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Delmont to borrow $1 million for sewage plant work

| Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Having a working sewage treatment plant will come at a steep price for Delmont.

Borough officials last week agreed to obtain a $1 million loan to pay for the planned renovation of the oft-malfunctioning Cramer Pump Station and to eliminate an old sewer-related debt.

“It's going to be quite expensive,” Council President Jim Bortz said. “But it is going to last for years to come.”

The station is designed to collect waste and chemically treat it before it is processed at the Franklin Township Municipal Sanitary Authority. Located in Salem but maintained by Delmont, the pump station serves the majority of the Delmont.

Solicitor Dan Hewitt said borough officials likely will raise sewage rates to pay for much-needed repairs and equipment replacement.

According to the sanitary authority, Delmont residents pay a monthly sewer bill of $41.25. Of that, $8.78 is paid to the borough.

Council will decide if — or by how much — the local portion of the bill would increase, Hewitt said. The loan will be paid back during the next decade.

But first, council is slated to award an $882,600 contract next week for the renovation project to Lone Pine Construction of Bentleyville, the low bidder on the project.

The loan, which will be financed through S&T Bank, also will include $120,000 that is owed for previous sewer repairs.

Problems with the station stretch back about 20 years.

Among the chief problems with the sewage station are the near-constant repairs needed for the pumps, Bortz said. For the past several years, officials have been replacing seals on the four pumps every month after high pressure caused the seals to burst. Each time a pump breaks or malfunctions, the cost to the borough ranges from $5,000 to $10,000.

That's a lot of money to be paying each month, Bortz said.

“It's 30 years old,” Bortz said. “It's time.”

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

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