SOMERSET – Sen. Pat Stefano (R-32) and Rep. Carl Metzgar (R-69) announced that Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority (PENNVEST) approved funding to improve more viable water systems while minimizing the financial burden on residential customers.
The first project will benefit the Municipal Authority of the Borough of Somerset by dedicating $5,404,769 in a non-repayment grant and $14,595,231 in a low-interest loan. The funding will be used to address the water system’s dated infrastructure that results in an unaccounted-for water loss of more than 30%, as well as frequent breaks and leaks.
It will include improvements to the Shaffer Run Water Treatment Plant so the antiquated Laurel Hill Plant can be demolished. A one-million gallon water storage tank will be installed, as will standby generators at five nearby locations, and two solar panels to reduce energy demand. Work will also be done to remove lead from the system.
“While the aging infrastructure has already created the challenge of significant water loss, improvements were limited by the associated cost. With the PENNVEST funding, anticipated user fee increases will almost be cut in half: from 87% to 40%,” Sen. Stefano said. “It’s critical that we keep costs in check so working families are not overly burdened.”
The populations impacted by both projects have a median household income level lower than the state’s median household income level.
As a result of receiving a $4,636,000 non-repayment grant, the Borough of Hooversville will be able to address its water system’s water loss of 55%, as well as its inability to remove waterborne pathogens and other impurities from the pressure filters.
The project includes the installation of approximately 9,000 feet of transmission main and a pump station to connect to a nearby system and decommission the current treatment plant operated by the Borough of Hooversville. Approximately 14,000 feet of water line, 20 fire hydrants and 190 customer meters will also be replaced.
“I am very pleased that the PENNVEST board has approved this very worthwhile effort for the residents of Hooversville and Somerset boroughs, and I am happy to lend a helping hand in this process,” said Rep. Metzgar. “It is a pleasure to work with the borough officials. They put forth a great effort to help make this happen, which will benefit everyone for a long time.”
PENNVEST approved the funding at its board meeting this week. The state’s PENNVEST Program provides low-interest loans and grants for the design, engineering and construction of drinking water distribution facilities, stormwater conveyance and wastewater treatment and collection systems.