The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) today awarded nearly $12 million in funding to projects in Armstrong and Indiana counties, according to Sen. Joe Pittman (R-41), state Rep. Jim Struzzi (R-62) and state Rep. Abby Major (R-60).
An $11 million grant was given to Freeport Borough, Armstrong County, for construction of a new wastewater treatment plant
“There have been longstanding concerns about the existing treatment plant, which is old and unable to handle the flows of sewage and water as required by state and federal regulations, negatively impacting the local Buffalo Creek,” said Sen. Pittman, a member of the PENNVEST Board. “When the project is completed, the new system will properly treat its discharge and meet required effluent limits, improving both public and aquatic health.”
The new wastewater treatment plant will use sequencing batch reactor technology with headworks for grit control, ultraviolet disinfection, and an equalization basin.
The current system serves 743 households in Freeport Borough. Without the PENNVEST grant, rates for those users would have dramatically increased.
“I’m pleased to assist the borough with replacement of its wastewater treatment plant,” Rep. Major said. “This upgrade would not be fiscally feasible without assistance from the state. Doing nothing is not an option as the Buffalo Creek is impacted and harm would be caused to our valuable waterways.”
“For several years, Freeport has been working on a solution to the borough’s sewage treatment problem, not the least of which has been how to afford what is now expected to be a nearly $17 million project to address the issue,” added Sen. Pittman. “This $11 million PENNVEST grant will go a long way toward allowing the borough to finally make a new wastewater treatment plant a reality by the end of 2024.”
Additionally, PENNVEST awarded a $680,000 loan to Blairsville Municipal Authority, in Indiana County, to restore its existing pump station.
“The current pump station is old and reached the end of its useful life,” said Sen. Pittman. “The restoration project will extend that lifespan.”
“We were happy to work with Blairsville Borough and the Blairsville Municipal Authority on their application. This will be a tremendous help for a much-needed project,” said Rep. Struzzi, who also sits on the PENNVEST board. “Our constituents send us to Harrisburg to be fiscal stewards of their hard-earned dollars. Investing in infrastructure is the type of responsible spending practice they expect us to make, and we’re thrilled to make this announcement for the residents and customers of authority.”
The project intends to install cast-in-place concrete, steel reinforcing bars, structural steel restoration, and a new bypass pump, as well as replace two doors and frames, and five stop places and frames. Additionally, the existing elevator, spiral staircase, pump discharge leader pipe and raw sewage influent pipes will all be repainted.
A total of 1,788 households in Blairsville Borough and Burrell Township are served by the existing system. The project is not expected to affect residential user rates.
PENNVEST is not supported by the state’s General Fund budget, which covers the daily operations and services of the Commonwealth. Financing is provided through the use of federal funding and prior bond issues by the state as well as proceeds from the Marcellus Shale Impact Fee legislation, Act 13 of 2012.
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