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Grants to boost water, sewer projects

February 03, 2003|by STACEY DANZUSO

chambersburg@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - early $500,000 of grant money will benefit low- to moderate- income residents in Franklin County with water and sewer improvements this year.

The Franklin County Planning Department recommended that:

n Quincy Township, Pa., receive $200,000 to help residents pay the tapping fee for its new $11 million sewer system.

n The Mont Alto (Pa.) Municipal Authority get $136,500 to develop an additional well source and a water storage tank to bolster its existing supply.

n The Indian Lake Camp Corp. in Fannettsburg, Pa., receive its third annual $100,000 installment to build a water storage tank and upgrade distribution lines for the Fannettsburg community, Planner Phil Wolgemuth said.

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The funds will come from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development's 2003 Community Development Block Grant allocation to the county. Final figures are not available, but Wolgemuth said he estimated the county would receive $485,000, about what it got last year.

Of that, 10 percent will go to the county for administration of the grant.

During the first of two public hearings on the grant Thursday, Franklin County Commissioner G. Warren Elliott said the recommendations were in line with the types of projects the county favors.

"It's dismal if you can't turn on the tap and get water out," Elliott said.

"The need is there," said Bob Gunder, chairman of the Quincy Township Board of Supervisors.

He said 56 percent of the families in a 22-street stretch where sewer is being installed fall in the low- to moderate-income guidelines.

If the Board of Commissioners approves the recommendation of $200,000 to the Quincy Township sewer system, that will be used to help 143 families pay the $1,400 tapping fee it costs for each residence.

"The money will go for tap fees for people on the bottom rung. Total needs for 471 families is in excess of $1 million," he said.

Because the families also will have to pay a $500 or more fee to connect from the sewer main to the house when the project is complete, the county is applying for an additional $471,000 in funding from the DCED for the sewer system.

"There's a sigh of relief knowing we're going to have some funds to help these people," said Joe Middour, Quincy Township supervisor.

In Mont Alto, the borough is trying to meet a state mandate to increase water production.

This summer the borough drilled a new well that should go on line soon, and it is trying to get approval for a new water tank, said Bill Barnes, a member of the municipal authority.

The grant money would help pay for the $1.6 million project.

Two agencies were not recommended to receive funding, including the Hispanic American Center in Chambersburg to buy two buildings and the Lancaster, Pa.-based Community First Fund to expand its program of small business counseling into Franklin County.

The final hearing before the Board of Commissioners approve the grant recommendations will be Thursday, Feb. 13 at 11 a.m. in the Franklin County Courthouse.

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