Residents of Walkersville’s Glade Village could soon see their neighborhood’s rut-ridden and patch-covered roads repaved, with a new water line to boot.
But the project’s price will run the town’s water fund into the red, according to a preliminary fiscal 2019 budget unveiled by Town Manager Gloria Rollins at the town meeting Wednesday.
A majority of the cost stems from replacing the 3,100 linear feet of pipe that runs below the pavement. The $750,000 estimate, according to Public Works Director Bob DePaola, would put town’s water fund in a $213,128 deficit, according to the preliminary budget.
The water fund is a separate, self-sustaining fund, with revenue from fees charged to town water users spent on water services and projects. The preliminary budget presented by Rollins on Wednesday projects the town will spend $1.76 million in water-related expenses, including the new Glade Village water line, in fiscal 2019, compared with $1.55 million in projected revenue.
Preliminary revenue estimates do not call for raising water usage fees. In light of the potential budget shortfall the project could create, Commissioner Mary Ann Brodie-Ennis said the town should consider increasing fees further to generate the necessary income, both the quarterly usage charges and the one-time hookup fees.
As an alternative, Rollins suggested the town could borrow money from its general fund to cover the deficit in the water fund by taking out a 30-year loan.
Money for the estimated $131,500 cost to repave Glade Village roads should be feasible within the town’s $3.65 million general fund, according to the preliminary spending plan.
The repaving and new water line project was initially inspired by resident Wade Milyard. Milyard, who grew up in Glade Village and returned to the neighborhood with his family in 2011, asked the town burgess and commissioners to consider repaving at a town meeting earlier this year.
In an interview Wednesday, Milyard reiterated his prior concerns about the sinking patchwork repairs to certain parts of the aging pavement.
“You won’t bottom out, but you’ll hit some decent-size ruts when you’re driving along,” he said.
The unleveled surface has also created drainage problems. The Georgetown Road cul-de-sac where Milyard lives becomes filled with debris when it rains, he said.
DePaola, who requested quotes for the work based on Milyard’s complaints, agreed that the roads were due for repaving after what had been at least 20 years of wear and tear. DePaola also recommended replacing the water line, saying that Glade Village might be the only part of town in which the pipe has not been replaced in the last decade.
“It would be a shame to get a leak in there and have to tear up the new pavement,” DePaola said.
The town will formally introduce a proposed fiscal 2019 spending plan at its next meeting in May. Commissioners intend to discuss further possible increases to water rates at that time.