FROSTBURG — In what officials describe as one of the largest boring operations in recent memory, the installation of an underground generator lead-line to carry power from the Twin Ridges Wind Farm to a substation in Frostburg has been completed.
Officials say the project, which required the burying of a complex combination of conduit and cables running from the Mount Pleasant Street Playground out Maryland Avenue to Barnard Street and down the hill to Main Street, required nearly two years of planning and construction.
“It took us a year to negotiate the deal. Construction on the line then began in March of 2012 until its recent completion,” said City Administrator John Kirby.
The project was paid for by the Everpower Wind Energy Co., which oversaw the line installation from the Pennsylvania-based wind mill farm to the substation at Wright’s Crossing in Frostburg.
“It was good to have it done because it was a lot of excavation. But we got some additional improvements and paving from it,” said Kirby.
Before supplying power into the national electric grid at the substation, the line moved down Sleeman Street and crossed Green Street and state Route 936.
The city is expected to receive an easement payment once every 10 years for the buried cables.
“Everpower treated the city very well. We were tickled to have them here. They put $200,000 into the project easily. Wherever they dug they put it back better than it had been,” said Frostburg Mayor Robert Flanigan.
In other news, Frostburg officials reported being pleased with meetings they had during the annual PACE reception held last week in Annapolis.
The city is looking to secure funding for a water supply update called the Savage Springs Project and additional funding for the ongoing Combined Sewer Overflow Elimination, or CSO, program.
“The meetings went well. We met with officials of the Maryland Department of the Environment. We met with community development and the Maryland Department of Agriculture and Rural Development people as well,” said Kirby.
“We had a positive experience there. It takes a few weeks or so to get a response,” said Flanagan.
Frostburg receives its water from the combined sources of Piney Dam and wells and springs in the Big Savage Mountain area referred to as Savage Springs.
Kirby said the supply system from Savage Springs is about 100 years old and in need of repair.
“We want to replace the springs houses and collection links as well as the pumps and generators,” said Kirby.
“The focus had been on Piney Dam for a long period of time. Now we want to get Savage Springs up and running full speed,” said Flanagan.
Flanagan said the water quality at Savage Springs is very good.
“The water is great there; but we’re not getting the quantity we want from the springs,” said Flanagan.
Water from the dam and Savage Springs supplies Frostburg, Clarysville, Eckhart, Midlothian and other adjacent communities.
In the future, Mount Savage may be added to the water supply system, according to Flanigan.
Officials report being eligible for $33,000 in funding from FEMA for cost incurred as a result of Superstorm Sandy.
The largest portion of the expenses were hourly costs for running emergency electrical generators at the water filtration plant.
“We realize that the Northeast got the biggest blow, but we had expenditures as well,” said Flanagan.
“Our hearts go out to people in New Jersey and New York; many lost everything. The money we have applied for is not a windfall income. The funds will go directly to cover the expenses incurred,” said Kirby.
Greg Larry can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.