Engineers will be working with Southmont Borough crews measuring elevations on manholes to prepare for the estimated $16 million sewer project, Borough Manager Rich Wargo said at Monday’s Borough Council meeting.
“They are working on the designs,” Wargo said. “It’s going very well.”
Borough engineer Todd Banks of Stiffler McGraw & Associates in Hollidaysburg answered questions about the project during a special council meeting last week.
The meeting was called to formalize council’s Dec. 8 approval of a voluntary consent order that commits the borough to eliminating illegal overflows of raw sewage into area streams, Solicitor Michael Carbonara said.
“Council voted in December to approve the consent order,” Carbonara explained. “But DEP wanted a resolution to reaffirm the action.”
Southmont has been tentatively approved for low-interests loans through Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, or PennVEST. In the meantime, the borough has a revolving line of credit with First Commonwealth Bank to cover costs between PennVEST allocations.
Permits for the first phase of work will be submitted in April, followed by the second phase permits in July, Banks said last week. The final PennVEST application will go in after the permits have been received.
Council asked if the entire system will be included in the project. Banks said he is still exploring options, but feels it will take a complete replacement to meet DEP standards.
“I suspect the entire public system, along with private laterals in poor condition will need replaced to meet this requirement,” Banks said.
Southmont Borough sewer bills are expected to level off around $70 a month, including the Johnstown Redevelopment Authority’s monthly $24 fee for treatment.
Randy Griffith covers Southmont for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @photogriffer57.