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Quincy Township getting $8.7 million sewer system

April 19, 1999|By RICHARD F. BELISLE, Waynesboro

QUINCY TOWNSHIP, Pa. - U.S. Rep. Bud Shuster, R-Pa., on Monday announced an $8.7 million funding package of loans and grants that will give Quincy Township its first public sewer system.

Construction will begin next year, and the system is expected to go on line by the end of 2001. It will serve about 2,300 customers who will pay $1,000 to hook up and $40 a month to use it.

The funding package includes loans of $2.9 million and $3 million from state and federal branches of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a $1.8 million USDA grant and a $970,000 local share, Shuster said.

The federal share is part of a $200 million appropriation for 82 sewer and other environmental projects being announced this week in 44 states and Puerto Rico as part of the nation's commemoration of Earth Day Week.

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The Quincy project was the first to be announced and is the largest.

The new system will serve the village of Quincy and the built-up areas surrounding it. Township homes are served by private septic systems, many of which are failing and contaminating nearby private wells, said Kerry Bumbaugh, a township supervisor and one of five Sewer Authority members.

A handful of Quincy residents lack indoor plumbing, Bumbaugh said. The new sewer lines will reach some of them if the County Commissioners can come up with community development block grant money, he said.

The new system will have 110,500 feet of gravity lines, 3,400 feet of force main lines, 90 pumps, two pumping stations and a 300,000-gallon-per-day treatment plant.

Cheryl Cook, state director of the USDA's Rural Utilities Service development program, said values of existing Quincy Township properties will increase with public sewers. She cautioned the supervisors to begin now to plan for the development that will follow the sewer lines.

She used her own hometown of Carlisle, Pa., as an example of how fast a rural community can grow.

"If you want to see any farms in Carlisle, come quick because they are disappearing," she said. "It (growth) will come whether you plan for it or not."

Bumbaugh said sewer lines will be installed only in existing residential areas and in areas where the township wants growth to occur.

John P. Romano, deputy administrator for the USDA Rural Development program, called the new sewer system the beginning of a new era for Quincy. "Get ready for it. Plan for it," he said.

"We don't want our farmland turned into houses," said George W. Crouch, chairman of the Sewer Authority. "We like the place the way it is."

Clarence Blubaugh, a Quincy resident, said he has had to have his septic tank pumped three times in 12 days. "It's only 45 feet from my well. It will soon be in my well," he said.

Blubaugh said at least a dozen homes along his road drain washing machine water onto the street. Crouch said he has done his laundry at night so his neighbors couldn't see the water. "I'm sure a lot of other people do it, too," he said.

In his remarks, Shuster said his announcement of the funding package was the best way to celebrate Earth Day. "This is great news for the Quincy Sewer Authority and its customers," he said. "The funds will provide safer drinking water and more sanitary conditions."

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