by Lisa Tome
If Commissioner George Walker has his way, nobody will lose their job when the new orbital disk wastewater treatment plant is up and running in Rising Sun later this year.
Instead, Rising Sun will hire additional staff to run the plant. The current Rising Sun crewmen, Chris George, Ron Thomas, Darrell Baeder, and Grant Coates don't have the Class 5 license needed to operate the plant.
"We have two options and we haven't decided which yet. But we need to get something going," said Walker. Those options include hiring someone with a Class 5 license and allowing the current staff to assist under that license. The town also could hire a contract company or join with other towns in contracting the service. "It's up in the air but we have to do something soon," said Walker.
The new wastewater system with Wickersham Construction crews working, is still on tap to be completed substantially by summer. There will be testing phases. Final completion is anticipated by October. The work must be finished by that time in order for the town to meet deadlines imposed in both the loan agreement and by the Maryland Department of the Environment.
"(Operation of the new plant) is a discussion we have had from time to time. Definitely by July we should have something in place whichever way we go with it," said Walker.
Walker said that the current public works crews will have plenty of work to do in addition to keeping water and sewer running. "There's plenty of other work for them to do. With the new parks, we have increased the amount of grass that needs to be cut. Cutting employees is n