Emergency shelter generator delivered and installed

MD-Generator install_final

Dorchester Banner/Paul Clipper The installed generator is being connected and tested, and will be on line and ready for the start of hurricane season.

CAMBRIDGE — In 2014, The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development issued a Notice of Funding Availability to all counties impacted by Hurricane Sandy or Isabel. The county held several public hearings and conducted outreach to the community to get input and requests for funding. Several organizations and towns and cities responded with ideas.

Locally, a project to install emergency generators at the two emergency shelter sites, Cambridge-South Dorchester High School and North Dorchester Middle School, was the one that would benefit most in the county. Research into cost revealed that each generator would cost approximately $800,000, money that the county could not provide out of county tax rolls.

Application for the grant was made in 2015, which was approved for the purchase of one generator for the C-SD site.

The project is 100 percent funded through the CDBG-DR program grant, with local contractors being hired for the majority of the work. The county bid the project through the standard procurement process and local contracting company John W. Tieder, Inc. was awarded the contract as the low bidder. Curtis Engine was selected for the equipment, a 1250 watt MTU Onsite Energy Generator Set with more than sufficient capacity to supply the entire school with full power in the case of a prolonged power outage.

In a public hearing during the regular County Council meeting on June 7, Cindy Smith, grants administrator, noted that the CDBG grant funds received were $880,000 with county and BOE in-kind services match, and a donation of a 6,000 gallon reserve fuel tank worth $30,000 from the BOE as a match.

Dorchester Banner/Cindy Smith A truck-mounted crane is used to lift the generator onto its final resting place.

Dorchester Banner/Cindy Smith
A truck-mounted crane is used to lift the generator onto its final resting place.

County Council President Ricky Travers noted that grant funds were also used to purchase fuel, a local contractor was utilized for the project, and no taxpayer funds were expended. The county pre-purchased 12,000 gallons of fuel oil from Pep-Up when oil prices bottomed out in October, with a delivery as needed option, which resulted in savings of thousands of dollars to the county.
Shown in the photos, the black box at the bottom of the generator is the supplied 4,200 gallon fuel tank, and the orange tank is the 6,000 gallon auxiliary tank donated by the county BOE.

The only problem with the C-SD emergency generator project came after the generator, which is custom-built to specification by the MTU Onsite Energy company, was on its way to Cambridge.
During the truck trip to Dorchester the driver encountered a low bridge on U.S. Route 70 and the generator was severely damaged. It was turned around and carried back to the manufacturer, where it was dismantled and rebuilt, with a completely new housing and exhaust system, and then rigorously tested, and delivered without mishap.

In consideration of the damage and subsequent repair, the company provided a 10-year warranty on the generator at no cost to the county.

Installation of the generator entailed the use of a huge crane, and county personnel on hand to watch were amazed at the crane operator’s ability to “thread the needle,” according to Ms. Smith, and carefully set the machine down on a slab specially built for the site.

All connections are being made at the site, the auxiliary tank is being cleaned, and the generator will be tested and functional in time for the hurricane season, according to the county.

Paul Clipper is the editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at pclipper@newszap.com.

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