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Bidding to start on 2nd phase of Vandergrift sewer project

| Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 12:26 a.m.

Vandergrift officials hope to start the $10 million Phase II of the stormwater/sewerage separation project in January.

Council on Monday night approved the bidding process that will lead to the start of the largest of the three-phase project, mandated by a federal order for a number of municipalities that had commingled storm and sewer pipes, some dating from a century ago.

Phase II will involve more than 1,000 households in the borough.

Prospective bidders will meet with officials on Sept. 24 to receive background information on Phase II, which will be divided into two projects. A company could bid on one or both of the projects.

Council will open the bids on Oct. 11 at 10 a.m.

If one company gets both contracts, it would presumably need to hire two crews. There will be an 18-month window to complete the project.

Michael Bove of Bove Engineering said he hopes both portions of Phase II will be done during the summer of 2015, since it's best to avoid doing restoration work during the winter.

The financing of the $10 million overall project includes a $2.6 million state grant and an $8.2 million, 30-year low-interest loan.

Bove said last Wednesday's serious thunderstorm provided the nearly-completed Phase I with a test of how stormwater is handled with separated pipes.

Only a few households reportedly had backups.

Officials said three inches of rain fell in 45 minutes.

A lingering Phase I problem involves homeowners who have yet to detach their downspouts from the main stormwater system. About 30 homes have yet to comply.

Those not in compliance will be sent a citation letter, warning that a fine of $300 per day will be assessed.

Residents at Tuesday's meeting complained that some detached downspouts are pointed toward neighbors' homes.

Solicitor Larry Loperfito will research the borough's code for a possible ordinance that prohibits pointing a downspout toward a neighbor.

Hearing set

Council slated a public hearing for Oct. 7 at 6:30 p.m. to determine if a paper alley near California and Oregon avenues in Upper West Vandergrift will be eliminated.

Interested parties are welcome to testify.

In other business

• Lutterman Excavating of Greensburg was awarded a $6,200 contract to demolish a dilapidated home at 912 Wallace Street.

• Councilman Lenny Collini said he is fed up with vandalism at the borough's park and pool. Vandals recently broke into a shed and painted playground equipment. Council will look into a possible video system for the area.

• Council thanked officer Pete King, who retired after 23 years on the borough's police force. Part-timers will be used until a new full-time officer is hired.

• Vandergrift's share of service costs to the Westmore-land County Transit Authority for bus service will increase to $1,030 next year, up from $982 this year.

George Guido is a freelance writer for Trib Total Media.

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