Finding a cool million in a hurry has had its challenges for Mercer Borough.

The borough needs the cash to replace a damaged, antiquated sewer line on East Beaver Street.

The line caused back-ups in residents’ basements during a few instances over the past several months, which has ended in numerous claims to the borough’s insurance company.

Also, a digester lid for Mercer’s sewage treatment plant on Fish For Fun Street needs to be replaced. The current one is rusted and is fouling up the system at the plant.

In trying to find a $1 million loan, “we got quotes from banks,” said Debbie Scruci, borough secretary, at Mercer’s council meeting on July 10.

“Most banks won’t give 15-year loans, only 10-year.”

The lowest interest rate on the $1 million came from Citizens Bank at 5.13 percent, she added.

The borough’s payment would be about $10,700 per month, Scruci stated.

She’s also looking into a PennVEST loan for the borough.

The low-interest state loan would result in “$200,000 in interest saved if we can get it,” she said.

Scruci said it can take about eight months to get a PennVEST loan through the state Department of Community and Economic Development.

If the borough can get a waiver, it could start work without the projects first being approved by DCED and try and get the PennVEST loan later, she said.

Joseph Kurtanich, borough engineer, said the Pennsylvania Rural Development Fund may also be another possibility to pay for the work.

The borough plans to have the Beaver Street sewer line and the digester lid replaced by fall. Kurtanich said they will need some money for the project in place by then.

Scruci hopes to meet with an official with the DCED in two weeks about the borough’s options with PennVEST, she added.

“With Beaver Street getting all torn up, I talked to Aqua Pennsylvania, and told them if they wanted to do anything on the water lines, this is the time to do it,” Kurtanich said.

Councilman John “Jerry” Johnson believed Coolspring and Findley townships may also have some portion in paying for the digester lid, since both tap into the Mercer’s sewage system, he said.

Designs and specifications are being drawn up for the East Beaver project, Kurtanich said, with bids advertised and ready to be opened by next month. The digester lid bids will be advertised and opened for bid by August or September.

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