Press Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 5, 2002) – Lt. Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend today announced Maryland Board of Public Works approval of a $209,590 grant to Garrett County to initiate construction on its Keysers Ridge Water Project in the Garrett County Sanitary District. The funding from the Maryland Department of the Environment will allow work on the construction of a 12-inch transmission line along Route 40 west to Keysers Ridge, where it will be connected to a well and storage tank in the Savage River State Forest. An additional eight-inch water distribution system will also be constructed to Keysers Ridge to serve the existing homes.

“We are taking aggressive steps to improve the quality of service and the quality of life for every Marylander,” said Lt. Governor Townsend. “Currently many residents in the Keysers Ridge area use individual wells that often provide water that is high in salt content and inconsistent in quantity. This funding will allow the families affected by the problem to finally enjoy a reliable supply of safe, high quality drinking water.”

Garrett County officials attribute the problems in Keysers Ridge to the construction of I-68, which cut through the top of the hill in the area, causing damage to some of the wells and loss of water production in others. Once the project was completed, many wells were contaminated with salt used on I-68 that had entered the water supply through fractures created during construction.

“The Garrett County Sanitary District, Inc. was pleased to hear that MDE approved $209,590 in grant money for the Keysers Ridge Water System Project,” said Ron Petrella, administrator for the Garrett County Sanitary District. “The money will dramatically improve the quality of water and put in place a public water system for the Keysers Ridge area.”

The total cost of the project is $1.9 million of which $1.7 million is being funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Construction is expected to begin in July 2002 and completed by December 2002.