NUANGOLA – It was described by the state director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a "major step in improving the lives and property values" of borough residents.
These comments were the focal point of an address by Tom Williams at a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday for a $9.3 million sewer system project intended to be built this fall after seven years of technical development and political wrangling.
Williams was among a half-dozen state and municipal dignitaries who gathered on the lawn of the municipal building for a celebration of what David Pekar, sewer authority chairman, described "as the generation that is finally going to do this project."
Besides Williams and Pekar, others who participated included state Sen. Lisa Baker, state Rep. Karen Boback, Rich Kresge, project engineer for the Quad3 Group, and Robert Gonos, authority solicitor.
Williams, a resident of Nuangola who had served on the sewer board, recalled that his grandfather discussed in 1955 the possible need for a sanitary system. It was 50 years later, 2005, that an authority was created.
Williams is generally credited with having the clout to obtain a commitment from the USDA's rural development division for $4.47 million in loan financing and $4.02 million in USDA grants. He insisted the money is legislatively obligated.
In his comments, Kresge commended Williams and the USDA for standing firm in their support of the project.
While the groundbreaking was termed by officials as the launching point, there still remains the matter of finalizing a bridge loan of $5.5 million with the Fulton Bank of Lancaster. At its most recent meetings, authority leaders stated documentation has been forwarded to the bank and it is just a matter of tying up some "loose ends."
The loan is intended to provide financing for the construction phases until the USDA money becomes available. Ted Vancosky, treasurer, speculated the loan closing with Fulton could come by mid-October.
In discussing the overall size of the project, Kresge said his calculations reveal that there will be more than seven miles of force main piping, eight miles of residential laterals and three miles of 6-inch piping along Blytheburn Road to a Mountain Top Area Joint Sewer Authority main located southwest of Blytheburn village.
Under a revised plan, the pipeline will proceed from the borough and parallel Nuangola Avenue to Church Road, to Stairville Road and to Blytheburn to the authority main.
Completion is estimated as some time in late 2014 or early 2015.