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Valley News Dispatch

Work begins on 2 Brackenridge storm sewer projects

| Saturday, June 3, 2017, 11:00 p.m.

With the promised aid of $162,000 in federal grants, Brackenridge officials are beginning work on two storm sewer projects.

But the borough will have to chip in with about $125,000 to match the Community Development Block Grants to get the projects done. Councilman John Stanzione said that money will come from the borough's sewer fund.

The work in the more expensive project will take place along River Alley from Nelson Avenue to First Avenue, where storm sewers will be installed, according to borough engineer Gordon Taylor of Senate Engineering.

Taylor said the total cost of that project is estimated at around $220,000. The borough will have to pitch in about $95,000 as its match — $67,000 for construction costs plus $28,000 for engineering costs.

Actual construction costs are estimated at $191,000. Taylor said the federal government does not allow payment for engineering and legal costs to come out of the grant money, leaving the borough to pick up that bill.

Repair of storm sewers and inlets on Nelson and First avenues is the second project, Taylor said.

A $38,500 CDBG grant is being provided for that project, which is expected to cost about $60,000 for construction. The borough's match will be $21,000 plus $9,000 for engineering costs for a total of $30,000.

Taylor said the federally funded programs must be done within a year, by June 2018.

Funding contracts between the federal government and Allegheny County, which administers the CDBG program, and the county and the Allegheny Valley North Council of Governments, which allocates the money, have not been signed, Taylor said.

However, he said officials at the council of governments have advised the communities receiving grants to begin the design work, which council approved.

Taylor said the reason for that is that money is moving more slowly through the pipeline due to issues with the federal budget and the window to complete the projects is not wide.

If a community waits until everything is signed, sealed and delivered, Taylor said, “You might lose six months.”

Tom Yerace is a freelance writer.

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