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Aberdeen approves $1.97 million bid to extend water main toward Havre de Grace

The Aberdeen City Council approved a $1.97 million project to extend its water main just over one mile toward Havre de Grace to connect the two cities so they can buy and sell water between the two municipalities.

The City Council unanimously approved the bid made by Allan Myers, a construction company headquartered in Fallston, at its Monday meeting.

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“This is a big deal; this is the water main extension that connects Aberdeen to Havre de Grace,” Mayor Patrick McGrady said at the meeting. “When our booster station is operational there, we will be able to get water at a cheaper rate than we are currently getting it.”

In June 2020, the two cities reached a landmark agreement for Aberdeen to buy water from Havre de Grace — the first of its kind in Harford County. At the rate Havre de Grace agreed to, Aberdeen could save over $100,000 a year to reinvest in its own infrastructure after paying for the pipeline.

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Both cities will build sections of the pipeline to a midpoint where they will connect. Aberdeen will also need to construct a booster station to keep the water pressure up. According to a memo to the city Council, $1.97 million was the lowest bid to construct the pipeline, while the highest was nearly $2.9 million. Allan Myers was also the lowest bidder to construct Havre de Grace’s portion of the pipeline, Aberdeen Director of Public Works Kyle Torster said at the meeting.

The city will have to meet with the company to get a timeline of construction, but the fact that the same company will build both lengths of pipe is encouraging, Torster said. Legislative liaison for Havre de Grace Adam Rybczynski said the city is also using Allan Myers to construct its portion of the pipe.

“The synergy that we believe that Allan Myers provides … will be able to tie both lines in,” Torster said at the meeting.

The cities agreed to construct a pipe after the county refused them use of a county-owned pipeline running under Route 40. The county denied the cities use of the pipeline for competitive and financial reasons, as well as concerns about commingling water.

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Patrick Sypolt, Havre de Grace’s Director of Administration, previously said that the county purchased the city’s water as late as 2017 per a deal made in the 1980s. Under that deal, the city could not raise its rates and found itself losing money on water sales to the county. It pulled out of the deal in 2017.

Under the agreement between the cities, Aberdeen would buy 500,000 gallons a day from Havre de Grace at $4 for every 1,000 gallons. As the city buys more water, though, the price per 1,000 gallons decreases.

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