The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

The Danville News

April 23, 2014

$7.8 million loan could spur economic growth

DANVILLE — DANVILLE — The Danville Municipal Authority has been approved for a $7.8 million low-interest loan to replace and improve sewer lines which should result in opportunities for future economic growth.

“It’s great news,” said Dan Knorr, Danville administrator of governmental affairs of Tuesday’s announcement.

The state funds will finance nearly three miles of sewage collection lines and other improvements.

“The whole system flows into that line behind the middle school to the sewer plant. Hopefully, we will go forward with Cooper Township’s system to let our region grow,” he said Tuesday night during the Montour County commissioners meeting.

Gov. Tom Corbett announced Tuesday the investment of $41.7 million in 13 non-point source, drinking water and wastewater projects in 12 counties in the state through the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority.

The announcement said the Danville project will allow for the lifting of a sewer connection moratorium leading to the creation of 224 new jobs, the retention of nearly 10,000 jobs and the investment of $255 million in the local economy.

With Danville’s sewage treatment plant upgraded to significantly increase treatment capacity, the main constraint remaining in the system and putting a limit on future regional economic growth was the capacity of the main interceptor line feeding wastewater to the plant itself.

Along with upgrading, replacing and rehabilitating several other secondary lines, the main interceptor replacement project will correct this by replacing a 24-inch-diameter interceptor line with a 36-inch-diameter line, according to Knorr.

Municipal Authority Chairman Walter Shultz said the loan will result in the replacement of old lines with some dating to the time of the first collection system in Danville. He didn’t have an age estimate for those lines.

An increased size in lines is needed for additional load capacity through the years, he said of the sewage system which serves Danville, Mahoning Township including Geisinger Medical Center, Riverside and may eventually serve parts of Valley Township and Cooper Township.

Shultz said the loan should cover the costs of the project with bids to be advertised sometime this fall.

He said the work will be coordinated with replacement of the earthen dike around the Danville Middle School and wastewater treatment plant.

The authority has been working on obtaining the PennVEST loan for a number of months.

The main interceptor line replacement will be from the sewer plant through Rooney Avenue. A DL&W trunk line replacement will be along Lower Mulberry Street and DL&W Avenue. A Route 54 trunk line and a Route 11 collection will be replaced and rehabilitated. Lines will be replaced and rehabilitated in the West Market Street area. A line will be replaced along Spring Street. An outfall pipe, which sends treated wastewater to the Susquehanna River, will be rehabilitated.

Shultz said there are also broken connections in lines needing to be replaced.

“The investments that we make today in our environment and economy will improve the quality of life for Pennsylvanians in all corners of the Commonwealth,” Corbett said. The funding comes from a combination of state money approved by voters, federal grants to PennVEST from the Environmental Protection Agency and recycled loan repayments from previous PennVEST funding awards.

Money for the projects is disbursed after bills for work are paid and receipts are submitted to PennVEST.

Email comments to kblackledge@thedanvillenews.com.

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