Senator Stefano E-Newsletter

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Senator Stefano’s Comments on Masontown Shooting

My thoughts and prayers continue to be with all those effected by the tragedy yesterday in Masontown. Our entire community stands ready to support the victims as they recover from this horrific experience. I am so grateful to the police and first responders whose quick and decisive action yesterday saved lives.

Mr. Rogers told us in times of crisis look for the helpers. Yesterday the helpers could be seen everywhere. They were seen in the police who dashed from their lunch to respond to the sound of gunshots. They were seen in the people shielding each other from the gunfire. They were seen in the individuals who literally gave the shirts off their back to stop the bleeding of those who were struck. They were seen in the fire and EMS responders who cared for the victims. Finally they were seen in the community that came together to offer reassurance and comfort to those reeling from what they had just lived through.

We thank God for all of them: the police, the fire and EMS responders and the everyday helpers, who prove everyday that our community is better than the violence that was perpetrated on it yesterday.

Somerset Senior Expo Tomorrow

Tomorrow, September 21st, I will be hosting my annual Senior Expo at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church in Somerset.  The Senior Expo is designed to provide seniors with a “one-stop resource” for information on a wide range of services available to them – many of which are free of charge or at a reduced cost.  Throughout the day, there will also be refreshments, free health screenings and door prizes.

Somerset County and Clarion University to Partner on Nursing Program

At Tuesday’s Somerset County Commissioners’ meeting I was present for an announcement of a partnership between Somerset County and Clarion University.

At today’s Somerset Commissioner’s meeting a lease was ratified which will allow Clarion University to begin the Middle States Certification to return a nursing program to Somerset County.

I am excited to welcome Clarion University and their nursing program to Somerset County. The effort to return a nursing program has been over 2 years in the making and I am so pleased that we secured a partnership with Clarion University, an integral part of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education.

This partnership brings a top notch education program to help staff our world class medical institutions here in Somerset County. Working with Rep. Metzgar, I was proud to secure the funding needed to renovate the facility and acquire the technology needed to provide the students in this program with the tools that they need to succeed.

State Grants for Local Water and Sewer Projects Announced

Fifteen organizations and municipalities in the 32nd Senatorial District have been awarded state funding for projects that will provide public infrastructure updates to improve water and sewer facilities. The grants and loans were awarded by the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) through its Abandoned Mine Drainage Abatement and Treatment Program and Small Water & Sewer Program.

As a former chairman of a sewage authority I understand the importance of sewage and water infrastructure. These grants will facilitate economic growth in our communities, protect our environment and help these authorities better serve their existing customers. Working together with our local communities and my colleagues in the House I am proud to have helped secure this funding that will benefit our residents.

The following grants were awarded:

Clean Streams Foundation – $500,000 to install an acid mine treatment system located in Ohiopyle Borough, Fayette County. Clean Stream Foundations intends to install a new water treatment plant which is necessary to treat the acid mine drainage and mitigate AMO pollution discharges into Laurel Run. The existing treatment facilities at the site have failed, are obsolete and not adequate for the future treatment of the acid mine drainage from the abandoned mines. The total project cost is $1,185,815.

Masontown Borough – $422,581 to replace 4,957 linear feet of water mains in the borough. Currently, there are numerous compromised and leaking water mains along five streets within the borough’s distribution system: Cumberland Avenue, Woodland Avenue, Commercial Avenue, Walnut Street and Debolt Avenue. The project will improve efficiency for the distribution system and protect the system’s customers by removing the galvanized and transite water mains. The total project cost is $497,155.

Masontown Municipal Authority – $416,449 to replace 3,710 linear feet of collection piping within the borough to reduce the inflow and infiltration to the sewage treatment plant. Currently, there are numerous compromised and leaking sewer mains that impact the efficiency of the system. The total project cost is $489,940.

National Pike Water Authority – $165,112 to upgrade pump station number one and the SCADA system in the regional water system. The Authority services four municipalities in the mountains of the Laurel Highlands — Henry Clay Township, Markleysburg Borough, Stewart Township, and Wharton Township. Currently, when two pumps are running, the flow is 460gpm, but the maximum flow the force main can handle is 750gpm. The authority will keep the existing pumps in place to be used at the lower flows and add an additional 200 HP pump to be used for the maximum flow. The electrical service will be upgraded for the additional larger pump and the SCADA upgrade. The total project cost is $194,250.

North Union Township Municipal Services Authority – $212,500 to extend and upgrade sewer lines in the township. Commercial development along the Route 51 Corridor is currently restricted, as developers do not want to install, operate, and maintain on-lot systems. This project will extend 1,154 linear feet of low-flow pressure force main as well as individual grinder pumps to 7 service connections. Along South Gun Club Road, the project will replace 954 feet of 8″ sewer line, allowing for continued growth and development in the area. The total project cost is $340,000.

German Township Sewer Authority – $47,289 to purchase equipment to perform extra required monitoring at the Sewage Treatment Plant. The new NPOES Discharge Permit for the German Township Sewer Authority is requiring the Authority to monitor its outfall for PH and UV transmittance seven days a week. In an effort to reduce operating costs and user rates, the Authority plans to purchase meters, which would allow them to perform the extra monitoring in-house. The total project cost is $55,635. An additional $58,803 for the construction of a dumpster cover. The German Township Sewer Authority is charged by weight at the landfill and also uses that weight to check capacity in the plant. The dumpster cover is being designed to save money on what is hauled into the landfill, as well as add life to the equipment that is out in the elements .The total project cost is $69,180.

Bullskin Township/Connellsville Township Joint Sewer Authority – $ 212,500 to replace 3,200 linear feet of sanitary sewer line and 16 manholes along Swan Drive in Connellsville Township. The existing sewer line is deteriorated and allows groundwater to enter the system through joints in the clay tile piping, and tree roots have entered the sewer though the joints and are restricting flow. The new sewer line will eliminate inflow and infiltration at this section of the system. The total project cost is $341,871.

Dunbar Township Sanitary Authority – $65,877 for upgrades and replacement of equipment to the wastewater treatment plant located in Dunbar Borough and Dunbar Township, Franklin County. The new, energy-efficient equipment includes a mechanical screen to improve sludge handling and dumpster cover to extend the life of the outdoor equipment. This is a cost savings measure to cut down on the amount of sludge tonnage that is hauled to the landfill. The plant processes sludge and presses it dry because the landfill charges by weight. The total project cost is$ 77,502.

Perry Township Municipal Authority – $59,500 for sanitary sewer system improvements. The proposed project includes the installation of a remote monitoring system at three of the Authority’s sewage pump stations, the installation of a sewage grinder at the influent of the wastewater treatment plant, and the installation of a new waste sludge pump and SBR mixer at the treatment plant. This project will enhance the operation and reliability of the Authority’s sanitary sewer system and will improve the Authority’s ability to monitor its remote sanitary sewer pump stations thereby reducing the potential for basement flooding, sanitary sewer backups and manhole overflows. The total project cost is $70,000.

South Union Township – $285,000 to replace a sewer line. South Union Township has identified 1,750 feet of the existing sewer system as being in improper elevation and size, resulting in backups in both residences and manholes. The township will replace the 1,750 feet of existing sewer main with 21″ PVC pipe. The project will also include reconnecting six residential home laterals and replacing seven manholes. The total project cost is $499,941.

Redstone Township Sewer Authority – $45,300 for renovations to the wastewater treatment plant building. The Redstone Township Sewer Authority owns the treatment plant which houses all of the computer programming equipment, the system of pumps needed to operate the plant, as well as the sludge press used to treat wastewater. Over time, the facility has seen settlement in the foundation of the eastern corner of the building resulting in cracks within the masonry walls. In order to protect the vital equipment within the facility, the Authority will install galvanized push piers to raise and support the existing foundation. Once the foundation is fully supported, the mason walls will be repaired and the entrance door will be put back in working order. The total project cost is $53,301.

Jefferson Township Water Authority – $42,500 to construct a waterline on the bridge over Redstone Creek located in Jefferson Township, Fayette County. Jefferson Township Water Authority will install 350 LF of 6″ waterline across the bridge over Redstone Creek on SR 4005 to connect to the existing lines allowing the Authority to access water for purchase from North Fayette County Municipal Authority. The bridge was replaced by PennDOT in 2015 at which time the existing 6″ waterline was removed and the remaining lines capped. Jefferson Township Water Authority does not produce any water for their consumers. Water is purchased from Newell Water Authority and North Fayette County Municipal Authority. The failure to replace the waterline on the bridge has prohibited access to water from North Fayette County Municipal Authority. The total project cost is $50,000.

Somerset Borough – $108,500 for the construction of a waterline extension. The project consists of installing 850 linear feet of 6″ ductile iron pipe between Highland Park Drive and Beaumont Drive. This waterline will eliminate a dead end in the service line and create a service loop. The service loop will reduce water age, more efficiently maintain water quality, reduce service downtown, and provide an alternate path in the event of line work. The new waterline will provide more consistent water pressure for residents, increase fire flow within the project area, and extend service to undeveloped areas allowing for future development. Total project cost is $129,000.

Jenner Area Joint Sewer Authority – $106,600 or the purchase and installation of monitoring probes at the wastewater treatment plant and pump stations located in Boswell Borough and Jenner Township, Somerset County. This project will include the purchase and installation of the continuous immersion probes for dissolved oxygen, pH, & oxidation/reduction potential. The dissolved oxygen probes will control the aeration blower function in the future and an added benefit to automation of the blower control is a reduction in energy costs. In addition, supervisory control and data acquisition equipment for the wastewater treatment plant and two pump stations will be purchased and installed which will allow the plant and all 10 pump stations to be monitored by the same system. The total project cost is $125,412.

Rostraver Township Sewage Authority – $300,000 to rehabilitate sanitary sewer lines. The Collingate Sewer System has experienced basement flooding and sanitary sewer backups. The project will eliminate unwanted inflow and infiltration from entering the sanitary sewer system and reduce the potential for sewage backups and manhole flooding. The rehabilitation of the sanitary sewer system will include the cured-in-place pipe lining of 4,300 feet of 8″ sanitary sewer, the epoxy coating of approximately 20 manholes and the realignment of approximately 85 feet of existing 8-inch sewer to improve overall flow characteristics. The total project cost is $352,942.

Around the District

For those who suffer the demon of addiction or those who hold them dear, there is hope and help. This past weekend, I spoke with and heard from those suffered and turned their life around from this demon. God bless all the hands that reached out tonight at the Light the Night for Recovery presented by Rev. Sanders and the Genesis House.

It was an honor to take part in the unveiling of a memorial plaque for fireman Chuck Horan who died in the line of duty while serving the North Belle Vernon VFD. This plaque will be displayed at Fire Station. I also presented the parade awards for the North Belle Vernon Community Days Parade at the North Belle Vernon – Community Bank Park. Congratulations to all of the award winners and many thanks to the volunteers who put this great event together.

It was great to be with the Fayette County Supervisors Association this week for their legislative panel and to speak at their luncheon. These public servants are at the front lines of government at the local level and I appreciated hearing their feedback on issues we are dealing with in Harrisburg.

Presented a well-deserved Senate Citation on September 18th to a very special lady, Rosie Sopkovec. Today was her 107th Birthday Party with family and friends. Several times she was up and dancing. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROSIE!

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