AP NEWS

Meyersdale makes progress on flood controls, raises garbage rates

May 15, 2019

A yearslong flood control project in Meyersdale Borough moved one step closer to completion Tuesday night.

During a borough council meeting, the board unanimously voted to award a $110,248 contract to Excavating Associates, of Ellerslie, Maryland, to clean out the system’s catch basin. The catch basin along Large Street has been filled with soil, rocks, limbs and logs.

Borough engineer Kevin Yoder, of Appalachian Engineering Group in Meyersdale, said that once the basin is cleared, more debris will be trapped and not end up in the flood control channels.

“Right now we don’t have much capacity to catch debris,” he said.

Yoder said that the contract for the bid specifies that the borough find a place within 8 miles of Meyersdale to deposit the debris. He said the borough still needs to find that location.

Weather dependent, he said, the work should start in June and last about six weeks.

The work is part of a larger system overhaul that includes replacing about 65 feet of a concrete wing wall by the baseball field in the Paul E. Fuller Playground.

That work is part of an estimated $450,000 flood control effort.

The borough council has budgeted for its portion in recent years. Yoder said that work should start in June, weather dependent, and take about four weeks. The flood wall should be missing for about two weeks, Yoder said.

In 2013 an Army Corps of Engineers inspection found that there was an unacceptable amount of debris in the catch basin and that a portion of the flood-protection wall had separated several inches.

In 2016 the borough was awarded a $350,000 grant through the Commonwealth Financing Authority to help pay for the work. Borough officials have also set aside money.

Yoder said that when both jobs are complete, the system will be in good working order.

“I’ll be extremely happy,” he said. “It’s been a long process.”

Council President Jeff Irwin echoed Yoder’s sentiment.

“I will be ecstatic when we finally get the flood control wing wall repaired and catch basin excavated,” Irwin said. “Hopefully, we’ll have a dry six to eight weeks so they can get that fixed.”

The borough also raised garbage rates Tuesday night. Starting July 1, residents and businesses will pay $2.25 more a month through Dec. 31. The increase will drop to $1.50 extra a month starting next year.

The increase is in response to the borough’s garbage collector, Harbaugh Trucking of Rockwood, asking for extra monthly funds after tipping fees increased at the Mostoller Landfill in Somerset Township.

After closed-door negotiations with Somerset attorney David Flower, representing Harbaugh, the borough agreed to pay an extra $1,500 a month going back to April 1. The agreement came after multiple offers from both sides were rejected. The rate increases will be used to cover the monthly payment.