CMA seeks funding for new treatment plant|
Wednesday, February 20, 2013
By Jeff Corcino Staff Writer
The Clearfield Municipal Authority voted to apply for funding for its new wastewater treatment plant after receiving all the necessary approvals from the state Department of Environmental Protection.
At yesterday's meeting, the CMA voted unanimously to apply for funding from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority for funding for a $33 million project to replace its wastewater treatment and upgrade the sewer mains leading to the plant.
The CMA is constructing the plant to replace its aging wastewater treatment plant and to meet new federal regulations on nutrient discharge into the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
The CMA is planning to apply for funding from PENNVEST in April for its May 16 meeting. CMA engineer Jim Balliet said they are going to make a strong case to PENNVEST for the CMA to receive both grant funds and a low interest loan for the project. For similar projects Altoona received a $20 million low interest loan on one project and a $10 million grant and a $10 million loan for the other.
In addition to the Chesapeake Bay regulations the new plant would also be able to handle some of the excess storm water that still is entering the sanitary sewer system. Clearfield's sanitary sewer system continues to receive excessive amounts storm water during rain events causing the system to overload and forces the CMA to discharge raw sewage into the river.
Balliet said the new plant would be able to handle much of the excess storm water flows except those in the Hyde area. The Hyde Combined Sewer Overflow is the worst area in the sanitary sewer system for storm water overflows, according to a previous article in The Progress.
Lawrence Township is in the planning stages of a $1.5-$2 million project to correct storm water issues in the Hyde area and Balliet said the DEP has agreed to grant Clearfield Borough a time extension until April 15 to complete the smoke testing of its system to find any additional storm water connections.
Balliet said Clearfield Borough has informed DEP that it still has some storm water connections that need to be corrected. Because of this, Balliet said the DEP has agreed to delay designating Clearfield's sewer system as an SSO (Sanitary Sewer Overflow) system, where the CMA would be fined every time it discharges into the river. However, he said the DEP is going to require the borough to submit a plan to correct its issues and once those are completed, the system would be designated an SSO system.
Balliet said he doesn't know how long it would take for the borough to correct its issues because he doesn't know the extent of its problems.
In other business:
• the CMA voted to submit an application to PENNVEST to finance a $10.6 million water system improvement project.
The water system upgrades include replacing about two miles of main waterlines, constructing new water tanks in Hillsdale, and Wolf Run and replacing the pump station at Wolf Run as well as $1 million to replace all of the CMA's water meters.
Balliet recommended the water meter purchase be added to the project because the CMA's current meters are about 20 years old and nearing the end of their life expectancy and changes in federal regulations require new water meters with lower lead content be installed instead of replacing the old meters.
Plus he said by adding the water meters would give the CMA's project a higher ranking with PENNVEST because the new meters would be considered a "green" project and improve efficiency.
Balliet said the $10.6 million is a very conservative estimate and said the project likely wouldn't cost that much.
The CMA also authorized Solicitor John Ryan to acquire the property necessary for the project. The CMA has to purchase property at several locations for the new water tanks, pump station etc. Ryan said.
• the CMA voted to approve the retirement agreement for CMA manager Jeff Williams who is planning to retire in June and increase Assistant Manager Kevin Shifter's salary by 10 percent as he is now assuming more responsibility. Shifter's previous salary was $40,335; the increase would give him a salary of $44,368.
• the CMA voted to approve the line of credit with CNB Bank at an interest rate of 1.97 percent and the fuel bid with Christoff Mitchell for the purchase of gasoline and diesel fuel.
CMA board member Charles Ross was absent from the meeting.