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Grant money available to Quincy sewer customers

March 28, 2003|by RICHARD BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

QUINCY, Pa. - Low- and moderate-income property owners who will use the new Quincy sewer system under construction are eligible for grants from two sources to help pay to hook their homes to the new utility when it goes on line in August.

Robert Gunder, chairman of the Quincy Township Supervisors, said Thursday the township has obtained $244,000 in Community Development Block Grant money to help those who qualify to connect to the system.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture also offers grants and loans to those who qualify. Grants are only available to people 62 and older, he said. The loans have an interest rate of 1 percent and can be repaid over 20 years.

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Residents who qualify for grants or loans can even spend the money on modifications inside their homes if they are necessary for hookup. One homeowner plans to use the money to remodel a bathroom, he said.

The average cost of hooking on to the system, including the $1,400 tap fee plus the cost of digging up yards to lay pipe, will be around $3,000, Gunder said.

Some owners of new homes have safe septic systems but they still have to pay to hook up to the township's system. "They were a hard sell," he said.

According to Gunder, to qualify for block grant funds, property owners' gross annual income cannot exceed $26,650 for a single-person household and up to $50,250 a year for an eight-person household.

To qualify for a USDA grant or loan, a household gross income cannot exceed $16,650 for a single-person home to $31,400 for an eight-person household.

Applicants must show proof of income, home ownership, age if older than 62 and fill out a financial statement.

Application forms are available at the Quincy Township office at 7575 Mentzer Gap Road or by calling the office at 717-762-5679 Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

Gunder said about 350 of the nearly 900 property owners to be served by the new system qualify for financial assistance.

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has been asking the township to install public sewers for more than a decade. Many of the township's private septic systems are failing.

The project will cost more than $11 million, will include more than 21 miles of pipe and have its own treatment plant.

The township received about $2 million in grants, but the rest, about $9.3 million, is being borrowed and will be repaid over the next 40 years from user fees.

The monthly rate for customers has been set at $42.50.

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