Phase one of SKI sewer project officially gets underway
STEVENSVILLE — It has been years in the making, but on Friday, Dec. 2, the Queen Anne’s County Commissioners, surrounded by county and state staff from various departments, officially began the process of creating a new sewer system on Kent Island.
The Southern Kent Island (SKI) Sewer Project Phase 1 began with a groundbreaking ceremony, gold shovels and all, at the Romancoke Community Center, 227 Allegany Road. Commissioner Jim Moran said the county is interested in projects that improve the quality of life for its citizens, the environment and the water. Commission President Mark Anderson gave thanks to the partnerships with departments and agencies at various levels of government.
On Aug. 23, the Commissioners approved bids for Phase 1 of the SKI project with a three to two vote, Commissioners Stephen Wilson and Robert Buckey against. On Nov. 2, the Maryland Board of Public Works approved $33 million in Water Quality Revolving Loan funds to be used for the sewer project.
Phase one of the project will include the installation of the septic tank effluent pumps, community mains and transmission mains, creating the sewer infrastructure. The Transmission force main will run along Maryland Route 8 from the county’s enhanced nutrient removal wastewater treatment plant.
The SKI Sewer Project will serve about 1,528 homes, eight commercial properties and 560 infill properties, of which 775 properties will be enhanced in Phase 1. The first phase of the four phased project, expected to be fully completed in 10 years, will serve the Kent Island Estates and Romancoke on the Bay communities.
Community members in favor of the action to create a new Septic Tank Effluent Pumping System (STEP) cite failing septic systems causing raw sewage to sit in some yards. Homeowners have expressed troubles throughout the approval process of inabilities to sell or expand their properties due to the failing systems and lower market value for their homes.
The project is being paid through a Bay Restoration Grant through the Maryland Department of the Environment as well as a Water Quality revolving loan. Funds will also be acquired from the fees new users hooking up to the service will pay per month as this is a special assessment project. The county said homeowners will pay about $100 per month for the hook up with $70 per month from the fees going to pay down debt for infrastructure and the remaining money to be used for operation and maintenance of the system.
Residents seeking further information can call the Department of Public Works at 410-758-0920, visit the Southern Kent Island Sanitation Sewer Project webpage on the county’s website at www.qac.org, or by visiting the project’s office site at 9410 Romancoke Rd., next to United Communities Volunteer Fire Department. The office is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.
Construction of the new Souther Kent Island Sewer Project officially began on Friday, Dec. 2, as officials used gold shovels to break ground for Phase 1 of the four phased project.