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Water tower constructed in Pa.

October 05, 2000

Water tower constructed in Pa.



By DON AINES / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - As the occasional foursome of golfers hit their second shots a few yards away on a hole at the Rocky Spring Golf Course Tuesday, a five-man crew was raising a 135-foot water tower for the Cumberland Valley Business Park and Letterkenny Army Depot.

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Portable generators roared as two welders pieced together the tower shell with arc welders. The work of the Pitt-Des Moines Inc. crew is scheduled for completion by Nov. 17, according to Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority Facilities Manager Michael C. Whiteley.

Once the structure is up, Whiteley said connections to the depot and business park water system will be made and the tower painted before it becomes operational next April.

"It triples the volume of elevated water storage for this part of the park. It improves the pressure for fire flows, hydrant flows, in the park," said Authority Executive Director John Van Horn. The new tower will better serve the Army and the industries and businesses that are already in, or will move to, the business park, he said.

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The existing 100,000-gallon tower that now serves the depot and park was failing, Van Horn said.

Whiteley said the contract with the Pittsburgh builder includes removal of the aging and leaking tower.

The tower will hold about 2.4 million pounds of water when completed. Water from a reservoir runs through 10 miles of 16-inch line to the depot, where it is treated before charging the facility's 43 miles of water lines and the tower.

The tower, which will measure a precise 134 feet and 15/16 inches from its base to handrail, will cost $818,000, according to Whiteley. Van Horn said 75 percent of the cost is being paid by the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration with a 25 percent match by Pennsylvania and the authority.

As a result of the 1995 Base Realignment and Closure Commission vote to downsize Letterkenny Army Depot, 1,500 acres are being turned over to the authority for development as the Cumberland Valley Business Park. The Economic Development Administration provides funding to communities affected by the base downsizing and closures.

Although the Letterkenny Industrial Development Authority, which is developing the park, is building the tower, it will eventually be turned over to the Franklin County General Authority, according to Authority Utilities Program Manager Judy Chambers.

The development authority accepted the utilities, including water, sewer and rail service to the park and depot, "with the understanding that it would bring them up to industry standards and permitting standards," Chambers said Tuesday.

The Army and business park will both be customers of the Franklin County General Authority, she said.

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