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Stormwater system creating turbulance in Waynesboro

April 08, 2010|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - The Waynesboro Borough Council plans to decide next month whether to borrow millions of dollars to fix its faulty stormwater system.

The borough recently lost out on $7.1 million in loans and grants from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority's PENNVEST board. The board did not approve the request at its March meeting.

That leaves borough officials questioning how they will pay to fix the system, specifically the outfall along Cemetery Avenue.

Councilman Ronnie Martin on Wednesday asked his fellow council members to consider putting the project out to bid.

"The contractors are looking for work right now. I think that's going to turn," said Martin, who said he also wants to get a low interest rate.

The council agreed to take up the matter at its next meeting in an effort to give the board members a few weeks to think about what they want to do.

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Councilman C. Harold Mumma said the county raised property taxes for 2010 and the school district probably will for 2010-11.

"I'm really concerned. How much can we tolerate?" he asked.

Borough staff members said they continue to apply for grants and low-interest loans. Borough Engineer Kevin Grubbs said the municipality can apply for PENNVEST support again on May 18.

The borough maintains an active Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development H2O grant application, and contact will be made with the county for any support it can provide, Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger said.

Some improvements have been made to the stormwater system, bringing the remaining costs down to about $6.3 million, Grubbs said previously. The remaining repairs must still be done, since the banks of the problem outfall along Cemetery Avenue are being eroded, he said.

"We told these people (whose homes and yards flooded) that we were going to take care of it," Martin said, saying the borough has been sued twice regarding the flooding.

Changes to the problem outfall have alleviated the basement flooding, although some residents say infiltration has caused the ground around the outfall to be unstable.

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