The West Branch Regional Authority, located in Muncy, got a tremendous boost to help complete final construction of their facility - a $3,924,600 low-interest PENNVEST loan.
This isn't the first boon for the authority; in January, PENNVEST awarded the authority a $22,969,626 low-interest loan and a $5,491,723 grant to assist with the construction of the plant.
These investments will give 10,000 residents more than just a new wastewater treatment plant and needed infrastructure upgrades, but will prevent the increase of user fees, said state Sen. E. Eugene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township.
"Without these investments, area user fees would be expected to increase," Yaw said. "By using PENNVEST funding for this project, the authority's customers will save a significant amount of money over the life of the loan rather than using money obtained on the commercial finance market."
State Rep. Garth Everett, R-Muncy, praised the project.
"This is great news," Everett said. "The elimination of storm water infiltrating the system in the final phase of the project will allow the authority to decommission the two old plants, do away with the cost of processing rain water and allow the authority to accept new customers on the system."
The final phase of the construction of the new regional 2.4 million-gallon-per-day wastewater treatment plant will reduce the inflow and infiltration in the Clinton Township and Montgomery and Muncy's collection systems. Upon completion, the existing wastewater treatment plants, acting as supplemental wet weather treatment, will be demolished. The new plant will serve four municipalities in Lycoming County.
Once completed in March 2015, the project will eliminate the hydraulic overload conditions at the Muncy and Montgomery wastewater treatment facilities.
Construction of a larger, more centralized, treatment plant outside the flood plain also eliminates public health hazards associated with the discharge of untreated or partially treated wastewater to publically accessible areas, including into the Susquehanna River.
PENNVEST provides financial assistance to communities throughout Pennsylvania seeking to improve environmental conditions and safeguard the health of residents.
West Branch Regional Authority Director Eric Moore was not available for comment before press time.