Franklin Co. gets green grants

April 25, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, PA. - Wind power for a water treatment plant, replacing a century-old water line and restoring fish habitats are among the recommended uses for $1.39 million in Pennsylvania Growing Greener II money available to Franklin County.

The Franklin County Planning Office reviewed its recommendations Thursday with the Board of County Commissioners. The municipalities and organizations that requested the funds will apply to the state for the money, Planning Director Phil Tarquino said.

Tarquino said the Mercersburg (Pa.) Water Authority will request $240,000 for a 90-foot tower topped by a turbine with a 15-foot rotor capable of generating 15,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The wind generator would be built at the authority's treatment center, supplementing its power usage and feeding power into the grid when it generates excess electricity, he said.

The authority's application states it costs about $20,000 per year to power the plant. The turbine would help reduce that cost, as well as cut the plant's "carbon footprint" by 22,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per year.


A 108-year-old cast-iron waterline near Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., would be replaced with $150,000 being requested by the Washington Township Municipal Authority, according to its manager, Sean McFarland. At about 5,000 feet, the gravity line once supplied the Buena Vista Hotel in Blue Ridge Summit, and now supplies homes and businesses in the area, he said.

The line runs from Buena Vista Springs, and part of the money would be used to cut forest encroachment at the source, McFarland said.

The East Branch of the Antietam along Antietam Meadow Park behind the Wayne Heights Mall was recommended for $25,000 to develop fish habitats, stream-bank fencing and riparian restoration. Washington Township Manager Michael Christopher said the Antietam Watershed Association is partnering with the township on the project, which will include planting trees along the banks, the shade from which will help cool the water for the fish.

The following projects also were recommended for funding:

  • Antrim Township Municipal Authority - $250,000 for water treatment plant expansion

  • Bear Valley Joint Water Authority - $250,000 to develop a well for drinking water

  • Middle Spring Watershed Association - $15,000 for storm-water improvements and riparian restoration

  • Chambersburg - $182,000 to improve storm-water collection and filtration of runoff from the intersection of Coldbrook Avenue and Lincoln Way East.

  • Franklin County - $28,000 for the removal and replacement of two underground storage tanks.

Growing Greener II was a $650 million bond issue approved by Pennsylvania voters in 2005, Tarquino said. Of that figure, $90 million was set aside for projects in counties, with Franklin County's share being $1.39 million, he said.

The municipalities, authorities and organizations now will apply to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to fund the projects, he said.

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