Leftovers in Franklin would be for water, sewer

February 14, 1998


Staff Writer

CHAMBERBSURG, Pa. - Money left over from a housing rehabilitation program will be reallocated for sewer and water projects around the county under a plan proposed by the Franklin County Commission for 1998 Community Development Block Grant funds.

"If somebody can't turn on their tap without getting potable water, or flush their toilets without polluting our soils, we have a significant problem," commission Chairman Warren Elliott said during Thursday's public hearing on how to spend $447,941 in CDBG funds.

Metal Township and the borough of Mont Alto each would receive $155,000 in 1998 for sewer projects. The community of Dry Run in Fannett Township would get $75,000 for water system improvements.


The balance of the funding, $62,941, will be used by the county for administrative costs. That's 14 percent of the total, down from 18 percent in the past, according to Planning Director Phil Tarquino.

Elliott said money for housing rehabilitation was allocated under a previous board for 1995 and 1996. In deciding to reallocate the funds, he said the program would have only remodeled about 20 houses and "we have a different priority."

Metal Township and Mont Alto each requested $200,000 for their projects and the county plan gives each another $45,000 from CDBG funds earmarked in 1995 for housing rehabilitation. Dry Run will get $45,000 from the housing program, bringing its total to $120,000.

Tarquino said unspent 1995 block grant funds must be used this year, or the county will lose the money. The $225,000 left over will go to utility projects, including $45,000 for sewer line installation in Quincy Township, $25,000 for improvements to Orrstown's water system and $20,000 to Mercersburg for environmental cleanup at a former tannery site that is being redeveloped.

The grants to Metal Township, if approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, would mean it now has about $1.4 million for the $1.9 million sewer project to serve the Fannettsburg area, according to Anna Swailes, secretary of the sewer authority.

Swailes said the township has a poverty rate of about 21 percent, compared to an average of about 6 percent to 8 percent in the rest of the county. One guideline for block grant projects is that they benefit mostly low- and moderate-income residents.

Fannettsburg project engineer William Hemsley said it includes 20,000 feet of sewer lines and will serve about 176 homes and businesses.

Maurice Gossert, the engineer for Mont Alto, said the money will go toward a $700,000 project to double the capacity of the borough's treatment plant to 300,000 gallons a day.

Construction on both systems is expected to begin this year.

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