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Trafford seeks grant, loan to upgrade sewage system

| Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Trafford officials are seeking financing help from the state for an estimated $5.5 million project to upgrade its sewage infrastructure.

The borough's application to the Pennsylvania Infrastructure and Investment Authority, or PENNVEST, was submitted in mid-November, borough engineer Don Glenn said.

The authority might consider whether it will award any funding as soon whether as its next meeting, which is scheduled for Jan. 21.

Depending on a variety of economic conditions, the authority could offer Trafford a low-interest loan, a grant or both to help cover the cost of the project, for which council might solicit bids in early 2014.

Glenn said he wants to take advantage of the off-season for most contractors by requesting the contract bids during the winter.

“When we come into spring, we'll have our prices locked in (because) we sure as heck don't want to come advertising in June and July, when the contractors are busy,” Glenn said.

Trafford is planning work to replace century-old terra cotta sewage lines because of a mandate from the state Department of Environmental Protection that dates back to 2004.

The worst sections of the system are projected to cost about $530,000 to replace, but officials decided to replace other aging lines throughout the borough.

Nearby Manor is using a $1.6 million loan through PENNVEST to cover most of the cost of sewage improvements, including the state-mandated replacement of combined sanitary and storm-water lines.

Trafford Council recently voted to increase the quarterly sewage rate, mostly to pass on a fee increase by the Allegheny County Sanitary Authority.

However, council members did not increase the maintenance portion of a ratepayer's bill.

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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