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Water rates set to rise in Chambersburg

April 25, 2001

Water rates set to rise in Chambersburg



By STACEY DANZUSO / Staff Writer, Chambersburg


Chambersburg residents could face a 20 percent increase in water rates beginning this summer as the borough plans a multi-million dollar project to improve water service.

The first rate hike in 10 years would go into effect July 1. The average residential customers, who currently pay $13.14 a month, would see their bills go up by about $2.63 each month, said Borough Manager Eric Oyer.

The series of water projects would add a third water main to serve the south end of the borough and clean and line one of two existing water mains.

At tonight's Chambersburg Borough Council meeting, council members will vote on a motion to apply for a $5.4 million loan from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority to partially fund the projects.

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A $3.36 million grant from the Environmental Protection Agency would also help pay for the $8.75 million project. An additional $1 million grant from the Army Corps of Engineers could lower the PENNVEST request, Oyer said.

Two water transmission mains, built in 1911 and 1936, serve the borough's 7,249 residential, commercial and industrial customers with water from two reservoirs in Caledonia State Park.

"We've known for a long time we would need to do this," Oyer said. "The project has been on the books since the mid-1960s."

The timing of the project is now crucial, as construction on U.S. 30 is slated to begin next year, Oyer said.

He said the borough wants to see the new plans in service by then so the third main could serve as a back-up should there be any problems during construction with the two mains, which run along the highway.

The new water main would improve supply and pressure for residents in the southern end of the borough, where there has been a lot of growth, including the Chambers-5 Business Park. A 2 million-gallon elevated storage tank in the business park is also part of the plans.

The pipe will extend south from U.S. 30 along Interstate 81 and down to Pa. 316, where there are already some underground pipes from when the road was widened several years ago. From there, the main will cross into the industrial park, Oyer said.

About $1.1 million will go toward planning, design and land acquisition. The cleaning and lining of one water main will cost another $1.1 million, and the 2 million-gallon tank will cost $2 million. The remaining $4.5 million will be spent to install the 24-inch main and several 12-inch distribution mains.

The plan was presented to the council at a public workshop last week. Work could begin this summer.

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