$6.7M loan will help replace pipeline
By Liz Hayes
Published: Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
A $6.7 million state loan will help the New Kensington water authority fund the replacement of 7 miles of pipeline in three cities as well as a 2-mile water-line extension in Allegheny Township.
“What we're going to do is replace a lot of very old lines that we have constant breaks on,” said Ron Zampogna, authority board chairman. “We've been trying for the last several years to do that.”
Authority Manager Jim Matta said water lines along 21 roads in Arnold, Lower Burrell and New Kensington will be replaced, including Craigdell Road on the Lower Burrell-New Kensington border, Chester Drive in Lower Burrell, Kimball Avenue in Arnold, Sixth Avenue in Parnassus and parts of Freeport Road in Arnold and New Kensington.
Upgrades are planned for the filter controls at the H. Burns Smith water treatment plant along the Allegheny River in New Kensington.
Additionally, the authority will extend water service to about 62 houses along Melwood, White Cloud and Smail roads in Allegheny Township that rely on water wells.
The new Allegheny Township customers will be charged a quarterly rate predicted to be in the range of $88 to $103, Matta said. They will be charged a $2,350 one-time fee to tap into the lines.
Matta said the loan will cover the anticipated cost of the projects, which will not require a rate increase for the authority's existing 15,000 or so customers in Allegheny Township, Arnold, Lower Burrell, New Kensington, Plum, Upper Burrell and Washington Township. The average customer pays about $76 per quarter for water service, Matta said.
“We put this project together anticipating these interest rates so that it would be absorbed into our budget without any rate increase,” Matta said. “We're pleased with the rate.”
The Pennsylvania Infrastructure and Investment Authority board (PennVEST) on Wednesday approved the 20-year loan that will offer an interest rate of about 1.4 percent for the first 5 years and about 2 percent for the remaining 15 years.
It was one of 17 projects statewide to receive Penn-VEST money in the latest funding round. A total of $53 million in mostly loans and a few grants was awarded; the Municipal Authority of New Kensington received the second-largest funding package of the group.
Other regional projects included $5 million in loans to the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority for improvements to storm sewers; about $3.4 million in a loan-grant combination to the Hawthorn-Redbank Municipal Authority to extend sewers in Redbank, Armstrong County; and more than $3 million to Saltsburg in Indiana County for a sewage treatment plant.
“The PennVEST Board of Directors (on Wednesday) committed millions of dollars of precious financial resources in order to improve the environment and lay the foundation for economic growth,” Gov. Tom Corbett said. “Communities all across the commonwealth will benefit from this investment.”
“This particular project will replace more than 38,200 feet of old cast iron water lines in the system,” said Sen. James Brewster, D-McKeesport, of the New Kensington authority's project. “Aging water lines have become a major liability, and the water lines in the area have suffered numerous leaks and breaks causing damage to streets and service disruptions. The water line renovations in New Kensington will reduce the number of water outages, ensure adequate water supply to suppress fires during emergencies and eliminate the 23 percent water loss that currently occurs.”
“I feel we were very fortunate to be able to get this money at such a low interest rate,” Zampogna said.
Matta said he anticipates the authority will begin seeking bids from prospective contractors by the end of the year and be ready to start construction in the spring. He estimated the work would be completed by the end of 2014.
Zampogna said the authority tries to use in-house workers to complete smaller projects to minimize costs, as they did on recent projects on Alcoa Drive in Arnold and Donnell Road in Lower Burrell.
Not only should replacing the aging lines help minimize the possibility of breaks that could disrupt customer service, Matta said, but it should minimize costs by reducing the amount of water lost and the amount of overtime hours paid to employees fixing breaks.
“We're trying to aggressively take care of our infrastructure,” Matta said.
Liz Hayes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Cool chemistry: Programs at Springdale library take inspiration from late science professor
- Just-acquired tract eyed as commercial site
- Instagram builds Oakmont barber’s rep for innovative cuts, ‘hair tattooing’
- Tax law proves its worth by bringing in lost revenue
- 1 remains in hospital after knife fight in New Kensington apartment
- Battle of Fort Hand 235th anniversary to open window into frontier life
- Winfield Road bridge replacement to begin in 2015
- Kiski Valley native in wheelchair persists to save life, forge bond
- Leechburg adds 2 part-time police officers
- ‘Cross on the Hill’ a special sight for residents
- PennDOT wants Rock Airport in West Deer to remain open