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Board poised to spend $3.4 million on storm repair

 

PHOTOS CALVERT COUNTY GOVERNMENT

Prince Frederick, MD - The Calvert County Commissioners are set to increase the county government’s fiscal year (FY) 2019 Capital Budget by nearly $3.4 million to repair roads that were severely damaged by heavy rains this past May and July. On Tuesday, Oct. 16 the board conducted a public hearing for a budget adjustment with the funds to be used for emergency road repairs.

In a memo to the commissioners, the Department of Finance and Budget’s Capital Projects Analyst Veronica Atkinson stated the May rains “caused four major slope/pipe failures. The more recent events in July have caused road failures and significant slope failures predominantly in the northern portion of the county. There are currently 14 imminent failures that are being repaired and another 40 road hazards that will need repairs this year.”

Atkins noted, four months into the new fiscal year and Department of Public Works has already depleted its road repair budget. “The remaining 40 road issues must be addressed this year to guard against additional road failures and/or road failures at a cost of $2.097 million.”

Department of Public Works Director Rai Sharma told the commissioners the Highway Maintenance Division currently has more than twice the number repair projects they address in an average year. “We are doing our best with the crews that we have,” said Sharma.

Examples cited during the hearing presentation included Dumbarton Drive in Dunkirk, which sustained pipe and slope failures, and road section loss; Smithbrooke Court in Owings, which had hazardous washouts; Spruce Drive in the White Sands subdivision of Lusby, which sustained significant slope failure that put adjacent properties at risk.

No public comment was offered at the hearing. The commissioners then voted unanimously to close the public record on the proposed budget adjustment. The board may vote on the move of nearly $4 million from the General Fund Balance to the Capital Budget any time after Oct. 26.

“We have no control over the weather,” declared Commissioner Pat Nutter [R - District 2]

Sharma, who noted the Highway Maintenance crews respond to road emergencies around the clock, said completing all the projects “could take a year, providing it doesn’t rain.”

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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