Westmoreland, Johnstown agencies dedicate water pipeline
Starting Dec. 1, water for Ligonier Borough residents will travel over the mountain and through the woods, through a pipeline linking the Greater Johnstown Water Authority with the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County.
Board members from both authorities, along with other local and county officials, gathered Thursday to dedicate the line.
They met just past the midway point, at a 1 million-gallon storage tank off state Route 271.
“The vision of a few for the good of a region is shown through the actions of the authorities and the work of the people involved in this project,” read a commemorative rock displayed at the event.
The 16-mile transmission line will pump at least 520,000 gallons of purchased water a day from Johnstown to Ligonier, serving the Westmoreland authority's 1,500 customers in the borough.
“This transmission line allows us to discontinue the operation of an obsolete plant that was in need of many repairs in Ligonier,” said Chris Kerr, president of Resource Development Management, the company that manages both authorities.
Kerr referred to Ligonier's sewage treatment plant, which along with a dam at a reservoir, needed repairs totaling several million dollars.
The cost of the $9.8 million pipeline project was split between both authorities and financed with low-interest PennVEST loans. Construction started in March 2011.
“We didn't even think this was possible,” said Ed Centric, chairman of the Johnstown authority. “I'm so proud that our two water authorities came together and made this happen. Our future looks bright for both authorities.”
The transmission line opens opportunities for both authorities to expand, Centric said.
From the “point of service” in Ligonier, a public water system could expand south to Donegal and west to Latrobe, according to Kerr.
“That's something that I'm sure we will look at in the future, but for today, we're just trying to enjoy the completion of the line,” he said.
The agreement between the two authorities allows the Westmoreland authority to purchase up to an additional 3 million gallons of water.
Ligonier Township Municipal Authority officials are looking at the possibility of expanding its water service to Fairfield Township by connecting to the transmission line and purchasing water from the Westmoreland authority.
“We hope that the money we spent on this project will carry forward for the next 20, 40, 50 years,” said Jerome Defabo, chairman of the Westmoreland authority board.
Jewels Phraner is a reporter for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-850-1218 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.