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East√Vandergrift sewer project receives $4.6 million boost from state

| Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 1:51 a.m.

The state on Tuesday awarded almost $4.6 million in loans and grants for an upcoming sewer-separation project in East Vandergrift.

The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, or PennVEST, board approved a nearly $3.7 million low-interest loan and a $900,000 grant to the borough, one of several Kiski Valley communities under pressure to separate and improve its sewer system in an effort to reduce the amount of sewage that overflows into the Kiski River during heavy rains.

East Vandergrift's project will involve laying about 13,000 feet of 8-inch sewer pipe and sewer connections to about 131 borough homes and businesses.

An engineer with KLH Engineers Inc. last month told borough council the project's scope and cost increased when the firm had to add a railroad crossing and replace more sidewalks with permeable concrete to reduce stormwater runoff.

The borough also received about $400,000 in federal Community Development Block Grant money, borough officials previously said.

Officials last month said the projected $59-per-month charge to property owners could come down, depending on PennVEST funding and how the money was divided between loans and grants.

Council President James Stanczak did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

Sen. Jim Ferlo, D-Highland Park, lauded the award.

“The funds go toward a much-needed sewer-separation project, which numerous local governments in this area have been tasked to complete,” he said. “Pennsylvania municipalities have the opportunity to collaborate with the state on necessary projects, and this is an excellent example.”

Another area project

It was one of only two local projects to receive money in the latest round of PennVEST funding.

According to Gov. Tom Corbett's office, the Kittanning-Plumcreek Water Authority received a $150,000 grant to relocate about 1,900 feet of water distribution lines along Route 422 in conjunction with a PennDOT project. The authority also will construct an interconnection vault with the Manor Township Joint Municipal Authority to improve water-supply reliability.

A total of $84 million in funding for nine water and sewage projects statewide was awarded by PennVEST on Tuesday.

The money comes from a combination of state funds approved by voters, federal grants from the Environmental Protection Agency and recycled loan repayments from previous PennVEST projects.

Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4680 or lhayes@tribweb.com.

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