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Chambersburg sewer project bouyed by grant

January 24, 2006|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

bonnieb@herald-mail.com

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Chambersburg's south-end sanitary sewer project, in the works for more than two years, is still not a done deal, according to Borough Manager Eric Oyer.

At Monday night's borough council meeting, Oyer paraphrased British Prime Minister Winston Churchill saying, "Never in a municipality has so much been done by so many for so few."

The project will add public water and sewer to portions of Mill Road and South Main Street, an area annexed by the borough in 1967. "That's 30-some properties," Oyer said. Because so few properties would benefit, the project was on hold for almost 40 years.

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The property owners who would benefit are responsible for paying for the project, on South Main Street to the borough line to Orchard Drive.

"In 2003, we thought it would be three-quarters of a million. Now the project is expected to cost in excess of $2 million," Oyer said.

Two things are making the project feasible, Oyer added. U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., helped the borough obtain a federal grant for half a million dollars, and DELM Developers, LLC proposed a development, Progress Village, for 57.4 acres south of Mill Road.

"This is making it feasible, but we're not there yet," Oyer said. "We're waiting for two permits from (the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection) to amend the sewage facilities plan and to obtain new approval for the pumping station. Eventually, we will award a bid for the pumping station." A special assessment district will be created and a portion of the collection system redesigned to cut costs, he said.

Borough Planner Phil Wolgemuth said the area is zoned moderate-density residential. The proposed development would include 443 single-family attached lots, 24 single-family semi-detached lots, two nonbuilding recreational lots and one commercial lot.

"Drainage swales exist in the area and are up to borough code," Wolgemuth added. "The sewer system can accommodate this."

Progress Road will be extended south of Mill Road through the development and back to Mill, Wolgemuth said. Mario Drive also will be extended. Sidewalks will be built throughout the development.

The development's 14 streetlights will be on the Allegheny Power system and will be installed according to borough specifications, Wolgemuth said.

Developers are required to set aside .02 acres of land per dwelling unit for recreation, or provide a fee in lieu of this. In June, DELM offered $373,600 as a fee in lieu of setting aside 9.34 acres. The site will include private recreation areas, Wolgemuth said.

DELM hired a traffic engineer for a traffic impact study. A traffic light will be placed at Mill Road and South Main Street and stop signs on the new streets. The borough will widen and improve Mill Road, finishing no later than the end of the 2007 construction season.

Wolgemuth asked that the council add the development plans for Progress Village and the approval of the Progress Road pumping station to the consent agenda for the Feb. 13 meeting. The council voted to do so.

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