Water authority to bid plant expansion

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JEFFERSON – Southwestern Pennsylvania Water Authority will advertise for bids at the end of the month for the first phase of the expansion of the authority’s water treatment plant.


The first phase, estimated to cost $17 million, will increase the capacity of the authority’s plant on Tin Can Hollow Road in Cumberland Township, from 7 million to 9.2 million gallons a day.


Authority engineer Randy Krause told the authority board Thursday bids will be advertised Jan. 31 and opened March 8.


If everything is in order, the authority at its meeting March 14 could award contracts for the work, subject to approval from the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, he said.


About half of the money for the project, $8.6 million, will come from a low-interest loan from PENNVEST; the remainder of the project is being funded by bonds issued by the authority in November.


The authority still must close on the PENNVEST loan. Krause said once that is completed, which should be sometime between March and May, the authority will be able to issue a notice to proceed to the contractors.


Work then could begin in June, he said.


In a related matter, the board approved paying $824,422 for engineering fees for the plant expansion. The money will come from the bond proceeds and pay for work that included plant design, electrical engineering and geo-technical work.


The second phase of the project, which will increase the plant’s capacity from 9.2 million to 16.1 million gallons a day, will be completed later. Funding will have to be arranged for the second phase, roughly estimated to cost about $7 million.


In other business, the board reorganized and elected Tim Faddis chairman and Bob Dugan vice chairman. Bruce Howard was elected treasurer and Alan Jenkins secretary.


A new board member was seated, Patrick Knight, who was appointed by Jefferson Township to replace Ken Frameli, whose term had expired. Faddis also began a new term on the board, having been reappointed by Jefferson Borough.


The board will continue to meet at 5 p.m. the second Thursday, except in April when the meeting will be held at another date. The second Thursday in April coincides with the rural water convention.


Dave Pollock was retained as authority solicitor and Randy Krause of Bankson Engineering was retained as authority engineer.


The board received but took no action on a proposal to update authority policy regarding meter pits prepared by authority manager Jack Golding.


The board also heard from Sherri Falor, whose house in Waynesburg, which was used as an office by her late husband, Dr. Stanley Falor, had been damaged by a water line problem and whose lawsuit against the authority has been pending for almost two years.


Falor asked if anything could be done to hasten a settlement.


Pollock told her the matter was in the hands of the insurance company and out of the authority’s control. He said, however, he would contact the insurance company to get an update on the case.


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