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Manor sewer bids are lower than expected

| Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Manor will be able to close on a smaller loan from the state than borough officials had expected to need for a sewage project because two construction contracts came in a combined $920,000 lower than estimates.

In the long run, that means sewage customers will face a lower-than-projected rate increase when council eventually sets the fees to repay the Pennsylvania Infrastructure and Investment Authority, or PENNVEST.

Council last week approved a $1.2 million contract for Morgan Excavating and $626,700 contract for Ligonier Construction.

Before seeking bids on those projects, engineer Ed Antonacci estimated the combined work to cost almost $2.75 million.

“That's good news for the borough that we're getting really competitive prices,” he said last week.

In October, PENNVEST awarded Manor a 20-year, low-interest loan of $2.7 million. The borough already secured about $417,000 for the sewer work through a federal community development block grant administered by Westmoreland County.

As the borough approaches the July 18 deadline for closing the loan, officials now estimate the loan might end up being as low as $1.5 million.

Manager Joe Lapia said borough officials won't know how much the debt service will cost each sewage customer until after the work is completed and any cost overruns or contingencies are factored in.

Part of the project entails the separation of combined sanitary and storm sewers in the older section of the borough to comply with a consent order involving the state Department of Environmental Protection.

That work, which must be finished by Nov. 1, is part of an overall plan overseen by the state to reduce the discharge of sewage overflows into Brush Creek during heavy rains. The Western Westmoreland Municipal Authority also is planning upgrades to its treatment plant to address that issue.

Most of the remaining work in Manor will replace older sanitary sewer lines with newer ones.

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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