NEWS

ATMA zeros in on budget

PAT FRIDGEN

Rates will be going up for the 350 Antrim Township Municipal Authority water customers. The board deliberated Nov. 23 and has to determine the increase as it finalizes the 2010 budget. The expectation is by less than 5.6 percent. The current rate is a base of $45.66 plus $6.57 per 1,000 gallons. The authority projects revenue of $225,000 and expenses of $235,000, which will be balanced by the adjusted rates.

New water tap, sewer tap and repair and improvement fees will be set at the December meeting.

Plans to upgrade the water treatment plant advanced, with the special projects budget receiving preliminary approval. The $1.5 million job will be covered by a $1,250,000 Infrastructure Development Grant and a $250,000 Growing Greener Grant. Mike Ross, president of the Franklin County Area Development Corporation, told the board the project was important for future growth in the township. FCADC partnered with ATMA to secure the larger grant.

"We hope to realize the economic impact threshold," Ross said of the improvement.

The corporation's backing guarantees that in the next three years $20 million in capital investment and 75 jobs will reach Antrim. "We're confident, and we're on the hook to the state if this doesn't occur," he said later.

Bids were accepted for the project and the board agreed to issue a notice of intent to award. Trademark Contracting Corp. of Clear Spring, Md. was low bid of four for general construction, at $1,096,000 plus $33,000 for a fourth filter. B & R Electrical Contractors of York was low bid of five for the electrical work. It submitted $264,400.

"The bids came in low, which is to be expected now," said Dave Brinjac of Brinjac Engineering.