Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County moves to complete financing for $141M in infrastructure upgrade
By Rich Cholodofsky
Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Financing for a $141 million cash infusion to update the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County's aging infrastructure is scheduled to be completed next month.
Authority board members on Monday hired RBC Capital Markets, an international investment banking firm based in Canada, to head up its effort to sell bonds to pay for a five-year capital improvement project.
“Our goal is getting the financing for the five-year plan by the end of April or in early May,” said Sara Davis Buss, the authority's special counsel for the bond issue.
Authority board members late last year approved an ambitious capital improvement plan that calls for $141 million in enhancements to the water system, which supplies more than 120,000 customers in five counties.
About $36 million will be earmarked to extend transmission lines throughout Westmoreland County to provide water to all customers should one of the authority's major intakes or treatment plants goes offline.
Plans call for improving the system's three water treatment plants, replacing pump stations and installing new pipes.
Money will be used for new infrastructure needed to sell water to Monroeville and Plum.
Last summer the authority signed a 40-year deal to sell water to about 70,000 customers in Monroeville and Plum. The $110 million deal is slated to begin in 2016.
Authority Manager Chris Kerr said construction of a new line to connect the authority's water transmission lines to the Monroeville and Plum systems will be the first project started with the money.
In addition, the authority will begin replacing water lines throughout the 2,300-mile system. Kerr said the authority will replace about 64 miles of water lines over the next five years.
“We'll start a number of smaller line replacements almost immediately,” Kerr said.
The projects will be paid through the selling of municipal bonds, Davis said.
Those bonds could total up to $150 million to cover the costs of issuing the debt.
The authority's investment banker will be paid up to $350,000, Kerr said.
Authority board members last year implemented a 25 percent rate increase to offset years of stagnant revenues and to finance the new projects.
The rate increase of 25 percent will go into effect April 1. The annual cost of water for the average residential customer will increase by $85, according to the authority.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 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.
- Wilkinsburg man jailed in heroin overdose case
- Mt. Pleasant’s St. Pius X serves up Lenten meals
- Judge to Cook Township drug suspect: Get new friends
- Westmoreland man’s walk in Niagara Falls State Park wasn’t allowed, police say
- Murrysville police will get raises in 5-year pact
- Homicide charge added in Derry death
- Pittsburgh man charged with threat to witness
- Greensburg Salem raising funds for fitness equipment
- Tentative plea deal with Westmoreland drivers reached in turnpike toll fraud
- Yukon shelter group at odds with former leader
- Mt. Pleasant board to vote on contract with Volz