Bel Air approves more Plumtree Run work

Additional work will be done to stabilize the banks of Plumtree Run south of George Street in Bel Air under a contract addendum passed by the Board of Town Commissioners at the most recent town meeting.

The addendum to the existing contract with Ecotone Inc., of Jarrettsville, will stabilize the stream bank in the area of the Plumtree Square condominiums, according to Public Works Director Randy Robertson.

Ecotone is the company the town hired last summer to remove the nearly 50-year-old pipe that carried Plumtree Run under Plumtree Park, so the stream could be daylighted — that is, brought to its natural course above ground.

During the Dec. 17 town meeting, Robertson told the commissioners that most of the daylighting project has been completed, including the construction of a new culvert under George Street in the vicinity of the parking lot for Plumtree Park. The cost of that work was $157,000.

Improving both the stream flow and drainage, however, raised the possibility that the stream's banks south of George Street would erode and the condos parking lot would be undermined, Robertson explained.

The contract addendum for $9,275 would cover placing stone riprap along 60 feet of stream bank in the area of concern, Robertson said. Funding for the additional work will come from the fund the town maintains with money developers pay in lieu of building on-site stormwater management structures, if their property can't accommodate them.

In response to questions from the commissioners, Robertson said the town and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have control over the area where the additional work will be done.

The public works director also said he does not believe the additional bank stabilization and the earlier work associated with the Plumtree Run daylighting will adversely affect the flow of the stream and flood control between the adjoining car wash property and Route 1.

Major's Choice ponds

During the Dec 17 town meeting, the Bel Air town commissioners also approved additions to the contract for rehabilitating the stormwater ponds in the Major's Choice community.

Robertson said the rehabilitation of the second and third ponds required additional work beyond the scope of the original contract with Angler Environmental, of Hanover, in the amount of $28,391 for pond No. 2 and $4,353 for pond No. 3.

Most of the additional expense for pond No. 2, which is a wet pond, involves sediment removal and liner construction, he explained, while the additional work on pond No. 3, which is a dry pond, involved the inlet and outlet structures to include excavation of concrete collars and recasting them.

The town is maintaining the ponds under an agreement with the Major's Choice Homeowners Association, and most of the expense from such work is then assessed to individual homeowners.

Robertson said the additional work on pond No. 2 will cost $173.12 per household, which will be split in two equal installments. He said the homeowners would not be assessed for the additional work on pond No. 3, because the town is receiving money from Harford Day School, whose stormwater management system is tied into the pond.

The $173.12 charge will be on top of the previous estimated cost of $637.34 per household for the rehabilitation of both ponds.

Robertson said the rehabilitation of pond No. 2 originally was estimated at $76,232. With the additional expense, the total comes to $104,523. The rehabilitation of pond No. 3 was estimated at $41,170. With the additional expense, the total cost comes to $45,523.

Gardening contract

Also approved at the most recent town meeting was a $30,000 contract with Buddy Boy Inc., of Street, for annual gardening services on town properties.

Robertson said the company has been providing gardening services to the town for nine years and was the only bidder in the latest contract.

The company will be responsible for planning and maintaining annual flower beds on town properties, as well as trees and shrubbery, and the plantings in the Frederick Ward Park alongside the armory.

The company works in consultation with the town's Appearance and Beautification Committee.

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