Nearly 30 utility poles will be relocated out of the right of way along Moores Mill Road in Bel Air.

The Harford County Board of Estimates approved the contract for $997,884.38 to Verizon Maryland Inc. Thursday morning, though County Councilman Jim McMahan voiced his concerns with the utility company before voting "nay."

Carlos Smith, a civil engineer with the department of public works, explained the majority of the work would be between Oak Moore Court, near Route 1, and the Southampton Road roundabout.

Smith commented that while the estimate was a little high, in his opinion, it wasn't unreasonable. He added that his view was "not coming from a utility [worker]."


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BGE will also be moving utility poles on that section of Moores Mill, along with the accompanying cables and wire that they own, and when that contract is complete, Smith will return to the board for approval. He said the contract at the moment was around $665,000.

Board of Estimates member Jay Van Deusen asked Smith, "Aren't they [Verizon] improving their infrastructure at our [the county's] cost?"

Smith said he couldn't say that, but doesn't believe the company was going for "betterment in any of these situations."

"Maybe we're getting duped here," McMahan said, referring to both Verizon and BGE working on the same projects.

Harford County Executive David Craig explained that Verizon can only move equipment it owns, and the same goes for BGE. This is the reason behind two different contracts and two companies working on the same stretch of road.

"I think we're at the mercy of the utility [companies]," McMahan said.

Water main relocation

The State Highway Administration will move 1,100 feet of an existing 16-inch water main at the Route 40-715 interchange in Aberdeen. The water main interferes with the $18 million construction project on being done in that area.

The county will reimburse SHA $233,000 for the design and construction of the waterline, as well as the administration and inspection costs associated with the project, which is just an estimated cost at this point.

David Peplinski, with the department of public works, explained that the design is "nearly complete."

Cedarday drain blocks

The board also approved a change order for an additional $49,746 for the construction and installation of a pervious pavement drain block on the Cedarday Drive extension in Abingdon.

About 300 feet of a new pavement product will be used in place of porous bituminous concrete, or asphalt.

In a memo, Public Works Deputy Director Hudson Myers wrote, "Our research leads me to believe that this could be advantageous on future projects and I would like to see how it performs on this project." The blocks have been successfully used in parking lots.

The original award for the project was for $61,469.30 and will be amended to $720,902.30, going to S. Thomas Contracting Inc., of Benson.

McMahan asked Myers about the reliability of the product.

"If it fails, we can come back and fix it," Myers said. He added that the drain blocks will be interlocked by a fiberglass rod and will allow water to move through them.

Other business during Thursday's Board of Estimates meeting:

• The board approved four leases — three for county-used buildings on Main Street and one for Otter Point Road.

• Properties at 109 E. and 115D N. Main St. in Bel Air, the location of the State's Attorney's District Court division, were leased for another year with four one-year automatic renewals for $102,251.16.

• The lease for the lower level of 11-15 S. Main St. will also be renewed for use by the Housing Agency. The lease is for $30,709.19, plus electric, for a one-year term with a one-year automatic renewal.

• The property leased by the State's Attorney's child support division at 101 S. Main St., Suites 100, 102 and 104, will be renewed for one year with two one-year automatic renewals for $38,391.32.

• A contract for caretakers Matthew Osborne and Shawn Michaels-Johnson to lease the county-owned property at 618 Otter Point Road in Abingdon was also approved for $5,400 per year, plus utilities.