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July 5, 2013

Frostburg OKs dam wind study with DERP

Firm plans to collect data for a year to see if currents can generate enough power

FROSTBURG — In its continuing  efforts to promote sustainable living, the mayor and city council of Frostburg have approved a wind study program at the Piney Dam site as well as two new recycling programs.

Authorized in a recent council meeting, the wind study will be conducted by DERP Technologies, a firm that specializes in doing smaller scale, local-use, wind-generating energy projects.

A 50-meter high tower mounted anemometer will be installed at Piney Dam to measure wind velocity and strength.

“The town has approved only the study. It’s a first step,” said Rick Lank, project manager with DERP.

Lank said the study will gather data for up to a year. If the wind levels can generate enough power.

A turbine could then be installed to provide power for the water pumps at the dam, according to Lank.

The Piney Dam is a primary source of water for Frostburg.

“Right now, it’s just a study. We’re not putting up windmills. It’s to see if we can get energy to help pump water from Piney (Dam),” said Mayor Robert Flanagan.

Many studies for innovative, clean energy projects in the state receive funding through the Maryland Gamechanger Grant.

The data collection project at the Piney Dam will not cost Frostburg anything, according to Rebecca Rush, a project manager with DERP.

“The Gamechanger Grant funding has made it possible. It’s an investment into clean, renewable energy sources for the future.” said Rush.

According to Rush, an anemometer is also being installed at Garrett College in McHenry to study the potential for wind power there.

Frostburg also recently approved two private subscription recycling programs.

Burgmeier Hauling Incorporated of Altoona, Pa., will create a curbside pickup for two categories of recyclable materials once a month.

First will be Number 1 and Number 2 plastics, steel and aluminum cans and glass bottles and jars.

Second will be newspaper, phone books, copy and office paper, junk mail and magazines.

The mayor and council are also in the process of hearing public comment on the closing of two unfinished alleys, known as paper alleys.

They’re called paper alleys because they typically only exist on paper.

Citizens will sometimes ask the city for domain over the property.

One alley is between 505 and 507 Grandview Dr.

“It can be split between property owners depending on how your deed is done,” said  Flanagan.

Flanagan said that the alleys are sometimes land the city no longer has an interest in.

“Easements remain in place. Sometimes there are utilities that must be placed on the deeds,” said Flanagan.

The council also approved a contract to place a new roof on the city-owned Frostburg Community Center building.

Officials report leaking and other roof problems. Rigidply Rafter Inc. of Oakland has been contracted to do the work for $8,600.

City officials have also been introduced to two new managers for the merchant sponsored group called Frostburg First. Chritine Werner will be the new manager and Dan Witter will be assistant manager.

Frostburg First represents the interests of Main Street-area businesses and is not part of the city administration.

Also reported at the recent city council meeting was a donation to the Frostburg Food Pantry of $25,000 from the estate of Dr. Martin M. Rothstein.

Greg Larry can be contacted at glarry@times-news.com

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