Reading – Twelve Berks County municipalities and municipal authorities, including the City of Reading, have been awarded state water and sewer infrastructure grants totaling $1.625 million. The Commonwealth Financing Authority approved the grants through the H20 and PA Small Water and Sewer Grant Programs through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, at a meeting Monday afternoon.
“Properly functioning water and wastewater infrastructure protects public health and safety and promotes economic growth,” State Senator Judy Schwank said. “I strongly advocated for these grants to help our local communities make necessary improvements.”
Of note, the City of Reading is receiving two grants: A $350,000 H2O grant to modify Egleman’s Dam in Reading and a $125,000 Small Water and Sewer System Grant to improve the Fritz Island wastewater treatment plant.
“It is especially important that the City of Reading is receiving state grant assistance to complete Egleman’s Dam and substantial state help to complete a project at the Fritz Island treatment plant project,” Schwank said. “With its limited resources, the city might not have been able to finish these critical infrastructure improvements without this state grant funding.”
“This state investment in our city will help my administration continue our efforts to improve one of our most scenic parks and our wastewater system for the benefit of all city residents,” said Reading Mayor Eddie Moran. “Partnerships like this with state government are critically important for Reading’s future, and I want to thank Senator Schwank and her colleagues for working diligently to help secure these funds.”
Ruscombmanor Township, MS4 Stormwater BMPS, $50,000
Oley Township Municipal Authority, Sewer Collection System Televising Manhole Rehab, $100,000
Robeson Township Municipal Authority, Sewing Pumping State #2 Improvements, $50,000
Mount Penn Borough Municipal Authority, Installation of a new generator at three pump stations to provide uninterrupted water service, $100,000
Cumru Township, Tamarack Train I&I, $100,000
City of Reading, Fritz Island Grit Chamber Project. Owned and operated by Reading, Fritz Island treats 28.5 million gallons of wastewater per day from 12 municipalities. This project would allow for the replacement of the grit chamber, originally installed in 1987, which has come to the end of its useful life, $125,000
City of Reading, Egelman’s Lower Dam Modification Project. The dam had experienced seepage at the toe of the earthen dam works, which, according to a report, indicated water is tunneling through the dam and could lead to softening and eventual failure. The grant will allow the city to lower the dam 4 feet and raise the bottom of the pond 5 feed to bring the dam into compliance with the PA Department of Environmental Protection, $350,000
Centre Township Municipal Authority, Kingsgate WWTP Upgrade, $50,000
Borough of Laureldale, Sanitary Sewer Lateral Replacement Project, pipe and fittings to reduce the inflow and infiltration from entering the borough’s sanitary sewer system, $100,000
Muhlenberg Township Authority: Replacement of interceptor line along Leisczs Bridge Road, $100,000
Borough of Kutztown, Solids Handling Improvements, $100,000
Birdsboro Municipal Authority, Hay Creek Raw Water Pump Station, $50,000
West Reading Borough, Linden Lane Sanitary Sewer Replacement Project, replacement of 510 feet of sewer main and 30 connections, $100,000
“The grants announced are just another reminder that local municipalities have the support of the state when it comes to improving the safety and efficiency in the services provided to our hometowns,” said State Rep. Mark Rozzi. “This news will, hopefully, lessen the burden on local municipalities to make the necessary updates they need.”
The funds approved are part of H2O PA, established by the General Assembly in July 2008 to provide grants for the construction of drinking water, sanitary sewer and storm sewer projects. The act also approves projects for the construction and renovation of flood control projects and the repair or rehabilitation of high-hazard, unsafe dams.
High hazard means if the dam should fail the area that would experience flooding includes homes or occupied structures, putting lives at risk. It does not mean danger is imminent, but vigilance and maintenance should be monitored.
“State money will go to improve water treatment and the modification of one of six dams owned by the city of Reading,” Caltagirone said. “I’m excited to see these funds improving our city and local municipalities. In the case of Egelman’s Lower Dam, it’s rewarding to see state money directly helping improve safety in our region.”