Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.
Work should begin this year on the project to extend sewers on a section of Wildlife Lodge Road in Lower Burrell.
The project, estimated at $2.2 million, will add 112 customers from Route 56 to Route 780 to the public sewer system.
If all goes as planned, Mayor Don Kinosz said the project could begin this summer once bids are sought and a contractor appointed.
Kinosz said the design work is completed and the Lower Burrell Municipal Authority is in the process of acquiring the property rights of way.
Council on Monday formally accepted a $146,000 federal Community Development Block Grant secured through Westmoreland County.
Kinosz said the money will be divided among 38 households that were identified as having low incomes within the project area.
The grant will cover their tap-in costs, which are about $3,900.
City officials have estimated the total cost to most residents will average about $6,000, including tap-in fees and other associated costs.
The CDBG money is in addition to $800,000 in federal grant money already obtained to cover a portion of the construction. Kinosz said the larger grant was necessary to help pay for the section from Route 56 to Milligantown Road where there are few buildings to pay tap-in fees.
"That's a big deal for us," Kinosz said of the grant money.
Kinosz said the municipal authority will be in contact with affected residents to update them on the project status.
Council last year gave the authority permission to borrow about $4 million to pay for the Wildlife Lodge Road extension and other capital projects.
That approval included the agreement that customer rates would not increase to pay for the work.
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