SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY – Sen. Lisa Baker (R-20th), along with Rep. Jonathan Fritz (R-111th), announced that the New Milford Municipal Authority and the Hallstead Great Bend Joint Sewer Authority received state grant money from the Pennsylvania Small Water and Sewer Program. Rail-Trail Council of Northeastern Pennsylvania Inc. also received funds from the Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program.
“It is always challenging for small communities to keep up with improvements needed to keep water and sewer systems running safely and affordably,” said Baker. “Outdated and poorly functioning equipment poses a risk to health and safety. This grant is good news, allowing the authority to undertake needed improvements.”
“I want to thank both programs for providing these authorities and councils with funding to execute these much-needed projects in our area,” said Fritz. “These grants recognize the importance of repairing and improving our sewer systems and railways in order to keep residents safe.”
New Milford will receive $251,723 to replace sanitary sewer grinder pumps and water meters in the borough. A hundred grinder pumps for the sewerage system and 399 water meters will be replaced throughout the borough. Between the new grinder pumps and water meters, they will improve the efficiency of the sewerage system, as well as prove beneficial in finding water loss problems. The total project cost will be $296,145.
“On behalf of the new Milford Municipal Authority Board, I would like to extend our sincerest gratitude and appreciation for the consideration and approval of our grant application to help in upgrading our aging sewer and water systems currently servicing New Milford Borough,” said Donald Button, chairman of the New Milford Municipal Authority. “This grant money will help our residents both financially and environmentally.”
Hallstead Great Bend Joint Sewer Authority will receive $209,397 to upgrade pump stations at various locations in Great Bend Township. This project authorizes the installation of seven permanently fixed back-up generators and switches, which will provide reliability to the sewerage collection system. They will activate automatically and immediately following a public utility outage, providing protection from overflows and backups into homes and businesses. This comes after the sewerage system lost power on 16 occasions for different lengths of time. The total project cost will be $246,350.
Rail-Trail Council of Northeastern Pennsylvania Inc. will receive $244,175 to design, purchase and install a prefabricated pedestrian/snowmobile bridge over the Starrucca Creek. The railroad bridge was removed before the Rail-Trail Council purchased the railroad right-of-way. The abutments remain and will be rehabilitated to support the bridge. The total project cost will be $298,325.
“This grant will allow us to buy a nearly-90-foot-prefabricated bridge and have it installed over the Starrucca Creek linking the entire 38-mile stretch from Carbondale to the New York border,” said Lynn Conrad, executive director of Rail-Trail Council of Northeastern Pennsylvania Inc. “It was the last piece of the puzzle.”
“When you ask people what helps to make a community an attractive place to live, parks and recreation are invariably on the short list of key attributes,” said Baker. “Credit goes to the local officials, organization leaders, and volunteers who have worked so hard renewing our historic pathways as recreational trails for all to enjoy. Those who endeavor to protect land and preserve our natural heritage engage in a high form of community service.”
The Pennsylvania Small Water and Sewer Program offers grants for small water and sewer infrastructure projects and can be used to assist with the construction, improvement, expansion, or rehabilitation or repair of a water supply or sanitary sewer system.
The Greenways, Trails and Recreation Program offers grants for projects which involve development, rehabilitation and improvements to public parks, recreation areas, greenways, trails and river conservation.
Andrew M. Seder