I appreciated the article “Vandergrift officials unhappy with $8.2M loan for sewer project” (April 26) and want to respond with some critical details about this project.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has mandated Vandergrift borough update its sewer system, which currently overflows into the Kiskiminetas River during heavy rains, to bring it into compliance with wastewater standards. Failure to do so will result in continued higher rates for borough residents from the Kiski Valley Water Authority due to noncompliance with state and federal mandates.
The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment (PENNVEST) board announced last week it will provide a $2.68 million grant and an $8.2 million loan to support the second phase of the borough's sewer system project.
As a past local public official — I served on Pittsburgh City Council — I know you have to take a tough vote to do what is right. If the borough council believes it can get a better financial deal than PENNVEST's offer, then I hope it can obtain one.
I hope the council will take the lead from the Vandergrift Improvement Program, Penn State and the Westmoreland Conservation District and move forward to reduce stormwater overflows.
Sen. Jim Ferlo
The writer represents Vandergrift in the state Senate.
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