County OKs Grant Awards for Waterline Extension, Homeless

CLEARFIELD – The Clearfield County Commissioners approved contracts for two, different grant awards at Tuesday’s regular meeting.

Lisa Kovalick, the county’s planning and community development specialist, said in September of 2012, the county applied for $500,000 in competitive Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding, which it’s received. She said it will assist the Covington Karthaus Girard Area Authority (CKGAA) in constructing a waterline extension to serve residents along Buck Run Road in Girard Township.

She said this waterline extension will provide safe and dependable potable water service to 24 households and 54 people that are currently served by private, residential wells along a 9,100-foot stretch. She said this area has a history of poor water quality from previous mining and lack of water.

She said there has been contamination documented by the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the residents’ private water testing. She said that test results indicate that some of the private wells are subject to contamination from the on-lot wastewater disposal system that serves the area.

For example, Kovalick said the coliform bacteria count at one property was greater than 80 per 100 ml. She said the private wells are also subjected to high levels of iron and manganese from past surface and deep mining in the area. In addition to poor quality of water, she said many residents along Buck Run Road experience water shortages throughout the year.

More recently, she said the Marcellus Shale gas drilling has posed as a contamination threat in the area. She said the county and the CKGAA are looking to serve the outlying areas at risk with proper infrastructure of water. She said while they recognize water systems may not be destroyed by drilling, they want to be proactive and protect both the residents and the Marcellus Shale gas industry.

Commissioner Chairperson Joan Robinson-McMillen thanked Kovalick for working on obtaining this grant for the CKGAA and helping the residents of this area of the county. She said without this grant funding, the waterline extension project wouldn’t have been possible.

In addition, Kovalick said on behalf of Clearfield County, the Central Pennsylvania Community Action (CPCA) applied for $107,873 through the Emergency Solutions Grant program, which it’s received. She said it will assist homeless and those at risk of being homeless in the county. Kovalick said according to the application submitted, they proposed to use $45,724 to assist with those at risk of being homeless and $56,775 for those who are homeless, and it will entail intensive case management for those being assisted by the program.

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