County unveils plans for new Bainbridge sewer plant
Would replace current Port Deposit plant
— County public works officials laid out a new regional vision Tuesday for sewer service that could serve customers not only in downtown Port Deposit, but also future Bainbridge customers and those in nearby mobile home parks.
The plan was unveiled as part of the administration’s request for council approval to transfer $1.12 million from already budgeted projects to repair lines and parts of the existing 40-year-old plant, to a new design project for a new plant located at the top of the hill on Bainbridge property.
The budget request isn’t asking for any new money for this year — only a transfer of money to provide a longer term solution to future sewage needs at Bainbridge and the area around it.
“We think $1.12 million is adequate to cover the cost of engineering and design,” Director of Public Works Scott Flanigan said Tuesday night.
A formal budget amendment for the transfer was introduced Tuesday night and a public hearing has been scheduled for Oct. 4 at the county administration building in Elkton. The final vote will take place on Oct. 18.
County administration is also asking for approval of companion resolutions to amend the county’s master water and sewer plan to accommodate expansion of county sewer service and private water service from Artesian Water Company in the Port Deposit area.
The latest sewer concept would include studying the existing sewage collection system and repairing the most pressing leaks in the sewer lines, but the focus is on eventually closing the old plant, which is located along the Susquehanna River in a flood zone, and opening a new expandable plant at the top of the hill.
The total project would include engineering and design, followed by grading and construction of a package sewage treatment plant using two 125,000-gallonsa-day modules to start, resulting in a total capacity of 250,000 gallons a day.
Construction of a sewer pumping station and force main to convey the sewage from Port Deposit up to the site of the new plant is also required.
“Our goal is to expand in phases over time up to as much as 1 million gallons a day,” Flanigan said.
The administration also hopes to have a fully-vetted financial plan for the construction phase ready for the fiscal year 2018 budget, Director of Administration Al Wein said.
Wein and Flanigan said that there is ongoing discussions between the Bainbridge Development Corporation, county administration, Maryland Department of the Environment and the Bainbridge developer to put together a financing package to fund the estimated $9 million construction cost of the project.
Flanigan explained that the plant will be built to ENR (enhanced nutrient removal) standards, making it eligible for Chesapeake Bay grant funding to help defray costs. The BDC has verbally agreed to donate the land for the plant and the developer is part of the ongoing discussion.
Chief of DPW’s Engineering and Construction Division Phil Muzik said that part of the administration’s reasons for shifting priorities for sewer service in the Port Deposit/Bainbridge area was a decision to be more proactive and seek a longer term solution.
“BDC lost a $100 million bottling plant prospect who required 250,000 gallons of water a day to the Bainbridge site this year because we had no definite plans to give them,” Muzik said in a morning work session. “They went elsewhere because utilities were not in place.”
Mike Pugh, chairman of the BDC board of directors, also emphasized the need to be flexible.
“We had two potential users last year and we continue to market the place for commercial or industrial users. But, this ups the reality of us being able to attract development to Bainbridge,” Pugh said.
Flanigan agrees Pugh.
“We believe when infrastructure is there, they’ll get customers at Bainbridge,” Flanigan said Tuesday night. with
This illustration shows the approximate location of the Port Deposit Wastewater Treatment Plants (old and proposed new).