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New Kensington water authority to present tap-in plan for about 60 homes in Allegheny Township

| Saturday, April 6, 2013, 1:01 a.m.

New Kensington's water authority will present four options to the Allegheny Township supervisors for extending public water to residents near the intersection of White Cloud and Melwood roads.

Authority Manager Jim Matta said the authority is considering extending waterlines to as many as 60 homes in that area.

He said the township supervisors will be asked to approve an ordinance mandating that residents of a to-be-defined project area be required to tap into the system.

The tap-in fee is projected at $2,350.

In addition, affected residents would be required to pay a supplemental fee in addition to their quarterly water rates to pay off the loan that would fund the project.

The supplemental fee will total from $7,400 to $11,000 over 20 years, depending on how many houses are included in the extension.

Matta estimated quarterly bills would be about $86, which includes both water rates and the debt payments.

Matta said the authority likely will apply for a low-interest PennVEST loan by late summer to fund a capital project to replace existing waterlines.

If approved, they would like to include the Allegheny Township extension with that funding.

If all goes as planned, the Allegheny Township project would start early next year.

Edward Schmitt of Gibson-Thomas Engineering, the authority's engineer, offered these four options for the project area with their estimated costs to residents (not including the tap-in fee):

• Melwood Road between Markle and White Cloud roads; White Cloud Road between Melwood Road and Woodberry Drive; Smail Road (36 homes). Cost per home: $11,111.

• First option plus White Cloud Road north of Melwood Road to 1478 White Cloud, near McGeary Hollow Road (54 homes). Cost per home: $10,463.

• Melwood Road between Markle and White Cloud roads; White Cloud Road from 1478 White Cloud, across Melwood to 1312 White Cloud; Smail Road from White Cloud to 279 Smail (60 homes). Cost per home: $7,416.

• Melwood Road from 2219 Melwood to White Cloud Road; White Cloud Road from 1478 White Cloud to Woodberry Drive; Smail Road from White Cloud Road to 279 Smail (50 homes). Cost per home: $8,850.

Matta said the authority prepared several options based partially on how affected residents responded to a survey gauging support.

For the entire project area, Matta said 50 percent of respondents were in favor of public water (about 10 homes of the 60 did not respond).

But for the last project option, the ratio was more like 70 percent in favor.

Matta said the township supervisors ultimately will be tasked with defining the project area. Supervisors Kathy Starr, Joe Ferguson and Ren Steele could not be reached for comment on Friday.

Matta said he hopes to schedule a public meeting with supervisors and authority officials to discuss the options and get feedback.

Mary Ann Thomas and Liz Hayes are staff writers for Trib Total Media. Thomas can be reached at 724-226-4691 or mthomas@tribweb.com. Hayes can be reached at 724-226-4680 or lhayes@tribweb.com.

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