’re going over."
Gary Dingle, water superintendent for the
town, said the company definitely worked all
11 days. The commissioners agreed to let
staff members discuss the matter with the
project manager before making a decision.
While work continues, a damaged pipe that
caused an estimated 8,000 gallons of water
to enter the system daily has been repaired.
Mr. Dingle said builders in the Pleasant
Acres subdivision drove rebar through a
4-inch pipe, creating a significant
In other action, the
commissioners decided against extending the
town’s corporation tax on personal property
to unincorporated entities. It was debated
because a business owner questioned the
fairness of taxing one type of enterprise
and not taxing another.
Rick May, the town’s
clerk-treasurer, conservatively estimated
that taxing unincorporated businesses would
bring in about $4,000. He said previous
boards had considered the tax but decided
against it, and that pattern continued as
the board was reluctant to pass a tax mostly
affecting the town’s tiniest businesses.
"It’s just another
burden on the small guy," Commissioner Wayne
Hooper said. The board also voted to change
the calendar, sort of. Trick-or-treat
activities will be held on Oct. 30 from 6 to
7:30 p.m., instead of Halloween night.
The switch was
suggested by Police Chief Terry Frushour
because Oct. 31 is a Friday this year and
traffic is greater on town streets on Friday
evenings. Mr. Terpko also noted that
Catoctin High School has a home football
game that night.
Also, two forums
have been set for candidates for seats on
the board of commissioners. The Lions Club,
a frequent sponsor of election forums, will
hold its event on Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at
the Thurmont Senior Center. Another forum
has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 22 at the
town office. Election Day is Oct. 27. Bill
Blakeslee, Frank Kurtz and Glenn Muth and
incumbent Kenneth Oland are vying for two
open seats, and referendum votes on three
charter amendments will be on the ballot.
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