Cumberland Times-News

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September 17, 2013

County may award Rawlings water contract

Payment in lieu of taxes agreement also under consideration

CUMBERLAND — Allegany County commissioners on Thursday will consider awarding a contract for phase two of the Rawlings water project.

The contract is worth $963,527 and the low bidder is Lashley Construction Co., Inc., of Frostburg. Commissioners will consider the decision at their regular business meeting at 5 p.m. at county offices on Kelly Road.

The project will bring clean water and reliable water service to the Rawlings area. The first phase of the project is already under construction and is scheduled for completion in the fall.

The second phase of the project will provide water service to about 350 customers in the Rawlings area. About $4.2 million of the $5.4 million for the total project, including all phases, will be paid for by grants and low-interest loans, he said.

Rawlings needs complete replacement of its water and sewer system.

It’s likely that once the replacement is arranged, the county could take over the privately owned Rawlings water system, which will serve about 285 customers after the upgrade.

A survey of homeowners in the area supports an eventual county takeover, officials have said.

Commissioners will also consider a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) agreement with Hampstead Old Towne Partners. The agreement would support renovation of 138 units at the Old Towne Manor Apartment Complex, county officials said.

The company recently bought The Cumberland Arms Apartments, a 69-unit retirement facility on Liberty Street, for $4.1 million.

Specializing in acquiring Section 8, or Housing and Urban Development, housing facilities, Hampstead also owns the 114-unit Mountain View Apartments, formerly Booth Tower, on Somerville Avenue.

The county will also consider a required minority business plan in order to obtain Community Development Block Grant funding.

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