Washington County Highways Department getting new fuel centers
A $1.4 million project will begin later this month to install two new fueling centers at the Washington County Highway Department’s central and eastern section facilities.
The Washington County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday awarded a contract to Total Environmental Concepts Inc. of Hanover, Md., to remove underground fuel tanks and install above-ground tanks at the county’s facilities on Northern Avenue in Hagerstown and Greensburg Road near Smithsburg.
The work, expected to take about six months to complete, also includes upgrades to the fuel center at the southern section facility on Coffman Farms Road in Keedysville.
Jim Sterling, public works director for the county, said the underground tanks aren’t failing, but the project will help protect the environment by removing the risk of fuel leaks.
The tanks are “getting to the age of getting them replaced, and it makes sense to put everything above ground,” he said. “We don’t want to put the county or the citizens at a liability risk that is unnecessary.”
Sterling recalled a situation about 20 years ago at the Greensburg Road facility, where a minor leak was discovered, resulting in test wells having to be drilled to remediate the issue.
“We’re trying to upgrade everything to meet today’s requirements, to limit the public’s liability for groundwater contamination,” he said. “It’s really a good project to help save the environment.”
Along with removal of the underground tanks and any soil remediation, work also includes construction of steel canopies and dispenser islands, as well as installation of fuel dispensers with fleet management and monitoring systems, security cameras and lighting.
At the Smithsburg facility, a motorized vehicle-access gate with electronic controls will be installed, according to county documents.
The diesel and gasoline fuel centers are used by various county departments, local fire and EMS companies and other area agencies, Sterling said.
The commissioners in May rejected a bid for the county’s eastern facility because the one bid that came in was over budget at $881,000, more than $300,000 over a county estimate.
After that, county officials decided to roll upgrades to all three centers into one project in an effort to reduce the total cost, Sterling said.