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Manor Council, Penn Township Sewage Authority support loan request

| Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, 8:12 p.m.

Manor Council and the Penn Township Sewage Authority have given public support to a Western Westmoreland Municipal Authority service-agreement amendment that would enable the WWMA to stretch out its debt for a major improvement project.

Manor Council voted unanimously on Feb. 20 to approve the amendment. Penn Township Sewage Authority board members decided on Feb. 12 that they would back the amendment, but they have not had a formal vote on it, said Stan Caroline, manager and a WWMA board member.

Officials of all six member municipalities must approve the amendment, which would extend the service agreement through 2052. The authority's auditors are recommending a 30-year debt for the project.

Currently, the authority is limited to a 19-year debt term, which means the WWMA would have to pass on higher rate increases to repay the debt, authority officials have said.

The authority is under a state mandate to eliminate discharges of untreated wastewater into Brush Creek in North Huntingdon during heavy rains.

An engineer for the authority is working on the design for the project. In December, he estimated the cost to replace most of the sewage lines and build a new sewage storage tank would be about $58 million.

The other member municipalities where officials must approve the amendment are Penn Township, Irwin, North Irwin, North Huntingdon and Hempfield.

Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8671, or cforeman@tribweb.com.

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