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Rural areas in Fayette and Somerset counties to benefit from federal infrastructure loans

Paul Peirce
| Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018, 5:12 p.m.

Rural Dunbar Township in Fayette County and Berlin Borough in Somerset County are among 234 communities nationwide that will benefit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s most recent round of rural water infrastructure grants and loans announced Tuesday.

The USDA’s Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Anne Hazlett announced Dunbar Borough Sanitary Authority will receive a $1.1 million grant, plus a $332,000 loan, to extend new sewer lines into the Hardy Hill and Joseph A. Hardy Connellsville Airport areas of the township.

The authority indicated the project will add 40 new customers.

In addition, Hazlett said Berlin Borough’s municipal authority was awarded a low-interest $2.5 million loan to replace the primary water transmission lines for the municipal water system. According to a release from the USDA, the line was constructed in 1979 and is in poor condition.

The agency reported the authority has experienced numerous breaks resulting in boil water notices and there is inadequate water pressure to fight fires.

The investment will also help replace water meters. The water system serves nearly 1,100 users in Berlin and in Brothers Valley Township.

“Access to water is a key driver for economic opportunity and quality of life in rural communities,” Hazlett said.

The agency announced financing for 234 water and environmental infrastructure projects in 46 states through its water and waste disposal loan and grant program. The funding can be used for drinking water, stormwater drainage and waste disposal systems for rural communities with 10,000 or fewer residents.

Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, ppeirce@tribweb.com or via Twitter @ppeirce_trib.

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