JAMESTOWN – A state grant and loans totaling $2.16 million awarded to the Jamestown Municipal Authority will allow the utility to start work on upgrading its sewer system.

Pennsylvania Infrastructure Investment Authority, better known as PennVEST, awarded the $1.24 million grant and $918,850 low-interest loan to the authority. The 30-year loan will carry a 1 percent interest rate. 

The project includes replacing 1,035 feet of main line and 500 feet of other lines, said Doug McElhaney, the authority’s chairman, who also is a Jamestown council member. Holding tanks also will be added to collect water during heavy rainstorms.

“If we have a big rain, these tanks will hold that water, which can be pumped into the river without any solids,’’ McElhaney said.

Adding the tanks won’t increase the sewer system’s capacity, he said. Also, the project isn’t adding new water or sewer customers to the roster, which will continue to remain at 368 customers. The authority only serves customers in Jamestown.

The updates to Jamestown’s sewage-treatment plant will include adding solar panels that can power part of the treatment process, McElhaney said.

“This is something new and nice for us to try,’’ he said.

Other upgrades include an ultraviolet disinfection system and a motor-control system.

The timetable calls for finishing the upgrade plans then putting the project out for bid in December or January. The price tag is expected to be in the $2.16 million range, McElhaney said.

“We hope to start construction by April or May,’’ he said.

“The authority is currently facing a long and expensive list of sewer system upgrades and this $2.16 million will go a long way to make those needed fixes possible,’’ state Rep. Parke Wentling, R-17th District, Greenville, said in a news release.

It’s too early to say if the project will result in a rate hike for customers, McElhaney said.

“We’re hoping we don’t have to raise rates,’’ he said. “PennVEST will regularly be looking through our financial books, and if they feel you’re not bringing in enough money, they can require us to raise rates.’’

Recommended for you