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Leechburg changes course on sewer-project funding

| Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2001

LEECHBURG: Council President Anthony Defilippi said the borough will not immediately proceed with a county request to get funding for the first stage of its sewer-separation project.

Defilippi said the borough completed an income survey of at least 350 families and has submitted those to the county for review.

To qualify, the borough needed to determine if half of its municipality was considered low income.

The income surveys were to be conducted to determine if the borough could apply for federal Community Development Block Grant funds.

Three uniformed police officers conducted the door-to-door survey.

Defilippi said most of the people were cooperative in answering questions about how much money a family made, how many people lived in the homes and other questions affecting the survey.

The county will compile the results and determine the borough's income eligibility for possible future use.

A request for Community Development money was to be completed by Wednesday. But Defilippi said the borough will take a different approach to funding the project.

Defilippi said the borough will apply for construction and engineering money from a PennVEST loan. Senate Engineering of Washington, Pa., is providing the cost estimate of the project for the borough. Borough council will have to pay $10,000 for the estimate.

The borough has not ruled out the possibility of joining other townships such as Gilpin, Bethel and Parks who already have begun a joint sewer separation project.

But Defilippi said the borough will have to wait to evaluate new federal Environmental Protection Agency guidelines that might come into play.

Borough officials originally thought they were required by law to complete the separation, but in November found out it was not a requirement.

Borough officials said they would go ahead with the project because of increased chances to get money for the project since less municipalities would be jumping on the project.

Defilippi said the project is 'still a go,' as the borough tries to come up with a plan for funding.

Leslie Suhr can be reached at lsuhr@tribweb.com .





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