Water, sewer projects eyed for block grant funding

February 22, 2006|by DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - Water and sewer projects again were given priority in the Franklin County Planning Department's rankings and recommendations for 2006 Community Development Block Grant funding, which were approved Tuesday by the Board of County Commissioners.

"It's been the tradition of this board to use the money for sewer and water projects," Commissioner G. Warren Elliott said. That includes building or rehabilitating utilities in areas that already are developed, he said.

More than three-fourths of CDBG funds distributed by the county since 2000 have been for sewer and water work, Elliott said. In addition to providing clean water and reducing pollution, he said it encourages development in existing communities rather than creating more sprawl.


The department recommended Tuesday that the $413,000 available this year be split between five projects, all but one of which involve improvements or expansions of sewer and water systems. Not all of the applicants, however, will receive all the money they asked for, at least not yet. The county is retaining $70,500 of the $413,000 to administer the grant program, said Community Planner Dan Wolfe.

n The Quincy Township Municipal Authority applied for $940,400 for improvements to its wastewater treatment plant. The recommendation is to allocate $100,000 this year, with additional funding in future years.

Wolfe said the township will provide a $115,000 match for the sewer project. Township Supervisor Bob Gunder said the system serves more than 1,000 customers.

  • The Mont Alto Municipal Authority will receive $65,000 of the $200,000 it requested to extend its water lines to 12 borough homes with wells and five Quincy Township homes with inadequate public water. Wolfe said this project, too, is being recommended for additional funding in the future.

  • The Dry Run Water Association will receive $70,000 to complete the replacement of a 4-inch water line with an 8-inch line and reconstruction of a road. The project will be completed this year and received previous CDBG funding, Wolfe said.

  • The Metal Township Municipal Authority was allocated $70,000 of the $531,000 it requested to extend it sewage system to another 29 homes. "This will be a multiyear project that we're going to have to stick with until they complete it," Wolfe said.

The system was previously funded through CDBG and now has 169 customers, said Township Supervisor Anna Swailes. "It's improved the property values and increased the standard of living" for the Fannettsburg area, she said.

  • The commissioners approved $37,500 this year and expect to allocate the same amount in 2007 for Mercersburg to complete construction of the curbs and sidewalks on Fayette Street. The project received $124,000 last year, but experienced cost overruns, Wolfe said.

While the Planning Department rankings stated the need for upgrading a bilingual paralegal position for Franklin County Legal Services is "fully justified," the recommendation was not to allocate any money to legal services because of a lack of funds.

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