Let’s talk water in Hagerstown

October 4 — One topic of conversation at the Hagerstown Mayor and Council work session yesterday afternoon revolved around water. 

The city is looking for an additional water source. 

Mayor Tekesha Martinez said, “I think that their proposal for another water source Antietam Creek, was a good one. First of all, they had to come before mayor and council before kind of going deeper or looking further into it.”

The director of utilities made the presentation to council. 

Michele Jansen of NewsTalk 103.7FM pointed out, “My understanding is the Edgemont reservoir, it’s fallen into disrepair. It’s not reliable, but you’d have to build a new plant to do that.” 

Martinez agreed, “It sounded like yesterday that there could be a potential for another water source that could kind of cost the same amount that will be closer into town. They’re just starting the conversations.”

Pat Ryan of NewsTalk 103.7FM asked, “How mission critical is it on a scale of say one to 10? These are important conversations ahead. Let’s start working on the planning thing. Is it of great concern?” 

Martinez said, “Absolutely because water, it’s a very finite resource, and we’re the fastest growing region. So if you’re growing you have to also have the capacity to provide water. So it’s good to start having it now. We’re fine where we’re at with our water, we’re okay. Even with our mega growth area, we’re still good, but with it growing so fast, we want to make sure that people still get the same quality. They’ve been talking about water and updating and making pipes bigger and all of that kind of stuff for years.”

There were discussions a few years ago about offering water hookups outside of Hagerstown. 

Martinez said, “We annex and we own the water. So there’s some municipalities that purchased their water from us. Then there’s, I believe, two that have their own water source. But yeah, if there’s a development that’s being built in Washington County, they have to be able to get their water from us. I’ve never thought this much about water when you think about city planning, but you’ve got to say no, because if not, then 10 years from now, the actual customers and your constituents may not have the same flow. So it’s like talking about those things now, making decisions on them now, so that later on, everyone is good.”

Jansen added, “Just anticipating seeing what might not be in the most perfect condition now, anticipating what the risk’s going to be and then finding your solution before it becomes a crisis.”

“And water flow,” Martinez said, “Water flow is important.” 

There are 25 properties being talked about by the city to possibly bring them back on the tax rolls. 

Martinez said, “They’re on the list. They are some of the most ugly, some things that just are not good to look at in people’s neighborhoods, that we’re excited that we’ll be able to do something with. We’re just on the watch.” 

A Run For Re-entry will be held on Saturday. 

Martinez explained, “Delegate Lorig Charkoudian, she runs from Hagerstown to Baltimore City. So she runs from the prisons on Roxbury Road, and she runs 40 to Baltimore. She does it over two days. So the first day she’ll take off at eight in the morning, we’ll rally her out. We’ll cheer on at 7:30. Then she’ll get to Frederick, I think around noon, and they’ll have a rally there and she’ll get charged up and then she’ll run until the sun goes down. They’ll pick her up, mark the spot and then the next day, she finishes the run. So she runs 70 miles over two days to raise money for people’s families that do not have money to travel to Hagerstown to have mediations with their person on the inside. There are people and there are organizations that do things that kind of provide those resources. So I would just say be looking out and listening out for delegate Lorig Charkoudian and this is not her first time. This is probably the seventh year that she’s ran 70 miles. I get home and she’s still running. I’ll look and be like she’s still running. I’m going to eat dinner. She’s still running.”