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Delmont sewer project decision on hold

| Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Delmont officials have delayed awarding a contract for a sewage plant replacement project that will cost nearly one year's borough budget.

Bids came in more than $100,000 higher than anticipated for work on the oft-malfunctioning Cramer Pump Station.

Lone Pine Construction of Bentleyville was the low bidder on the project, offering to complete the work for $882,600.

The borough's annual budget is about $950,000.

Council President Jim Bortz said officials are working to obtain a loan to fund the project; however, that process has been slowed by the high bid amount. Engineers initially expected the project to cost between $650,000 and $777,000.

The project is nearly 20 years in the making, officials said.

The pump station — located in Salem but which processes sewage for most of Delmont — has had many problems in recent years.

Most recently, officials had to change the chemicals treating the sewage after several residents complained about a strong smell of sewer gas permeating their properties.

Officials plan to install a new wet well between the ramp and existing pump station, a new generator and a new roof. Four pumps also will be replaced. The new system would be gravity-based, rather than pressure-based, officials said.

The state Department of Environmental Protection requires that the revamped pump station include surface pumps, which will enable workers to access the system without going 30 feet underground.

Engineer Gary Baird said the bids will be reviewed during the coming weeks, and said the contract could be awarded in September, if a loan is obtained.

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627 or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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