Wicomico Amends Capital Program Funds

SALISBURY – Officials in Wicomico County this week approved changes to the county’s capital improvement program that allow for a $260,638 construction overage.

On Tuesday, the Wicomico County Council voted unanimously to amend the fiscal year 2018-2022 capital improvement program (CIP) in the amount of $300,000 to provide additional funds for a cell construction project at the Newland Park Landfill.

Dallas Baker, the county’s public works director, told the council the department budgeted $5 million to construct a new cell at the landfill.

“We went out for bid for our Cell 9 construction,” he said. “The bids came back a little bit higher than we originally anticipated.”

The lowest bid, submitted by A-DE: Construction Company, Inc., was $5.26 million, nearly $300,000 more than the project’s budget.

Baker explained the higher cost was associated with synthetic clay liners required by the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Baker said county officials would have to amend the CIP to account for the overage and any additional costs. The $300,000 will be transferred from a Solid Waste Enterprise Fund to cover the unanticipated expense.

Baker said the new cell, labeled Cell 9, will be the seventh installation at the landfill.

“We are permitted for 10 cells, but they are not being constructed sequentially so it’s not like we have (cells) 9 and 10 and then we are done,” he said.

Councilman Joe Holloway asked how long the remaining cells would last.

“How long do they serve the county, those four more cells?” he said.

Baker said the timeframe would depend upon several factors.

“We are looking at anywhere from 25 years to 28 years or so,” he said. “Each cell can last approximately five years or more. The geometry varies a little bit.”

The council voted 6-0, with Councilman Larry Dodd absent, to amend the fiscal year 2018-2022 capital improvement program and capital budget for the Cell 9 construction project.

About The Author: Bethany Hooper

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Bethany Hooper has been with The Dispatch since 2016. She currently covers various general stories. Hooper graduated from Stephen Decatur High School in 2012 and the University of Maryland in 2016, where she completed double majors in journalism and economics.