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Cameras to examine East Vandergrift sewer lines

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By George Guido
Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010

TV cameras will be coming to East Vandergrift but not in the way residents might expect.

Instead of filming the borough's sights and sounds for a prime-time show, the cameras will be examining the borough's century-old sewer lines. They will be searching for problem areas in the combined storm/sanitary sewers in preparation for a project that will separate those systems.

The cameras are part of the next phase of the project mandated by the federal government. Eventually, separate lines for stormwater and sewage will be established as part of the Enviornmental Protection Agency's directive designed to prevent excess sewage flows from entering the Kiski River during heavy rains.

On Monday, council heard a presentation from Craig J. Bauer of KLH Engineering on how the camera system will operate.

"This will enable council to get a handle on what condition the lines are in and to determine if there are any fatal flaws in the system," Bauer said.

The project, expected to take about six weeks, will cost nearly $24,000. The borough is paying for the camera project with sewage recovery funds.

Approval came on a 6-0 vote. Many of the 350 homeowners in the borough have their downspouts, sump pumps and exterior drains connected to the sewer lines.

In the future, the present dual-usage line will be for stormwater only. A new line will be installed for sewage only.

It is the same approach neighboring Apollo is taking in separating its sewer systems under the same mandate.

Homeowners eventually will pay for new lateral lines connecting the homes to the new sewage lines. The price will be approximately $50 per linear foot, and a plumbing contractor will be hired by the individual homeowners.

Bauer said that because the borough's population is considered low-to-moderate income, residents would be eligible for low-interest loans and grants. Councilman James Stanczak said every avenue of grant funding will be pursued, including the state's H20 and PennVEST programs, along with the Rural Utility Service.

In other business:

• The demolition project of the former Henry's TV will be completed within two days. Council eventually will move the borough's war memorial monument to the site, which was donated to the borough.

• The borough renewed its contract with Hoffman Kennels for animal control.

Hoffman will be paid $60 per month. Any dog removal done outside of daily business hours will be $55; $50 for cats.

• The borough will buy road salt from Vandergrift for $56 per ton. Six loads of salt were used in January by the borough.

• The Public Safety Committee met with Vandergrift police Chief Joseph Caporali in the hope police will start issuing citations instead of just warnings.

Vandergrift police patrol East Vandergrift, which has no police force of its own. Just 23 traffic citations were issued last year.

Caporali told his officers to start citing tractor-trailier trucks going through the borough and tagging illegally parked vehicles, especially in alleys.

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