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Water line grant on way

July 22, 1998|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Chambersburg will get $2.5 million for a 19,000-foot water main to serve the southeastern section of the borough, according to an announcement Tuesday by U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster, R-Pa.

Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Shuster said in a press release the funds were included in a veterans affairs, housing and urban development appropriation. A member of his staff said the bill is still under consideration by the full House.

"This will really allow us to move on the design work and possibly do some construction in 1999," Borough Manager Eric Oyer said. The proposed line would run from Garman Drive in Guilford Township to Wayne Avenue near Exit 5 of Interstate 81, he said.

"This will allow the community to keep a ceiling on its water rates," Shuster said of the project, which has a total estimated cost of $3.25 million.

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Without the grant, Oyer said the project would have had to be paid for by the system's 7,100 customers. About 6,100 of those customers are residential, he said.

Councilman William F. McLaughlin said the borough wasn't anticipating a rate increase next year and the federal grant should forestall one in the near future.

Oyer said there are three transmission lines from the borough's water treatment plant near Fayetteville, Pa. One ends at Garman Drive and the other two continue along Lincoln Way East into the borough.

"Several years ago ... we had a break in one of those lines on Lincoln Way East" near the interstate, Oyer said. While that was being repaired, he said water service to industries had to be curtailed, particularly to businesses in the southeastern portion of the borough where the Chambers-5 Business Park is located.

The existing lines into the borough date from 1911 and 1936, according to Oyer. Concern about an alternate water supply into the borough is one reason for the project, he said.

McLaughlin said the line will create a loop in the system that will prevent loss of service to almost all the system's users in the event one line breaks.

Oyer said the line will help ensure adequate water pressure for new development and fire services, as well.

"This is certainly a much-needed development to help the ongoing development of the Chambers-5 Park," Corporation Executive Director David G. Sciamanna said. The 350-acre industrial park is located off Wayne Avenue.

Oyer said the plans call for the borough to build a million-gallon water tower in the industrial park.

The borough manager said there is no timetable for starting or completing the water main at this point.

Shuster's office said the appropriations bill will have to be reconciled with a Senate version later this year.

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