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Allegany County Commissioners voted to accept grant funding for several projects during the public business meeting held on November 18, 2022. The Public Works Department was able to secure over $7.5 million in grant funding for the Flintstone and Oldtown Wastewater Treatment plants and Borden Tunnel projects.
The Borden Tunnel, located on the Great Allegheny Passage Rail Trail in Frostburg, Maryland, was built in 1911. The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration has awarded Allegany County $3,623,796 from the Recreational Trails Program to complete a restoration project in an effort to preserve the tunnel, while also ensuring the safe passage of visitors, tourists, and local residents that utilize the Great Allegheny Passage. Specifics of the project include resurfacing and repair of the exterior end walls and the interior surface of the 955 linear foot tunnel, using pneumatically applied mortar. This will also include the removal and re-installation of the lighting system equipment (i.e. lights, conduit, sensors, etc.) currently on the interior wall of the tunnel. The project is expected to get started in Spring 2023, pending permit approvals.
The Flintstone Wastewater Treatment Plant was built in 1980 and has reached the end of its useful life. In order to continue to provide this necessary service to the residents of Flintstone a new treatment plant is needed and without this funding it would have been difficult to achieve. A previous grant was awarded from the Community Development Block Grant Program (Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development) in the amount of $1.6 million. Grants awarded this week were for $1.5 million from Maryland Department of the Environment Supplemental Assistance Grant, and $375,000 Maryland Department of the Environment Comprehensive Flood Management Grant.
The project is currently in the design phase and is estimated to be complete in 2025. Though most of the project is being funded through the above mentioned grants, it is expected that a rate increase will be needed to offset low funding required to fully complete the project.
The Oldtown Wastewater Treatment Plant was also built in 1980 and mirrors the same issues presented in Flintstone. Grants received this week were for $1.5 million from Maryland Department of the Environment Supplemental Assistance Grant, and $375,000 Maryland Department of the Environment Comprehensive Flood Management Grant. Also like the Flintstone project, it is expected that a rate increase will be needed in the future to cover low funding.
The project is expected to enter the design phase soon, and will run approximately 2 years behind the Flintstone project.