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Grant to fund sewer system at Westinghouse site

| Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Westmoreland County has received a $2.2 million state grant to build a sewage system to serve the Westinghouse Waltz Mill site in Sewickley Township.

Westmoreland County Industrial Development Corp. will pay for the remaining $1 million of the project's costs, Jason Rigone, its executive director, told county commissioners on Thursday.

Rigone said the grant will allow the county to purchase 150 acres of Westinghouse property that can be converted into an industrial park.

In addition, the Westinghouse project could lead to construction of a system to serve Yukon, county officials said. There are no cost estimates for the industrial park and Yukon projects.

“This is a unique public/private partnership undertaking and a significant attainment for the county that will help to offset the negative economic impact of SCI-Greensburg's recent closure,” Commissioner Charles Anderson said in a news release.

The grant from the state Water Supply and Wastewater Infrastructure Program will pay for construction of 14,400 linear feet of pipes and two pumping stations for Westinghouse. Officials said growth at the plant, as well as at the neighboring Menasha Paper Co., is limited because on-site sewage systems cannot be expanded.

The Waltz Mill facility employs 800 workers, and Menasha has a workforce of about 200, according to county officials.

“The sewer line extension will also allow us to get public sewer service to Yukon if they desire it,” Rigone said.

Yukon, with its 750 residents, has one of the highest concentrations of on-lot, private sewage systems in the county, Rigone said.

Planning for the Westinghouse system is expected to begin early next year. Rigone said there is no target date to complete the project.

Commissioner Tyler Courtney, who is vice president of the industrial development corporation, said the project will retain “world-class jobs.”

“The extension of public sewerage and the elimination of private treatment facilities will provide an environmental benefit ...,” Commissioner Ted Kopas, treasurer of the corporation, said in the news release. “This project is economic development and pollution prevention wrapped together.”

Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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