Wastewater, water projects head to engineering phase, town urged to drill new water well

by Geoff Fox

Hancock Town Manager Joe Gilbert told town officials during the tele-conference town meeting last Wednesday both the wastewater and freshwater projects are moving along and bids have been received from contractors for the preliminary engineering reports (PERs).

The upgrades are to the town’s water and sewer infrastructure – separate from the construction of a new wastewater treatment plant that is planned by the town.

Those bids, he said, were then forwarded on to the USDA for funding consideration.

Gilbert said the maximum amount the USDA would fund was $60,000, while the bids for each project, respectively, was under $30,000.

The $60,000 was based on the town’s financial data, he added.

The USDA had to wait until the fiscal year 2019 audit was complete so they could examine the town’s financial data to come up with the funding amount.

Gilbert said that all happened earlier in the day last Wednesday, even after he had sent his report to town officials.

“It looks like we would be funded up to 75% of the PER’s,” he said. This does not include the construction, just predevelopment work.

Gilbert said the next part of the projects, like the proposals and the funding, would be presented after he packages them together.

The timeline would see the engineering reports starting in June and completed by fall so the town could apply for the next round of funding for construction.

Construction could take place in fiscal year 2022, which begins July 1, 2021.

“We’re right on track, right on schedule for all of that,” Gilbert said.

Mayor Ralph Salvagno reminded everyone this is not the town’s wastewater treatment plant, but a long-range plan for general repair

and replacement of the town’s infrastructure of water and sewer.

“It’s our intention, once we get that information together, we can then kind of come up with a priority plan of what should be done urgently, what needs to be done within the next five years, ten years, and that part of the list is always subject to change,” Salvagno said.

In doing that, the mayor said it provides the town a roadmap over the next 20 years repairing and eventually replacing most of the water and sewer lines and distribution equipment.

Gilbert said the engineering reports will also include a cost estimate to extend water and wastewater to the properties north of town on Warfordsburg Road that the town is looking to annex.

Gilbert said annexation is still a work in progress and the engineering reports are being done concurrently. By the time the engineering is complete and funding for construction is started, those lands would be annexed and construction costs would have them included as well.

“So the timing worked out well as far as that goes,” Gilbert said.

Well inspection complete

Gilbert said the inspection of the town’s well by Ginn’s Water Supply has been completed.

The company was to email the results were supposed to Gilbert, however he hadn’t gotten the results. However, he did talk to them and asked if the well would be repairable or if the town should start over.

Gilbert said their recommendation was to start over and dig a new well.

“Why? I don’t know yet because I don’t have their full report,” Gilbert told town officials.

The full report was to include a video because the existing well had been scoped and the town would have a recording of what was found.

Salvagno told Gilbert once he gets that information, pass it on to Councilmen Tim Smith and Roland Lanehart, Jr., to take a look. Both men are on the Public Works board.

The mayor also said the town had made a commitment in the past to repair or replace the well at some point.

If Ginn’s can confirm replacement is what the town should do, then Salvagno said the town should move forward and “get it done.”

It’s been pointed out the town can’t be in the situation where it’s hamstrung by only one well or risk one going down,” Salvagno said.

Lanehart added if another well would have to be dug, the current pipe and pump could be reused, saving the town some money.