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No holiday blues in this Carroll County town


The town of New Windsor received a $10,000 holiday bonus because it settled for its second color choice.

Town officials selected from a color chart for their new 375,000- gallon water tank, Mayor Sam M. Pierce said. They wanted sky blue but got white.

"When the color choice went out, nobody looked at it, I guess," Pierce said. To reorder a tank in blue, he said, would mean "they would have had to stop [work] and send it back and bring us another one in. It would take four to six weeks."

That would have pushed the subcontractor's work into winter and probably would have delayed the installation of the tank, he said.

John Miller, the construction manager on the project for Greensburg Environmental Contracting Systems Inc. of Greensburg, Pa., said the bid specifications for the project allowed for a white or a blue tank. The white tank costs $10,000 less.

"There was no mistake as far as I'm concerned," Miller said. "The town basically opted to improve their cost ratio on the project by accepting the $10,000 credit."

The town probably will apply the $10,000 to the $1 million loan for the project, which includes other work on the town supply system, the mayor said.

"They first offered us a couple thousand dollars to keep the white," Pierce said. "The council said that wasn't enough, but if they wanted to give us $10,0000, we'd keep it."

The new tank might be completed within a month, he said. The concrete pedestal has been completed, and the tank is being assembled and installed.

"We'll probably be out of there by next week," Miller said, although the work is dependent on the weather. Wind is the most important factor.

The new Aquastore tank is in the hydropillar style, elevated on a shaft to increase pressure, Miller said. It was made by Engineered Storage Products Co. of DeKalb, Ill.

Once the new tank is tested and in operation, Pierce said, the town will be able to repair its 27-year-old water tank.

New Windsor received a loan of about $1 million from the Maryland Department of the Environment's water quality financing administration, said MDE spokesman Richard J. McIntire. The revolving fund provides low-interest loans to governments for public water and wastewater projects.

The 25-year loan will pay for the new tank, water lines and a reservoir, Pierce said. The town must repay about $824,000 of that amount.

"It's nice to have that little cushion," Pierce said of the extra money.

As chairman of the finance committee, Councilman Neal C. Roop also welcomed the extra money but said he wishes the mistake hadn't occurred.

"Honestly, the light blue, that's the color we wanted," he said.

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